The repository shall bring the Content Information of the AIP up to the required level of understandability if it fails the understandability testing.

This is necessary in order to ensure that one of the primary tests of preservation, namely that the digital holdings are understandable by their Designated Community, can be met. (See 4.3 for additional requirements for understandability beyond ingest.)

Test procedures to be run against the digital holdings to ensure their understandability to the defined Designated Community; records of such tests being performed and evaluated; evidence of gathering or identifying Representation Information to fill any intelligibility gaps which have been found; retention of individuals with the discipline expertise.

This requirement is concerned with the understandability of the AIP. If the ingested material is not understandable, the repository needs to ingest or make available additional information to make sure that the AIPs are understandable to the Designated Community(ies). For example, if documents are written in a dying language and the Designated Community is no longer able to understand the language the documents are written in, the repository would need to provide additional documentation that would allow the Designated Community to understand the documents (e.g., translations of the documents in a language the Designated Community could understand or dictionaries that would allow the Designated Communities to translate the documents into a language its members understand).

As a primarily dark archive providing repository services to a number of institutions, APTrust does not take direct responsibility for ensuring that AIP content is understandable to its Designated Communities. We consider that to be the depositor’s responsibility, and to aid them in that work, we designed our repository from the beginning to allow depositors to continually add and update an AIP’s preserved metadata.

In many cases, depositors give us materials they feel must be preserved but that they have not yet had time to curate. Months after we ingest those materials, we ingest metadata-only updates to the original bags containing metadata required to make the bag’s content meaningful. For example, we may initially ingest a bag containing 100 GB of video and little or no metadata. The depositor may later send an additional 50 KB of text or XML metadata to be added to the original 100 GB object.

The APTrust community made a design choice early on to allow depositors to upload new partial SIPs whose contents would be added to the existing AIP after ingest. In practice, this often amounts to us receiving essential payload data in an initial large SIP, followed months later by essential metadata in subsequent smaller SIPs. The APTrust repository ensures that the updated metadata in later SIPs is stored with the contents of the original SIPs, and is restored to the depositor in the BagIt files produced during the restoration process.

This process is described in the Updating section of Using APTrust.

See section 4.2.7 for additional information on measures taken to ensure understandability of content.