CRL to Audit U.S. Federal Government Documents Repository

Monday, November 5, 2012
Marie Waltz -

The U.S. Government Printing Office has engaged the Center for Research Libraries to undertake an in-depth audit of FDsys, the GPO’s federal digital repository. The Federal Digital System (FDsys) is designed to provide permanent online public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. These include materials produced in electronic form and digitized versions of legacy printed government publications.

The audit, to begin in January 2013 and be concluded by September, will use the Trusted Repository Audit and Certification (TRAC) metrics, published in 2007 by the National Archives and Records Administration, Research Libraries Group, and CRL. TRAC checklist criteria measure the ability of a given repository to preserve digital content in a way that serves the repository's stakeholder community.

Permanent access to U.S. federal government publications is vital to researchers in the humanities and social sciences, and to the American people. CRL’s constituent academic and independent research libraries have a vested interest in the durability of the FDsys repository and in the integrity of its content. Moreover, as participants in the Federal Depository Library Program, many CRL libraries are responsible for ensuring access to government information for the general public.

FDsys was launched in Beta form after GPO consultation with focus groups from institutions in the Federal Depository Library Program, federal agencies, and the Congress to determine user needs. The current version of FDsys became GPO’s official system of record in December 2010.

During the audit, CRL will examine governance structures, procedures and policies that affect sustainability of the repository; FDsys management of digital objects; and technical infrastructure and security. CRL will then report to the GPO on FDsys compliance with the TRAC metrics, identifying areas where changes or improvements might be made based on the criteria.

Members of the Certification Advisory Panel for the CRL FDsys audit are:

  • Perry Willett (Chair), Digital Preservation Services Manager, California Digital Library
  • Winston Atkins, Preservation Officer, Duke University
  • Jon Dunn, Director and Interim Assistant Dean for Library Technologies and Digital Libraries, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Maliaca Oxnam, Associate Librarian, Scholarly Publishing & Data Management Team, University of Arizona
  • Aimée C. Quinn, Manager, Library Operations, University of New Mexico
  • Oya Y. Rieger, Associate University Librarian, Digital Scholarship and Preservation Services, Cornell University Library
  • Bill Sudduth, Head of Government Information, Microforms, Newspapers and Maps Departments, University of South Carolina Libraries