Preserving state government digital information:
Project partners have identified authentication of digital material—the process by which information is assured to be what it appears or claims to be—as a common interest. The trustworthiness of online state statutes and session laws is of particular interest.
Below you will find white papers that address authentication issues as well as information on the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act. Links to additional resources are also provided.
Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act
The National Conference of Commissioners on the Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) drafted a model law on the Authentication and Preservation of State Electronic Legal Materials to provide states with guidance on the issues. Information about the drafting committee, links to working drafts, and legislation for the Act can be found on the Uniform Law Commission website.
White Papers and Research
Written in December 2011, this paper discusses five methods of authentication and their associated costs pertaining to authenticating primary legal materials in electronic format.
Written in January 2011, this paper summarizes various methods of authentication in use today. This paper is intended to give an overview of methods in use at this point in time.
- Authentication Methods (pdf)
Written in July 2008, this paper identifies and summarizes recent discussions about and documentation of digital authentication among the government records management, legislative, and judiciary communities—including a Federal initiative.
- Authentication Overview (pdf)
The Legislative Counsel of California researched various authentication methods and their costs. The resulting white paper is posted above.
A meeting to discuss initial findings was held in Washington DC on November 4, 2011. For more information about this meeting, please review the materials below.
- The Signal: Digital Preservation blog post
- Meeting Summary
- Presentation: Authentication and Pricing Options for Primary Legal Materials in California by Dragomir Cosanici, Office of Legislative Counsel State of California
- Presentation: Authentication Methods Preliminary Report by Bradlee Chang, Xcential Group
Background and resources are provided for the following:
- Legislative Records: State Statutes, Legislative Acts, and Interpretive Rules
- Selected State-Level Resources
- Perspectives from Legal Communities
- Selected Initiatives (U.S. Government Printing Office)
February 28, 2012; links updated November 17, 2011.