The standards and models section articulates the organization’s commitment to following good practice. It lists the specific standards/models which the organization aims to follow. Not all digital preservation policies will reference the standards and models being employed in the process of preservation, but there may be reasons to explicitly include them. Consider for example:

  • Is your policy directed towards a specific type of user who may require adherence to particular standards or models?

  • Have you recently achieved a particular certification or implemented a standard or model that you think is important to share with the audience(s) of this policy?

  • Is it important to note your adherence to a standard or model in order to ensure compliance with other policies, legal requirements, funder requirements, etc.?

The list of standards/models which support digital preservation are potentially endless, and it is not generally necessary to list every standard and model which may be relevant. Always think critically about why you are noting standards/models in your policy – include them for a reason and (if possible) state that reason in the policy. Try not to make false claims about which standards you use or comply with; unless you are certain you are fully compliant with a standard, it is better to state that your digital preservation work is guided or informed by a certain standard, or that you are actively working towards compliance.

Examples of standards and models which could be included in the policy:

An alternative approach is to simply state an intention to follow relevant standards/models and good practice as an underpinning policy principle (see Policy Principles section).

Example policy statements

Digital Repository of Ireland

The DRI broadly follows the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model. The Reference Model establishes a common framework of terms and concepts which constitute a digital repository and lays out the functional components and responsibilities of such a repository at an organizational level. These terms and concepts are used in this document.

Digital Repository of Ireland Preservation Policy (2018)

University of Sussex

The library will:

  • Use current digital preservation standards to guide digital preservation practices
  • Monitor the emergence of new standards and consider adopting them where appropriate and useful
  • In the absence of formal standards, draw on best practice guidelines where appropriate and useful
  • Apply standards for digital preservation which reference and support The Keep’s TNA accreditation

University of Sussex Digital Preservation Policy (2022)

National Archives of Australia

Standards play an important role in digital preservation. In particular, they provide clear benchmarks for defining requirements and measuring outcomes, and support interoperability between contemporary and future systems. Internal and external standards that the Archives applies to digital preservation include:

  • Conceptual models and standards such as the Reference Model for Open Archival Information Systems and the Archives' Performance Model
  • Metadata standards such as the Commonwealth Record Series (CRS) system, the Australian Government Recordkeeping Metadata Standard (AGRkMS), and Preservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies (PREMIS)
  • File format standards such as ISO/IEC 26300: Open Document Format for Office Applications, ISO/IEC 15948: Portable Network Graphics, TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) Revision 6.0
  • Internal standards for digitization, preservation formats, transfer and storage and retrieval.

National Archives of Australia Digital Preservation Policy (2020)

British Geological Survey

The organisation will follow the broad guidance given in standards and best practice guidance to support the level of preservation required. These include:

  • The Open Archive Information System (OAIS) model (ISO 14721) will be used as an underpinning policy model. It covers functional areas necessary for digital archives including data ingestion, archival storage, data management, administration, preservation planning, and access to data.
  • Information Security Standard (ISO 27001:2013) balances access and security of digital information. The standard requires that an organisation understands what information assets it holds and ascertains the value of these assets. BGS is working towards complying with ISO 27001.
  • ISO 19115-1:2014 Geographic information — Metadata provides information about the identification, the extent, the quality, the spatial and temporal schema, spatial reference, and distribution of digital geographic data.
    * ISO 23081: Information and documentation – Managing metadata for records includes references to preservation metadata to underpin the continued authenticity, reliability, usability and integrity of digital information to support its preservation.
  • CoreTrustSeal is an international, community based, non-governmental, and non-profit organization promoting sustainable and trustworthy data infrastructures. The CoreTrustSeal Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements reflect the characteristics of trustworthy repositories. The NGDC has been certified since January 2018 and will renew the certification every three years to maintain and enhance its certification level.

The NGDC maintains some local good practice guidance on its website including Acceptable file formats and the NGDC data value check list.

British Geological Survey Digital Preservation Policy (2020)

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