3.2.3 DETERMINES DESIGNATED COMMUNITY

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The submission, or planned submission, of Content Information and associated PDI requires a determination as to who the expected Consumers, or Designated Community, of this information will be. This is necessary in order to determine if the information, as represented, will be understandable to that community. For example, an Archive may decide that certain Content Information should be understandable to the general public and, therefore, this becomes the Designated Community.

For some scientific information, the Designated Community of Consumers might be described as those with a first year graduate level education in a related scientific discipline. This is a more difficult case as it is less clear what degree of specialized scientific terminology might actually be acceptable. The Producers of such specialized information are often familiar with a narrowly recognized set of terminology, so it is especially critical to clearly define the Designated Community for their information and to make the effort to ensure that this community can understand the information.

The possible changes to the definition of the Designated Community also need consideration. Information originally intended for a narrowly defined community may need to be made more widely understandable at some future date. For example, information originally intended to be understandable to a particular scientific community may need to be made understandable to the general public. This is likely to mean adding explanations in support of the Representation Information and the Preservation Description Information, and it can become increasingly difficult to obtain this information over time. Selecting a broader definition of the Designated Community (e.g., general public) when the information is first proposed for Long Term Preservation can reduce this concern and also improve the likelihood that the information will be understandable to all in the original community.

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