Achieving the highest standards

Article dated: 13 June 2011

The Archive continues testing its preservation policies and procedures against international benchmarks.

The UK Data Archive has been an industry leader in adopting and supporting international archiving standards, and has continued this recently with a presentation on digital preservation and a test audit for new ISO certification.

Archive Director Matthew Woollard presented the Archive's view on a 'Standards-based approach to preservation planning' at the Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation Conference in Estonia on the 24 May 2011.

"These universal standards are important because agreed standards applied across a subject area both improve quality, reduce investment required for success, and inculcate trust across a wide range of stakeholders." said Woollard.

"Any organisation wishing to deliver its products reliably and consistently will rely on some agreed policies, strategies or procedures to support its internal processes, but a data archive, ensuring the long-term preservation of and access to datasets, must go beyond these internal processes and provide evidence to its peers that it can be trusted to fulfil this vital role in the data lifecycle."

The standards required for the data management community include structured data and metadata, technical approaches to archiving and access, and information security related to the resources entrusted to the Archive.