Critical Processes and OAIS Manadatory Responsibilities

1. Introduction

  • This document traces critical processes employed by Scholars Portal to the “mandatory responsibilities” of a digital repository as described in OAIS.(1) This document identifies which processes are necessary for the repository to fulfill its mandatory responsibilities.

2. OAIS 3.1: “Negotiate for and accept appropriate information from information Producers.”

  • Scholars Portal has a clearly defined process for negotiating with producers and ensuring that it acquires appropriate information. See the License Management Workflow for more information.
  • Scholars Portal negotiates licenses with individual producers that specify the types of information that the repository will accept. See the Provider Agreement or License for more information.

3. OAIS 3.1: “Obtain sufficient control of the information provided to the level needed to ensure Long-Term Preservation.”

  • Scholars Portal obtains rights from individual producers that give the repository control over all of the information deposited by the producer. The nature and scope of these rights varies by publisher. In cases where the repository takes responsibility for the preservation of information, the rights include provisions for Scholars Portal to receive a local copy of the information and host it in perpetuity. In some cases, the repository obtains the right to modify information in order to ensure long-term preservation and accessibility. See the Provider Agreement or License for more information.

4. OAIS 3.1: “Determine, either by itself or in conjunction with other parties, which communities should become the Designated Community and, therefore, should be able to understand the information provided.”

  • In conjunction with OCUL member libraries, Scholars Portal developed a Designated Community Definition that describes the repository’s primary, secondary, and tertiary user communities.

5. OAIS 3.1: “Ensure that the information to be preserved is Independently Understandable to the Designated Community. In other words, the community should be able to understand the information without needing the assistance of the experts who produced the information.”

  • Scholars Portal ensures that information is independently understandable by using file formats that are well understood and widely accepted by members of its Designated Community. See the Preservation Implementation Plan for more information. The repository maintains a log of formats archived and the number of files held in each format.
  • To maintain understandability of files, the repository monitors the digital curation field for new trends and emerging standards (see Environmental Monitoring of Preservation Formats), carries out extensive usability testing, and solicits feedback from its Designated Community. In addition, Scholars Portal works closely with OCUL member libraries to identify and manage understandability problems.

6. OAIS 3.1: “Follow documented policies and procedures which ensure that the information is preserved against all reasonable contingencies, and which enable the information to be disseminated as authenticated copies of the original, or as traceable to the original.”

  • Scholars Portal has policies and procedures for the long-term preservation of information. See the Preservation Implementation Plan, Workflow Charts, and Definition of AIP for more information about the repository’s ingest, data management, and archival storages processes. AIPs are not deleted as a part of the repository’s normal operations.
  • The repository maintains backups of all content. See the Backup Plan for more details.
  • Scholars Portal staff and leadership are actively involved in tracking trends in technology and librarianship in order to identify potential threats to the material stored in Scholars Portal. In addition, Scholars Portal has a number of advisory boards composed of experts from its Designated Community that regularly consult on the operations of the platform.
  • The repository has policies and procedures for the dissemination of information to its Designated Community. See the Definition of DIP for more information. To maintain the understandability and accessibility of disseminated information, Scholars Portal carries out extensive usability testing and solicits feedback from its Designated Community. In addition, Scholars Portal works closely with OCUL member libraries to identify and manage understandability and accessibility problems.
  • To ensure authenticity, each AIP is linked to a specific dataset and source file by information in the preservation metadata. This information is not visible to the Designated Community in the DIP, but can made available if necessary. The repository’s DIPs are always generated from a single AIP/single article.

7. OAIS 3.1: “Make the preserved information available to the Designated Community.”

  • Scholars Portal disseminates the information to its Designated Community through its own user interfaces and, in some cases, through an OpenURL resolver service. See the Definition of DIP for more information about the repository’s dissemination process. Depending on the license, access may be restricted to users affiliated with OCUL member libraries. See the Access Policy for more information.

8. References

1. Consultative Committee on Space Data Systems. Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) – Recommended Practice – CCSDS 650.0-B-1. January 2002. accessed 21 September 2011. Section 3.1.

9. Document History







Draft created

Karl Nilsen



Feedback from Steve Marks

Karl Nilsen



Edited by Steve Marks

Karl Nilsen

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Microsoft Word 97 Document Critical Processes and OAIS Mandatory Responsibilities.v3.doc Nov 02, 2011 by Karl Nilsen
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