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An OAIS may be geographically distributed but with all parts under the same Management, for example the Archival Storage Functional Entity could be divided over several separate locations to increase resilience against disaster. In other cases OAIS Archives with separate Managements may wish to co-operate as described below.

Users of multiple OAIS Archives may have reasons to wish for some uniformity or cooperation among them. For example, Consumers of several Archives may wish to have:

– common finding aids to aid in locating information across several Archives;

– a common Package Description schema for access;

– a common DIP schema for dissemination; or

– a single global access site. Producers may wish to have: – a common SIP schema for submission to different Archives; or

– a single depository for all their products. Managers may wish to have means for – cost reduction through sharing of expensive hardware, software, and preservation efforts; and

– increasing the uniformity and quality of interactions with several Archives.

Therefore, it may be advantageous for Archives to cooperate to meet these wishes. The motivation might come from the Archives themselves, or an authority that has some influence over them may impose it. In the former case, the Archive might be motivated by:

– desire to reduce costs;

– desire to keep Consumers happy with their products;

– desire to keep users happy with their quality of service; or

– the need to compete with other Archives in order to survive or grow.

Situations like this can and have motivated agreements without the need for any explicit federation establishing an external authority. However, in cases where explicit federation is established, the external authority is represented in this Reference Model by Management.

The purpose of this section is to explore the degree of interaction and cooperation among Archives. Subsection 6.1 focuses on the technical levels of interaction, while subsection 6.2 discusses management issues concerning the tension between cooperation and autonomy.