GPO Quest for Certification as a Trustworthy Digital Repository

On July 10, 2018, GPO’s Digital Preservation Librarian, Jessica Tieman, and Mary Moulton, Digital Librarian at the Department of Transportation’s National Transportation Library, hosted an FDLP Academy webinar on the topic of Trustworthy Digital Repositories. This webinar provides the FDLP community a broad overview of the history of digital repository standards and certification, the importance of repository self-evaluation, and provides specific examples of how repositories are implementing various approaches to repository assessment and certification. This timely webinar took place as GPO staff are currently working to support GPO in becoming the first Federal agency to be named a Trustworthy Digital Repository for Government information through the certification of govinfo under ISO 16363. ISO 16363 is the internationally-recognized standard to validate that a digital repository meets all of the organizational, technical, and infrastructural requirements to ensure long-term accessible, reliable, secure, and usable digital information assets.

Trustworthy Digital Repository certification has been a key strategic initiative at GPO prior to 2015; starting in 2015, GPO’s Library Services & Content Management (LSCM) and Programs, Strategy, & Technology (PST) units participated in the National Digital Stewardship residency program, through which a resident performed an internal assessment of GPO against the ISO 16363 standard. Through 2017, LSCM strategically responded to that initial internal assessment which resulted in the significant creation of working groups, such as the Collection Development Working Group, the Metadata Advisory Group, and the Trustworthy Digital Repository team in order to support GPO partnerships, digital collection quality control, and ingest of digital content through programmatic and operational processes. These groups successfully implement the guidelines and requirements outlined by several new policies, as a response to preparing for Trustworthy Digital Repository certification, such as:

ISO 16363 Certification will allow GPO to demonstrate to Federal depository libraries, as well as other GPO stakeholders and the public, that content within govinfo is accurate, authentic, and accessible for the long-term. In January 2018, GPO selected Primary Trustworthy Authorisation Body Ltd. (PTAB) to perform the external audit of govinfo against the ISO standard. The first stage of the audit, which includes a thorough examination of all govinfo documentation and evidence pertaining to operational governance, digital object management, and repository infrastructure and risk management, began on June 18, 2018. GPO plans to begin the second stage of the audit, which includes onsite assessment from the auditors in fall 2018. GPO anticipates receiving certification before the end of spring 2019.

This summer, Preservation Programs will continue to collaborate with GPO Partnerships and LSCM working groups to support digitizing and ingesting Digitized Congressional Hearings, documents relating to the U.S. Army in World War I, and the Public Papers of the President into govinfo for the remainder of the current year and calendar year 2019.

Learn more about GPO’s efforts to attain Trustworthy Digital Repository certification.

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