Rubrics of Authenticity in the
Cloud: Metadata, Description, Documentation,
Presents a range
of metadata in relation
to presumptions of authenticity
in a cloud environment,
and describes the relationship between metadata, system documentation, and policies to support
Cloud computing has presented
a new suite of challenges to recordkeeping
and digital preservation. While the majority
of discussions around cloud
service providers are
legal and policy related,
manifest in records systems. The degree to which a system is reliable, whether it is in the cloud or not, is a measure of its use of metadata. This is because metadata makes explicit how a system implements policy. To that end we
can ask two questions: what is the ideal level of metadata present in
a system to guarantee implementation of policies and legal standards and what is the minimal level? Metadata, the human and machine-readable assertions about records, are often considered
For example we might say: this record or record group
has this particular creator.
However, this is not the only way policies manifest in systems.
We have other genres of description and documentation
that supplement metadata in systems, cloud-based or not. A third,
supplemental question we can ask
is: what is the relationship between metadata and these other forms of description and documentation?
This paper takes these questions about metadata and documentation and focuses on authenticity in the cloud environment.
What is the ideal and
minimal set of metadata and how do they relate to other rubrics for our policies on authenticity?
We present concrete examples of metadata and documentation, we outline a framework for thinking about minimal sets,
and we present a draft statement about the ecology of metadata, archival description, system documentation, and the discussion around what it means
to have records which we presume to be authentic in the cloud environment.
Little is known about
the complete and total requirements for authenticity
metadata, further there is a pressing need to understand what minimal sets of metadata
can be used in systems to support the presumption of authenticity of records. Current
research finds that metadata works in concert with other diverse forms of documentation.
This paper provides a description of this landscape and works towards understanding how we can inform
more intentional cloud-based recordkeeping systems and policies.
metadata, archival description, system documentation, authenticity