Draft of Tiers of Support

This draft was discussed at the Online Forum on March 22, 2022.

Current Tiers of Support for Descriptive Standards as of 2022

1st tier: DACS

2nd tier: AACR2, RDA, ISAAR (CPF), ISAD(G)

3rd tier: Wikidata

Current Tiers of Support for Transmission Standards as of 2022

1st tier: EAD2002, MARC, EAC-CPF

2nd tier: Dublin Core, EAD3, METS, MODS, Schema.org (PUI only)

3rd tier: EAD4

Current Tiers of Support for Hybrid Standards as of 2022

1st tier:

2nd tier:

3rd tier: Wikidata, Records in Context (RiC)

Who defines these tiers of support?

These tiers were written and defined by the Metadata Standards Subteam, but are determined through use cases from the ArchivesSpace community.  Standards with wide adoption and implementation are prioritized above emerging standards.  The tiers are meant to be re-evaluated over time as the community responds to changing practices and emerging standards in the field of archival science.

What role do these tiers play?

By defining these tiers and then assigning standards to them, the Metadata Standards Subteam is signaling the prioritization of recommendations on development (the writing of code), prioritization of documentation (the maintenance of mappings), and the prioritization of feature requests and bug reports for consideration. Tier 1 standards will be prioritized over Tier 2 standards in each of these categories.

While the Metadata Standards Sub-team takes these Tiers of Support into consideration while making decisions and advocating for standards on behalf of the community, the Sub-team itself is not responsible for the code that supports these standards and is not primarily responsible for the prioritization of of feature requests and bug reports (see the Development Prioritization Sub-team). Ultimately the ArchivesSpace Roadmap reflects the current and projected development priorities for the application.

Acknowledgment of US-Centric Standards

Most of the support for standards in ArchivesSpace, both descriptive (DACS) and for data transmission (EAD) are US-centric. The Metadata subteam would like to acknowledge that fact as well as acknowledge a lack of non-US representation among the ArchivesSpace user community.

Defining levels of commitment to various standards

The following definitions of support apply to archival or library cataloging standards, not broader technical standards (e. g. JSON exports of data).

“Emerging” and “Nascent” refer not necessarily to the age of the standard but to its rate of adoption and widespread use by the ArchivesSpace community.

Tier 1 - Core Standards

  • Support for optimal import and export of the format or standard

    • Optimal support includes the possibility of going beyond just importing the data as-is, ex. including the parsing text strings into discrete values; triggering the creation of multiple records types, like Events; or mapping data fields based on multiple ingest scenarios.

    • Core standards will be supported by both importers and exporters and the relevant mappings (documentation) for each.

  • Support for robust records, meaning support for importing and exporting records that exceed a minimally viable record

    • Robust records should not be confused for exhaustive records, i.e. every field or data type that is possible for a given standard. For example, the MARC standard is very complex and it is not expected that ArchivesSpace can or should support every possible permutation of MARC data. Support for the MARC standard is tied primarily to DACS , so if a MARC field is not a DACS equivalent field, the support of that MARC field is not guaranteed despite its Tier 1 status.

Tier 2 - Emerging Standards

  • Support for either the import or export of the format or standard

  • Support for minimal records, meaning support for importing or exporting records that meet the requirements of minimally viable record and not necessarily beyond.

Tier 3 - Nascent Standards

  • Monitoring nascent standards and commenting on behalf of the AS community as warranted