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  Preservation Procedure Policy: Principle on the use of standards
Related Guidance Policy
Definition/ Description A standard is a specification of precise criteria designed to be used consistently and appropriately” (Source: Aligning national approaches in Digital Preservation, 2012, which offers an extensive discussion of various aspects of standards), p. 115.
Why As the digital collections will be taken care of by many different stakeholders over the years, it is important that each stakeholder can rely on the information in the collections and the standards that were used to create and manage it. Therefore the use of standards is highly applicable in digital preservation.  A firm statement of the organisation on adherence to standards will add to the trustworthiness of the organisation.
Risks The risk of not using standards are manifold: future generations might not understand the material and mistakes might be made
Life cycle stage Curate and preserve, Preservation Planning (in principle this affects all stages in the life cycle)
Stakeholder Management: need to set the overall approach to the use of standards
Operational Management: need to implement standards in daily processes

Cross Reference Metadata
Bit Preservation
Functional Preservation
Examples Cornell University Library: “CUL avows that the digital preservation program
•comply with the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model standard in the development of the digital archive
•adhere to prevailing community -based standards in developing and
maintaining its organisational and technological context
•participate in the development of digital preservation standards and their promulgation
Control Policy Some standards, such as the use of PREMIS for preservation metadata may apply to all parts of the collection, in other cases such as the use of a standard file format may only apply to specific subsets.
Some examples of control policies relating to standards are:
  • Information on preservation events SHOULD use the PREMIS schema
  • Information on preservation event MUST include date undertaken, action and agent
  • The file checksum algorithm MUST be <name of algorithm>
  • ISO standardized format equals YES
  • File format MUST be <value>
  • Format documentation is available equals YES
Questions to foster discussions
  • Does your organisation use standards for digital preservation?
  • Is your organisation aware of all relevant national standards the organisation needs to adhere to?
  • Does your organisations have collections with specific relevant standards, for example standards in relation to file formats in a specific discipline?
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