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  Preservation Procedure Policy: Use of specific standards
Related Guidance Policy
Definition/ Description A lot of different standards for various aspects (e.g. Costs, File Formats, Metadata etc.) of Digital Preservation exist. Some are only applicable in a certain domain.
Why When there is a commonly used standard in a particular domain, that is continuously updated, it will benefit the organisation to adhere to this standard (both in costs, approaches, understandability, related training etc.).
Risks If an organisation has not implemented a standard that is commonly used in the domain, the organisation will risk an isolated position, and it might not be interoperable with similar organisations.
Life cycle stage Curate and Preserve, Preservation Planning, Description and Representation Information
Stakeholder Depositor: might expect certain standards to be used in the organisation
Consumer: might expect certain standards to be applicable in the data he will use from the repository
Management: need to be aware of standards in use of their domain and the applicability for their organisation
Operational Management, Technical Management and System Architect need to implement the  agreed standards in the organisational processes
Cross Reference Metadata
Digital Object
Bit Preservation
Functional Preservation
Examples University of South Carolina Libraries: “USC Libraries, with support from the University Technology Services, avows that the digital preservation program will: (…)
• adhere to prevailing community-based standards in developing and maintaining its organisational and technological context”  Source:,
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
  • Has your organisation chosen a standard to describe preservation metadata for the digital objects in care?
  • Has your organisation chosen a standard to refer to for describing the file formats in their repository?
  • Has your organisation decided to comply with a file format standard? For example, if JPEG2000 is an agreed file format in the organisation for digitization activities, is it also described how close the published standard should be followed?
  • Is it clear what the precise file format profile is, e.g. which parameters must be used to encode the files?
  • Has your organisation decided on a standard for storage media?
  • Has your organisation decided on a standard for data description?
  • Has your organisation decided on following specific, may be discipline related, standards for record keeping and /or data management?
  • How does your organisation handle the representation of contextual information and which are the standards to be followed in specific areas, like type of objects, agents (see for example the Premis Data Dictionary), time notation etc.
  • Are there de facto standards not mentioned above that your organisation needs to follow?
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