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  Preservation Procedure Policy: Designated Community/Communities identified
Related Guidance Policy
Definition/ Description The OAIS model page 1-11  defines “Designated Community”  as “An identified group of potential Consumers who should be able to
understand a particular set of information. The Designated Community may be composed of multiple user communities. A Designated Community is defined by the archive and this
definition may change over time_.”_
Why Knowing the Designated Community is important in order to serve them optimally and make the preserved information useable and understandable, which is a goal of preservation. There can be different users of the repository and the potential Consumers do not necessarily need to be outside the organisation but could also consist of staff or related institutions.  The Designated Community might even differ per collection and should in this case be defined per Collection
Risks If the organization as owner of the repository fails in identifying accurately the user community for a collection the intended User Community might not be able to understand, use or reuse the digital information in the repository. This could in time pose a serious risk to the survival of the collection.
Life cycle stage Community Watch and Participation, Appraisal and select
Access, Use and Reuse
Stakeholder Producer/depositor: will be able to tell who is the intended audience for this collection, for example researchers using a certain data set
Management: will be able to tell the intended Designated Community of the collections in the repository
Collection Management (non Shaman): support management from point of view related to the content to preserve
Cross Reference Dissemination Information Package
Examples Yale University Library Preservation Policy: “This Policy recognizes that the maintenance and the reliable long-term access to Yale’s digital resources are supported by a preservation planning function. Research (monitoring) about technology that supports a repository and the requirements of the designated community it serves is a core activity to preservation planning, as well as outreach and education regarding policies, procedures and best practices for digital resources.” Source:

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research : “The designated community at ICPSR, as described by OAIS, includes traditional users, i.e., social science researchers and graduate students at member institutions; and newer categories of users, e.g., undergraduates, policymakers, practitioners, and journalists.” Source: [
Control Policy In preparation for creating control policies, the organisation may identify the  possible user communities/roles. This could be very specific or at a minimum can relate to one of three roles: creator; manager/curator and end user.
Questions to foster discussions
  • Has your organisation identified the specific user group for specific collections?
  • Has your organisation described for all collections how they will be kept accessible to the user community?
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