PDF/A adoption remains slow, even in European academic archives.
“Swedish Dissertations: Archived for the Future?“, a paper from AcademicMindTrek 13, makes it clear that PDF/A has a long way to go in adoption – even in European academic archive settings.
While noting that “An increasingly popular alternative is to store dissertations as electronic documents such as PDF files” the paper analyzes the extent to which electronically archived doctoral dissertations in Sweden fulfill basic requirements for long-term archiving.
The paper finds that only few dissertations follow the Swedish National Archive requirements. Only at one Swedish university do a significant number of electronic publications conform to PDF/A-1b.
Interestingly, conformance to PDF/A-1b correlates to properly setting the title of a PDF document and choosing a paper format different from A4 (ISO 216), suggesting ignorance of the requirements in the first instance.
Download the paper from the ACM website.