Open Archival Information System

n. (OAIS, abbr.)A high-level model that describes the components and processes necessary for a digital archives, including six distinct functional areas: ingest, archival storage, data management, administration, preservation planning, and access.


The standard is not intended for use as an implementation model. The model was developed under the auspices of NASA's Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems ( See


OCLC/RLG 2001, p. 8 The [OAIS] model establishes terminology and concepts relevant to digital archiving, identifies the key components and processes endemic to most digital archiving activity, and proposes an information model for digital objects and their associated metadata. The reference model does not specify an implementation, and is therefore neutral on digital object types or technological issues – for example, the model can be applied at a broad level to archives handling digital image files, 'born-digital' objects, or even physical objects, and no assumptions are imposed concerning the specific implementation of the preservation strategy for example, migration or emulation.