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Archive Model

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Subject area/Theme

Data and Architecture: Data Archiving

Short summary of Best Practice:

An archive system should comply with the Reference Model for an “Open Archival Information System” (OAIS).

Explain why is there a need for this Best Practice?

The reference model is suitable for almost every archive, including non digital archives like book libraries. It helps understanding what is required to preserve information for the long term. It breaks up an archive into several well identified functional areas, which makes the design, development and maintenance of an archive much easier and minimizes impacts of environmental changes. With the concept of “Information Package”, it provides a sound information model.

Provide an example application(s):


How widely deployed is this practice(if applicable)


Source document(s):

CEOS WGISS Interoperability Handbook

Business Process Management Software

Detailed Description of Best Practice

The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) has defined a general model for archives. This model is called the “Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System” (OAIS) and is available at The term “Open” means that the recommendations contained in the standard have been discussed in open forums.

The standard describes a “reference” model providing concepts, terminology, techniques as frameworks for the implementation of a long-term information preservation process.  One of the OAIS key concepts is the “Information Package”, i.e. a conceptual container for the “Content Information” (the information to be preserved) and the “Preservation Description Information” (the information needed to preserve the “content information”).  An OAIS compliant archive basically handles “Information Packages”.


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Doesn't this recommendation conflict with the recommendation on shared vocabularies as part of the intent of the OAIS reference model was to define archive related terms. Most of the OAIS terms are not part of the SAA vocabulary on the CEOS website.
Posted 00:13, 2 Mar 2008 (11 years ago)
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