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Guidance Policy Authenticity

According to the OAIS model (page 1-9), authenticity is defined as: “The degree to which a person (or system) regards an object as what it is purported to be. Authenticity is judged on the basis of evidence.” The potential user of the collection in the repository, the Designated Community, will assess the authenticity of the digital objects and the repository owner will provide the evidence (idem, page 3-1). Therefore the repository owner or organisation needs to describe in policies which approaches will support the achievement of authenticity.

Organisations might approach the concept of “authenticity” from various angles, depending on their goals and character. So for example archives might do it differently compared to libraries, as they have different mandates.

According to D24.1 Report on Authenticity and Plan for Interoperable Authenticity Evaluation System, written by the APARSEN project, the assessment can be done via technical and non-technical approaches. Technical approaches include using tools to validate the integrity of the bit sequences, fixity checks or provenance information. Non-technical approaches could include checking the identity of the producer of the digital object to be preserved. A combination of both approaches is usual.

Further reading

Literature on the topics in this chapter can be found at


Preservation Procedure Policies for Authenticity

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