What constitutes the 'appropriate' preservation of a digital object is subjective, and is the subject of much writing and debate in the field. Depending on what aspects of the data are given more importance, or what presentation of the data is considered more appropriate, different mechanisms for preserving the data over time will be more or less suitable. Also, depending on how much change to the data is considered acceptable, the preservation actions required will become varyingly complex.

If a preserving institution does not understand which parts of a digital object it wishes to preserve, it will be much more difficult to plan appropriate and effective strategies for preservation over any time period. It will also be very difficult to audit the effectiveness of any preservation actions. It makes more sense, therefore, for an institution to establish its expectations for preservation before any strategies are considered.

NLA Preservation Intent Statement can be found below for: