Standards process

iso-and-ccsdsAs part the regular ISO/CCSDS review cycle, the OAIS review process is starting – see

Five Year Review

In compliance with ISO and CCSDS procedures, a standard must be reviewed every five years and a determination made to reaffirm, modify, or withdraw the existing standard. The Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) standard was approved as CCSDS 650.0-B-1 in January 2002 and was approved as ISO standard 14721 in 2003.  A comment period for that first issue of the OAIS standard was held at the end of 2006.  Based on the comments received, CCSDS began work on a new issue of OAIS.  Issue 2 of OAIS, CCSDS 650.0-M-2, was published in June 2012 and was approved as an update to ISO 14721 in August 2012.

The Issue 2 updates include clarifications to many concepts, in particular Authenticity with the concept of Transformational Information Property introduced; corrections and improvements in diagrams; addition of Access Rights Information to Preservation Description Information.  With those updates the OAIS standard continues to garner widespread and growing recognition and acceptance in the digital preservation communities.

While the current issue of the standard can be reaffirmed given its wide usage, it may also be appropriate to begin another revision process. As with the previous update, our view is that any revision must remain backward compatible with regard to major terminology and concepts. Further, we do not plan to expand the general level of detail nor will the standard be changed from a reference model to an implementation design. Archive implementation standards or implementation profiles or detailed archival process standards or protocols should be addressed but they would become separate standards and would be developed through separate CCSDS projects.  A particular interest for the current OAIS update is to reduce ambiguities and to fill in any missing or weak concepts and to add useful terminology. To this end, a comment period has been established.

Comment Process

We are soliciting recommendations for updates that will reduce ambiguities or improve missing or weak concepts. We also want to know if you prefer that no changes be made. Please categorize your comments for changes under one of the following:

  • Editorial
  • Corrections to matters of fact
  • Updates to add useful terminology
  • Updates needed for clarification
  • Updates to add missing concepts or strengthen weak concepts
  • Identification of any outdated material
  • Recommended change for other considerations

In addition, any backward compatibility issues should be indicated.

Please be as specific as possible with your suggestions. Comments will be accepted up to 31st December 2016 to be included in the first draft update which will go into the full CCSDS and ISO review processes.

Comments may be submitted via:

Before submitting comments, please review the guidelines on the review page, such as checking to see if your comment has already been made.

Note that CCSDS 652.0-B-1 – Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories. Magenta Book. Issue 1. September 2011, (ISO 16363:2012) a follow-on standard closely related to the OAIS standard, is also due for its five-year review.  Please follow the same procedure to provide comments for that standard submitting those comments to Please ensure you select the correct product (document) on the review page when providing your comments.

If you have problems using the web form, then please email  with the Subject: beginning with “OAIS/ISO16363 review”.

If you wish to participate in the discussions of the suggested changes to OAIS and ISO 16363, please join the MOIMS_DAI mailing list at This mailing list will be used to co-ordinate discussions and meetings.

OAIS has undergone extensive international reviews both through CCSDS and ISO. The initial version was produced through many workshops and panel discussions involving representatives from a great variety of backgrounds including libraries, archives, science and commerce. After almost 7 years the draft when through first CCSDS reviews and then through ISO, both of which involved many months of international scrutiny.  Comments from these reviews fed back and led to improvements in the final 2002 published full international standard.

The process to create the 2012 version involved years of further discussions, first collecting ideas for correction, clarification and addition. Second these improvements where integrated into the document before the third step – CCSDS and ISO international reviews. Further improvements arising from these reviews were integrated, with the agreement of those who mad the comments.Finally the document was published as a full ISO international standard.

These repeated intensive, collaborative, international discussions and reviews have led to a very broadly applicable, well thought through standard.