Nestor workshop on OAIS review

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In light of the upcoming OAIS revision and the OAIS Community Forum, nestor has set up a small working group [1] to bundle the contributions of the German and German speaking community. The working group has identified a couple of areas that might be worth looking at in the revision process and presented them for discussion at a public workshop at the German National Library in Frankfurt on 21 June 2016. The workshop had almost 40 participants from archives, libraries, data centers, and research institutions.

The following paragraphs sum up the results of the discussion:

OAIS in relation to other standards

A whole “family” of OAIS related ISO standards with explicit references to OAIS has been developed around OAIS. In addition, several other national and de facto standards exist in digital long term preservation, which make more or less explicit references to OAIS. With its high level of abstraction, OAIS is widely accepted as *the* reference model in digital long term preservation, providing an anchor point and framework for any other standards. From the nestor perspective, it is important that OAIS keeps its openness and inclusiveness towards other standards so as not to hamper further standards development.

Significant Properties vs. Transformational Information Properties

The concept of “Significant Properties” is popular, and often referred to. OAIS, however, makes no explicit mention of it, but introduces the concept of “Transformational Information Properties” instead. From the nestor perspective, there is no need to press for an integration of “Significant Properties” into OAIS, but the difficult concept of the Transformational Information Property should be concretized and factored into the Ingest Functional Entity and the Preservation Planning Entity, where it is of great importance.

OAIS and the PREMIS concepts “Intellectual Entity” and “Representation”

The PREMIS concepts Intellectual Entity and Representation explicitly allow the notion that there can be several representations of one intellectual entity at a time, or, more interesting, over time (e.g., each migration yields a new representation). OAIS is ignorant of this dimension. From the nestor perspective, however, these dimensions should be considered in OAIS.

Integration of Lifecycle Management into OAIS / Pre-Ingest

In the area of data management, dynamic processes have been developed and established, which encompass the phases before the actual Ingest. OAIS does not yet take those into account, or make reference to them. From the nestor perspective, the information created in such processes can be useful for preservation purposes, and should therefore find their way into OAIS. Furthermore, some of the sub-processes of the Ingest Functional Entity could be shifted to the Producer area.

Ideas relating to AIP Update, AIP Delete und AIP Transfer

A workshop participant introduced a concern of the German “Rosetta” user community: OAIS lacks meaningful statements with regard to AIP updates in the Ingest Functional Entity, to AIP deletions in general, and to AIP transfers between archival systems. From the nestor perspective, it seems worth to consider these concerns, although alternatively to integrating them into OAIS, they could perhaps also be settled in a separate paper.

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