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Friday, March 9, 2012

TRAC: A5.3: Agreement completeness

A5.3 Repository has specified all appropriate aspects of acquisition, maintenance, access, and withdrawal in written agreements with depositors and other relevant parties.

The deposit agreement specifies all aspects of these issues that are necessary for the repository to carry out its function. There may be a single agreement covering all deposits, or specific agreements for each deposit, or a standard agreement supplemented by special conditions for some deposits. These special conditions may add to the standard agreement or override some aspects of the standard agreement. Agreements may need to cover restrictions on access and will need to cover all property rights in the digital objects. Agreements may place responsibilities on depositors, such as ensuring that Submission Information Packages (SIPs) conform to some pre-agreed standards, and may allow repositories to refuse SIPs that do not meet these standards. Other repositories may take responsibility for fixing errors in SIPs. The division of responsibilities must always be clear. Agreements, written or otherwise, may not always be necessary. The burden of proof is on the repository to demonstrate that it does not need such agreements—for instance, because it has a legal mandate for its activities.

An agreement should include, at a minimum, property rights, access rights, conditions for withdrawal, level of security, level of finding aids, SIP definitions, time, volume, and content of transfers. One example of a standard to follow for this is the CCSDS/ISO Producer-Archive Interface Methodology Abstract Standard.

Evidence: Submission agreements/deposit agreements/deeds of gift; written standard operating procedures.

My sense is that two main sets of documents are relevant to this TRAC requirement.

One document is the deposit agreement we use for unsolicited, "drive-by" deposits where content comes to us unsolicited.  In this case the agreement is between ICPSR and the depositor, and s/he grants us several rights to the content, such as the right to replicate for preservation purposes, but notably, not copyright.

The other is the set of documents that ICPSR (via the U-M and ISR) signs with agencies and foundations to preserve and disseminate specific collections of content.  These tend to be much larger documents, often including language that runs well beyond "basic" digital preservation, such as detailed requirements and rules for how the content is to be curated before it even enters the repository.


  1. Bryan -- will ICPSR start using the 'magenta book' now that the standard has been published? ISO 16363


    1. Yes, I would expect that we will. My last "old style" TRAC posts are nearly ready to roll out, so I think I'll wrap up the TRAC series using the old numbering.

      But maybe this is an opportunity to take a fresh pass through TRAC using the "magenta book" as a guide?

  2. Will be interesting to line up the spreadsheets, might be the best way to compare. Here is the new one:

    at least that's what I found via the CRL site.

    Some sections have changes that make things clearer and suggested evidence more specific. Might save you some time, but if you are on the last ones maybe just finish them up and map them forward all together. ? Look forward to what you come up with, and thanks very much for each of these blog posts. Really helpful.


  3. Thanks for the pointer, Ann. I'll have a look at the new document and the checklist spreadsheet. (Excel is the universal tool for working with numbers, formatting text, and even analyzing data!)

    Since my first stab at documenting TRAC @ ICPSR (using the old reference) will be wrapping up soon, I might use this to start a new series.


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