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Coming Soon! - A Framework for Applying OAIS to Distributed Digital Preservation

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In early 2014 the digital preservation community will be able to obtain a new and helpful resource to assist them with their work - A Framework for Applying OAIS to Distributed Digital Preservation.

Distributed Digital Preservation (DDP) is defined as the use of replication, independence, and coordination to address the known threats to digital content through time to ensure their accessibility.

Using real-world case studies, models, and mappings to OAIS, this new Framework resource aims to clarify terminology and concepts to assist implementers, auditors, and users of DDP systems as they seek to accomplish both bit-level and functional digital preservation in reliable and trustworthy ways.

The Framework is being jointly authored by the Educopia Institute and the Royal Library of Denmark.

Learn More

This community initiative has already produced several research products that can help get interested parties up-to-speed with scope and objective of the Framework. See below:

The Need for a Framework

Worldwide, numerous digital preservation initiatives are already engaging highly distributed methodologies, infrastructures, and organizational apparatuses in order to achieve the reliable persistence of digital content. Examples include Archivematica (https://www.archivematica.org/), the Danish Bit Repository, Chronopolis (http://chronopolis.sdsc.edu/), LOCKSS (http://www.lockss.org/), UC3 Merritt (https://merritt.cdlib.org/), Data-PASS (http://www.data-pass.org/), DuraCloud (http://www.duracloud.org/), MetaArchive Cooperative (http://www.metaarchive.org/), Internet Archive (http://archive.org/), and many others.

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These existing DDP approaches, as well as those that have yet to come into being, currently lack common vocabulary and conceptual frameworks for building effective, reliable, and auditable distributed preservation environments. Such agreed-upon terminology and theoretical models would:

  1. Help initiatives to describe and compare their infrastructures and operations.
  2. Increase understanding and awareness of the DDP process both by practitioners and by organizations seeking preservation solutions.
  3. Provide auditors (including self-auditors) with a crucial foundation for assessing the reliability of a variety of distributed approaches.

The preservation field today relies heavily upon the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) to provide theoretical and abstract models and vocabulary for digital preservation. This OAIS standard provides a significant portion of the foundation for the Framework. The forthcoming Framework will elaborate upon the OAIS model to define the methodology and structure of the actions undertaken in organizationally and/or technically distributed preservation repositories. The Framework does not intend to redefine existing standards. Instead it merely seeks to elaborate with additional models and vocabulary.