Maintaining the ability of an organisation or user to be able to “open” or “render” a file or set of files is one of the core digital preservation challenges. The Rendering Matters report outlines the results of research investigating whether changes are introduced to the information that is presented to users when files are rendered in different hardware and software environments. The report concludes with a set of observations about the impact of the research and provides some recommendations for future research in this area.
The primary audience for this report is the national and international digital preservation community. This includes any individuals or groups directly involved in planning for, implementing or managing of activities surrounding the preservation of digital objects.
You should read this report if you are interested in issues related to digital preservation or information management strategies, digital object integrity or digital evidence, or simply want to see some examples of how opening files in one application can cause meaningfully different information to be presented compared to opening the files in another application.
The report is available in OOXML, ODT and PDF formats. A PDF reader can be found here, a DOCX reader here and an ODT reader here