The repository shall have defined its Designated Community and associated knowledge base(s) and shall have these definitions appropriately accessible.

A written definition of the Designated Community.

This is necessary in order that it is possible to test that the repository meets the needs of its Designated Community.

The Designated Community is defined as ‘an identified group of potential Consumers who should be able to understand a particular set of information. The Designated Community may be composed of multiple user communities. A Designated Community is defined by the archive and this definition may change/evolve over time’ (OAIS Glossary, reference [1]). Examples of Designated Community definitions include: – General English-reading public educated to high school and above, with access to a Web Browser (HTML 4.0 capable). – For Geographic Information System (GIS) data: GIS researchers—undergraduates and above—having an understanding of the concepts of Geographic data and having access to current (2005, USA) GIS tools/computer software, e.g., ArcInfo (2005). – Astronomer (undergraduate and above) with access to Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) software such as FITSIO, familiar with astronomical spectrographic instruments. – Student of Middle English with an understanding of Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) encoding and access to an XML rendering environment. • Variant 1: Cannot understand TEI; • Variant 2: Cannot understand TEI and no access to XML rendering environment; • Variant 3: No understanding of Middle English but does understand TEI and XML. – The repository has defined the external parties, and its assets, owners, and uses. Two groups: the publishers of scholarly journals and their readers, each of whom have different rights to access material and different services offered to them. Some repositories may call themselves, for example, a ‘dark archive’, an archive that has a policy not to allow consumers to get access to its contents for a certain period of time, but they would nevertheless need a Designated Community.

The APTrust Designated Community “represents a broad spectrum of non-commercial cultural organizations dedicated to solving the challenges and sharing the risk of digital preservation together.”


Additionally, Article I in the Governance Manual states, “The Academic Preservation Trust (APTrust) is a consortium of academic institutions and others dedicated to creating and managing a sustainable digital preservation infrastructure and services for content that member institutions own, choose, or curate.” See the Governance Manual on the Policies page.


Specifically, APTrust seeks to:

  • Build and manage a digital environment to preserve Sustaining Members’ valued content that documents scholarship, human achievements, and cultural history
  • Establish a broad range of reliable preservation services that ensure the integrity of content
  • Explore access and other services that resonate with Sustaining Members
  • Leverage the talents and abilities of Sustaining Members to chart future endeavors


Article III in the Governance Manual states that, “APTrust Sustaining Members are institutions of higher education or other entities designated by the APTrust Governing Board that play active roles in the development of the APTrust, pay annual sustaining-member fees, and receive initial allocations of preservation storage space at no additional charge.”


APTrust core service uses a robust, redundant cloud-based design to safely store data files deposited to it by Depositors and to be able to return identical data files to the Depositor when requested, with high-assurance proof provided by widely accepted verification methods that the files are indeed identical. In its core service, APTrust preserves content in its original format and is managed solely by the Depositor. Services other than APTrust’s core service may be available through APTrust now or in the future. In its core service, the APTrust does not provide access to deposited data files to any party other than the Depositor and APTrust staff.


Content preserved by APTrust is stored in a combination of S3 and Glacier for redundancy, mitigation against failure in a particular storage layer, as well as geographic redundancy (see Preservation and Storage and the Preservation Services Policy on the Policies page).


APTrust’s preservation strategy is based on LOCKSS threat analysis. The identified threats and mitigations, in certain cases being shared between APTrust and Amazon Web Services, are discussed in Risk Management, Threats, and Mitigations and additional description can be found in Amazon’s Shared Security Responsibility Model page.

Other information about our design can be found in this article Requirements for Digital Preservation Systems: A Bottom-Up Approach.