"trusted repositories"

Reinhard Altenhöner

Electronic publishing is the usual form in the scientific communication: easy to handle, worldwide available and accessible at every time. But digital information objects are in the deep sense of the word much more fragile than traditional paper based information. They can be easily altered, damaged or become unreadable especially in the long run of time. In this situation a special deposit system is necessary, which supports procedures to preserve electronic publications (online and offline) and keeps them accessible through time. To implement such a system, specific standards, technologies, and procedures are needed.

The basic standard of a Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System – OAIS describes the situation in principal. The OAIS generic model consists of functional entities with well-defined interfaces and introduces a concept of packages to standardize and interconnect preservable content and metadata.

Within this model the building block "Archival Storage" is responsible for keeping intact the bitstream of the digital object's preservation master. It may either be the original bitstream or the result of one of several migration procedures in the archive life cycle of the digital object. Whatever strategy will be followed in the future to provide access to the digital content, it will depend on the existence of a bitstream, the integrity and authenticity of which has been kept in order over the years. An OCLC/RLG working group has done groundbreaking work: The report "Attributes of a Trusted Digital Repository" has articulated a framework of attributes and responsibilities for trusted, reliable and sustainable digital repositories.

The talk focusses on report of the RLG-group and current activities in Germany to handle and standardize the requirements for trusted repositories.