SPIRT Recordkeeping Metadata Project - Input to Australian National Standard

Input to Australian National Standard

A sub-committee of IT/21, the Standards Australia Committee on Records Management, was set up to oversee the development of a framework Australian Standard for Recordkeeping Metadata based on the RKMS. At the time of initiation there was little interest from the recordkeeping community and the project, while remaining on the books, moved from a priority position. In November 2003, CAARA (Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities) initiated a meeting on recordkeeping metadata where the similarities of specific jurisdiction sets of recordkeeping metadata was under discussion. The suggestion was made to include the work of devising one single Australian scheme for recordkeeping metadata under the responsibility of the existing Australian Standards Committee. The Committee consists of the ASA Descriptive Standards Committee, representatives from all Federal, State and Territory Archives and Records Authorities and invited members.

To that end, the objectives of the IT 21-07 Committee were amended. They currently are:

To produce a standard for recordkeeping metadata at all layers of aggregation from item level to the highest level of collectivity. The Standard will be developed from the research-derived Australian Recordkeeping Metadata Scheme (SPIRT set) which underpins many of the existing jurisdictional recordkeeping metadata sets. The standard will encompass a high level conceptual model accompanied by implementation guidelines for particular instances of application and implementation specific tools such as XML schema.
The aim of the work is to produce one generic set of recordkeeping metadata elements which will suit implementation in various environments, but be applicable to all organisations – both government and private.

The set will:

  • Operate consistently within the principles for recordkeeping metadata established in AS-ISO 23081, Records Management Processes – Metadata for Records. Part 1- Principles
  • Define metadata semantics for elements suitable for recordkeeping in Australia
  • Be interoperable (or define standard mappings) to related metadata sets from other (selected) information communities
  • Be accompanied by tools (eg XML schema) to facilitate its operation
  • Be packaged for implementation in different environments.

Two working groups are active under the Committee, one on devising and developing the recordkeeping metadata elements, and one on developing implementation guidelines aimed at different audiences and layers of application.

It is hoped that an Australian Standard can be issued in 2005.

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