ID: 231

TENNIS, Joseph


Associate Professor and Director of Faculty Affairs at the Information School of the University of Washington, Adjunct Associate Professor of Linguistics, and a member of the Textual Studies faculty at UW. He has been an occasional visiting scholar at the State University of S


Rubrics of Authenticity in the Cloud: Metadata, Description, Documentation, and Discussion

Brief summary:

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 recordkeeping.


Cloud computing has presented a new suite of challenges to recordkeeping and digital preservationWhile the majority of discussions around cloud service providers are legal and policy related, these conversations manifest in records systemsThe degree to which a system is reliable, whether it is in the cloud or not, is a measure of its use of metadataThis 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 levelMetadata, the human and machine-readable assertions about records, are often considered one-to-one statements.  For example we might say: this record or record group has this particular creatorHowever, this is not the only way policies manifest in systemsWe 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 documentationThis 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 authenticityWe 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

Scientific contribution:

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 documentationThis paper provides a description of this landscape and works towards understanding how we can inform more intentional cloud-based recordkeeping systems and policies.


Cloud-based systems, recordkeeping, metadata, archival description, system documentation, authenticity