Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model

Authored by: Christopher A. Lee

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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The Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) describes components and services required to develop and maintain archives, in order to support long-term access to and understanding of the information in those archives. This entry discusses the context in which the OAIS was initiated and provides a chronology of the OAIS development process, including its transformation from a space data standard into a document of much wider scope. The author explains the nature of reference models as a particular type of standard, and then describes the major components and concepts of the OAIS Reference Model. The primary mechanisms that the Reference Model uses to convey the aspects of an OAIS are its functional model and information model. The entry also summarizes numerous (completed, ongoing, and emerging) initiatives that have adopted and expanded on the OAIS. Finally, the author discusses major implications of the OAIS.

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