OAIS Model with Functional Entities, Version 3 (with Labels!)

Nick Krabbenhoeft
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Recently I've been collaborating with the American Museum of Natural History Library to understand how a trusted digital repository would fit into their infrastructure.They will present a poster of this work at HydraConnect 2015 this week. I will include a link to the poster if it is published. Like many cultural organizations, AMNH runs a number of systems including a library management system, an archives management system, an image management system, and a museum collection management system. Before adding a a digital repository to this mix, it was clear that we needed to take stock of the current infrastructure map.

It was a great opportunity to use the OAIS Model with Functional Entities, but as that model was presented to non-librarians it became clear that it needed some additional edits.

New Version of the Model

Version 3 of the full OAIS Model from Annex A

I've made the following changes:

  1. Added labels to every arrow that indicate what information was being passed between each function. Based on the existing labels in ISO 14721. For example, the Coordinate Updates function in Ingest sends a storage request to the Receive Data function in Storage, then sends the AIP, and receives a storage confirmation.
  2. Added connections described in ISO 14721, but not drawn in the diagrams such as the connection between Establish Standards and Policies and Develop Preservation Strategies and Standards.
  3. Changed the color of the larger functional groupings to grey boxes with black text for greater printability.
  4. Rerouted lines to make room for the new labels and hopefully increase legibility.

New Challenges

This update revealed two new challenges.

First, there are several incongruities between the text of ISO 14721 and the models illustrating the text. Some of these problems are the result of the difficulty of representing so many connections in a confined space.For example, the arrow between Customer Service and Consumer in the diagram on page A-2 passes right through the Monitor Designated Community box. Other are omissions as I described in point 2 above. The question at this point is how to incorporate edits into the next version of the OAIS standard.

Second, it has become clear from my work with AMNH that it will be very difficult to represent multiple content workflows on a single diagram. Many organizations maintain systems with similar but specialized functionalities for different content. For instance, a finding aid is best stored in a database application like ArchivesSpace instead of an ILS like Voyager. At AMNH, we've tried a few strategies such as color and grouping parallel tools with similar functions, but we're still searching for a good solution.

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