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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

GPO Gets OAIS Certification!

Congratulation to GPO for getting govinfo.gov certified as a Trusted Digital Repository! This is an important step for ensuring long term preservation and access to the contents of the GPO digital repository. The Government Publishing Office (GPO) announced today that it has received this certification.

(For those unfamiliar with certification, check out the “core criteria for digital preservation repositories” that four preservation organizations wrote in 2007. These are a consensus guide auditing and certifying repositories and will give you a general idea of the concepts of certification.)

The certification was awarded to GPO by PTAB (The Primary Trustworthy Digital Repository Authorization Body). This was the second certification completed by PTAB and the first in the United States.

PTAB used the international standard known as ISO 16363, Audit And Certification Of Trustworthy Digital Repositories. This is the newest and official version of the standard also known as OAIS ("The Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System"). (The standard is available for free from CCSDS and for a fee from the International Organization for Standards ISO.)

PTAB is accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies of India (NABCB) to conduct ISO 16363 audits worldwide utilizing ISO standard 17021 (Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems) (freely available from CCSDS).

PTAB uses a two stage ISO 16919/17021 audit process.

Waiting for details…


Strategic Planning, Part I: A Workable Plan for GPO and FDLP

The GPO’s Office of the Superintendent of Documents released its National Plan for Access to U.S. Government Information: A Framework for a User-centric Service Approach To Permanent Public Access in February. Our colleague Shari Laster has written a really thorough overview and background of the document, so we will use this post to analyze the Plan in more detail and suggest how it can (and should) be improved. In a follow-up piece, we’ll then move from strategic planning to an environmental scan and Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the current FDLP as it relates to the Plan, including more context of what’s in place and what we feel is missing in order to build a sustainable digital FDLP ecosystem.


OAIS / TDR presentation

The slides and handout from my presentation this morning are now available here:



OAIS / TDR presentation at FDLP

Here are the slides and a handout from my presentation on Monday October 17, 2011 about the OAIS and TDR standards.

From Production to Preservation to Access to Use:
OAIS, TDR, and the FDLP
Federal Depository Library Conference, October 2011
James A. Jacobs,
Data Services Librarian, Emeritus, University of California, San Diego

A brief, non-technical introduction to the “Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System” (OAIS) and the “Audit And Certification Of Trustworthy Digital Repositories” (TDR) and their relevance to the Federal Depository Library Program. This presentation will put these important standards in the context of the life-cycle of government information — from production to preservation to access to use. It will address the roles of key stakeholders — government agencies, GPO, FDLP libraries, and users. It will examine FDLP policies and the strategies of individual libraries in the context of OAIS and TDR.

HathiTrust Certified as Trusted Repository by CRL

An important milestone for digital preservation of government information: CRL has completed its audit of HathiTrust, which contains digital copies of many printed government publications, and certified it as a “trusted repository.” The audit uses the Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification checklist (TRAC), which is based on the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS).

(Full disclosure: I participated in the audit by providing technical support for the site visit and the assessment of HathiTrust repository systems and architecture.)