ISO 14721:2003 specifies a reference model for an open archival information
system (OAIS). The purpose of this ISO 14721:2003 is to establish a system for
archiving information, both digitalized and physical, with an organizational
scheme composed of people who accept the responsibility to preserve information
and make it available to a designated community.
This reference model addresses a full range of archival information
preservation functions including ingest, archival storage, data management,
access, and dissemination. It also addresses the migration of digital
information to new media and forms, the data models used to represent the
information, the role of software in information preservation, and the exchange
of digital information among archives. It identifies both internal and external
interfaces to the archive functions, and it identifies a number of high-level
services at these interfaces. It provides various illustrative examples and some
"best practice" recommendations. It defines a minimal set of responsibilities
for an archive to be called an OAIS, and it also defines a maximal archive to
provide a broad set of useful terms and concepts.
The OAIS model described in ISO 14721:2003 may be applicable to any archive.
It is specifically applicable to organizations with the responsibility of making
information available for the long term. This includes organizations with other
responsibilities, such as processing and distribution in response to