NOTE: This is CESSDA's archived website. Visit the current website

Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives


Activity: A set of actions carried out to complete an Objective.The combined level of maturity for activities defines the Capability Completeness of a Capability Process Area (CPA). All activities are connected to Generic or Specific Objectives. An activity can be Generic or Specific, and/or Required or Expected.All Activities are scored on a Maturity Level scale.

Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure (AAI): An AAI is an infrastructure to verify a user’s identity (authentication) and to verify that a user has the rights to access the service the user has requested (authorisation) [DASISH].

Authenticity: The degree to which a person (or system) regards an object as what it is purported to be. Authenticity is judged on the basis of evidence [OAIS].

Capability Completeness: Capability Completeness measures the completeness of a Capability Process Area (CPA). Capability Completeness is defined by the combined level of maturity for Activities and the fulfilment of Objectives, and are scored on a on three-level scale: either Initial (1), Partial (2) or Complete (3).

Capability Process Area (CPA): A collection of related processes that satisfy a Purpose and a set of Objectives of the organisation, when implemented collectively. The fulfillment of a CPA is defined by the Capability Completeness.

Capability Requirements Area (CRA): A set of Capability Process Areas (CPA) that fulfil a high-level objective or principle of a research infrastructure. A CRA may be undertaken by a part of an institution, an institution, or a group of institutions working together, to meet the high-level objective of an infrastructure to support the effective delivery of a service to a designated community.

Data Documentation Initiative (DDI): DDI is an international standard for describing statistical and social science data. Documenting data with DDI facilitates interpretation and understanding, both by humans and computers [].

Designated Community: 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 over time [OAIS].

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): A DOI name is an identifier (not a location) of an entity on digital networks. It provides a system for persistent and actionable identification and interoperable exchange of managed information on digital networks [].

Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment (DRAMBORA): The DRAMBORA toolkit is intended to facilitate internal audit by providing repository administrators with a means to assess their capabilities, identify their weaknesses, and recognise their strengths [].

Dublin Core: The Dublin Core Schema is a small set of vocabulary terms that can be used to describe web resources (video, images, web pages, etc.), as well as physical resources.

Ingest: The preservation functional entity that contains the services and functions that accept data and metadata from data producers/depositors, prepares data and metadata for storage, and ensures that the information becomes established within the archive.

Integrity: the quality of being complete and unaltered in all essential respects. Can be a component of Authenticity, when combined with identifier [APARSEN]. Data integrity is the opposite of data corruption, which is a form of data loss. The overall intent of any data integrity technique is the same: ensure data is recorded exactly as intended, and upon later retrieval, ensure the data is the same as it was when it was originally recorded. Data integrity aims to prevent unintentional changes to information. [Core Concepts of Information Systems Auditing]

IPR: IPR is grouping or class of several different legal regimes that generally concerns creations of the human mind. Copyright is one of the legal regimes that fall under the umbrella of intellectual property. []

Long-Term: A period of time long enough for there to be concern about the impacts of changing technologies, including support for new media and data formats, and of a changing Designated Community, on the information being held in an archive. This period extends into the indefinite future [OAIS].

Maturity Level: a Maturity Level estimates the level of maturity for an Activity. Maturity Levels are defined in a scale ranging from 0 to 5: N/A (0), Initial (1), Repeatable (2), Defined (3), Managed (4), and Optimised (5).

OAI-PMH: The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) is a low-barrier mechanism for repository interoperability. It is a protocol developed for harvesting (or collecting) metadata descriptions of records in an archive so that services can be built using metadata from many archives. An implementation of OAI-PMH must support representing metadata in Dublin Core, but may also support additional representations.

Objective: Objectives are goals that has to be fulfilled to achieve a Purpose. The fulfillment of an Objective is defined by the combined level of maturity for Activities. Objectives can be Generic or Specific, and/or Required or Expected.

Open Archival Information System (OAIS): An Archive, consisting of an organisation, which may be part of a larger organisation, of people and systems, that has accepted the responsibility to preserve information and make it available for a Designated Community. It meets a set of responsibilities, as defined in section 4, that allows an OAIS Archive to be distinguished from other uses of the term ‘Archive’. The term ‘Open’ in OAIS is used to imply that this Recommendation and future related Recommendations and standards are developed in open forums, and it does not imply that access to the Archive is unrestricted [OAIS].

Persistent Identifier (PID): A maintainable identifier that allows one to refer to and have reliable access to a resource or object over long periods. A PID must always be resolvable through a resolution system [APARSEN].

PLATO: Planets preservation planning component (Plato) is a service-oriented decision support system for preservation planning, developed during the Planets-project (Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services), which was co-funded by the European Union under the Sixth Framework Programme to address core digital preservation challenges [].

Purpose: a Purpose describes the intention overall goal of a Capability Process Area (CPA). A Purpose can consists of several Objectives.

Risk Assessment: The estimate of risk related to a defined situation and a recognised hazard in a qualitative or quantitative form.