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Comment Period for 5-Year Review of the OAIS Reference Model and ISO 16363

In compliance with ISO and Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (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. On the basis of 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.

Comments may be submitted via and should be received by 7 October 2016. However, additional comments will be accepted up to 31 December 2016. Please be as specific as possible with your suggestions, and review the guidelines on the review page before submitting them to see if your comment has already been made and so on. If you have problems using the web form, then please email with the subject: 'OAIS/ISO16363 review'.

Note also 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 5-year review. Please follow the same procedure by submitting comments to, ensuring you select the correct product (document) on the review page when providing your comments.

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