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DRAMBORA: Get Help With Your Self Audit

DRAMBORA: Get Help With Your Self Audit Get Expert Help

Are you a repository administrator? If so, would you be prepared to assist in the development of audit and certification mechanisms for digital repositories by participating in the DCC/DigitalPreservationEurope pilot digital repository audit programme? We are currently seeking participants to undertake facilitated self assessment of their digital repository infrastructures in order to evaluate DRAMBORA to determine its applicability and usability.

What is a Repository?

Considerable international effort is currently committed to the development of processes, tools and services to support the audit, and ultimately the certification of digital repository infrastructures. For the purposes of assessment, a digital repository, is more than just an installation of DSpace, Fedora or any alternative or bespoke software product. Needless to say, software does play a part, as do other infrastructural assets and facilities including hardware and information security controls. However, just as important are organisational characteristics, including staffing, finances, legal personality and policies, and the digital object management characteristics that represent and describe the core business that the repository is engaged in. Context too is of considerable importance, and one must consider closely the characteristics of the environment within which activities are undertaken and objectives pursued. Any assessment process must also expose institutional, cultural and legal contextual factors to considerable scrutiny.

What's Being Done?

A number of recently released resources are available with which digital repository assessment can be undertaken. The certification task force assembled by the Research Libraries Group and the US National Archives and Records Administration in 2003 completed their Trustworthy Repository Audit and Certification (TRAC) Criteria and Checklist earlier this year, and a comparable, albeit more localised document, the Trusted Repository Catalogue of Criteria was published by the nestor group in Germany shortly before. These two checklist-style documents provide a series of objective characteristics that ought to be demonstrable by trusted repositories, but refrain from outlining an appropriate assessment methodology. This is provided by the Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment (DRAMBORA), developed jointly by the DCC and DPE. Stewardship of digital materials is characterised as a risk management activity, whereby uncertainties inherent within digital content are transformed in a structured fashion into manageable risks, which can be quantified and appropriately treated or avoided. DRAMBORA presents a methodology for (primarily) self-assessment, encouraging organisations to establish a comprehensive self-awareness of their objectives, activities and assets before identifying, assessing and managing the risks implicit within their organisation.

A Pilot Audit Programme?

Our intention is to determine the extent to which the DRAMBORA assessment methodology, used in combination with the objective metrics provided by the TRAC and nestor checklists, is capable of supporting digital repository assessment. We're seeking to engage with a diverse and multidisciplinary selection of repositories. DRAMBORA is intended to be of value at every stage of a repository's chronology and therefore those in planning, development or production stages are equally suitable. This pilot process follows on from earlier assessments conducted in late 2006 and throughout 2007, and will offer considerable insights capable of greatly facilitating the development and refinement of a formal international audit and certification infrastructure. Moreover, experience has shown that participating organisations have themselves benefited from a range of insights into the effectiveness of their existing processes, organisation and methods that as well as contributing to the wider efforts has allowed them to display leadership in best practice.

Where Can I Get More Information?

Below, you'll find a link to a short paper entitled "An Approach to Audit and Certification", which presents some more background information about the subject area as well as some more details into the team that the DCC/DPE has assembled, its proposed methodology for conducting audits and the anticipated outputs of the process.

How Can I Get Involved?

If you'd like to host a facilitated self-assessment:

Visit our feedback form and write us a short message detailing the name of your repository, a short description of its collections, funding type and level of maturity and an idea of your availability throughout August and September. Alternatively, you can email us at

We hope to conduct the assessment at some point during the next two months, although we'd be able to offer some flexibility in order to best suit your repository's interests and requirements.

An Approach to Audit and Certification PDF (67 KB)


Please register to download the offline copy of the DRAMBORA Toolkit


Submit feedback via our feedback form or email us.

Get Help

Get help in the DRAMBORA evaluation process by volunteering to host a DRAMBORA facilitated assessment.