Related standards

Numerous documents and standards include pieces that are applicable or related to this work. These standards are important to acknowledge and embrace as complementary audit tools. A few examples:

  • The ISO 9000 family of standards (e.g. Quality Management Systems—Fundamentals and Vocabulary [B9]) addresses quality assurance components within an organization and system management that, while valuable, were not specifically developed to gauge the trustworthiness of organizations operating digital repositories.
  • Similarly, ISO 17799:2005 (Information Technology—Security Techniques—Code of Practice for Information Security Management. [B10]) was developed specifically to address data security and information management systems. Like ISO 9000, it has some very valuable components to it but it was not designed to address the trustworthiness of digital repositories. Its requirements for information security seek data security compliance to a very granular level, but do not address organizational, procedural, and preservation planning components necessary for the long-term management of digital resources.
  • ISO 15489-1:2001 (Information and Documentation—Records Management—Part 1: General [B11]) and ISO 15489-2:2001 (Information and Documentation—Records Management—Part 2: Guidelines [B12]) define a systematic and process-driven approach that governs the practice of records managers and any person who creates or uses records during their business activities, treats information contained in records as a valuable resource and business asset, and protects/preserves records as evidence of actions. Conformance to ISO 15489 requires an organization to establish, document, maintain, and promulgate policies, procedures, and practices for records management, but, by design, addresses records management specifically rather than applying to all types of repositories and archives.

It is important to acknowledge that there is real value in knowing whether an institution is certified to related standards or meets other controls that would be relevant to an audit.

Certainly, an institution that has undertaken any kind of certification process—even if none of the evaluated components overlap with a digital repository audit—will be better prepared for digital repository certification. And those that have achieved certification in related standards will be able to use those certifications as evidence during the digital repository audit.