Portico Audit Report 2010

Release Date: 
Friday, January 1, 2010

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) conducted a preservation audit of Portico (www.portico.org) between April and October 2009 and, based on that audit, has certified Portico as a trustworthy digital repository. CRL found that Portico’s services and operations basically conform to the requirements for a trusted digital repository. The CRL Certification Advisory Panel concluded that the practices and services described in Portico’s public communications and published documentation are generally sound and appropriate to both the content being archived and the needs of the CRL community. Moreover, the CRL Certification Advisory Panel expects that in the future, Portico will continue to be able to deliver content that is understandable and usable by its designated user community.

This finding is based upon a site visit and sampling of archives content, and upon the review of information gathered by CRL and its Certification Advisory Panel and documents and documentation provided by Portico. CRL’s analysis was guided by the criteria included in the Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification checklist, and other metrics developed by CRL on the basis of its analyses of digital repositories.

CRL conducted its audit with reference to generally accepted best practices in the management of digital systems; the interests of its community of research libraries; and the practices and needs of scholarly researchers in the humanities, sciences and social sciences in the United States and Canada. The purpose of the audit was to obtain reasonable assurance that Portico provides, and is likely to continue to provide, services adequate to those needs without material flaws or defects and as described in Portico’s public disclosures. The CRL audit provides a reasonable basis for these findings.

CRL has assigned Portico the following levels of certification (the numeric rating is based on a scale of 1 through 5, with 5 being the highest level, and 1 being the minimum certifiable level):  [1]



Portico Score

Organizational Infrastructure


Digital Object Management


Technologies, Technical Infrastructure, Security



In the course of the audit, the Certification Advisory Panel identified a number of issues that Portico must address to more fully satisfy the concerns of CRL libraries. Those issues are described in the section on Detailed Audit Findings,  and pertain to: a) specific criteria in the TRAC checklist and b) the preservation interests and requirements of the CRL libraries, including the scope of the archive, functionality and services, and future costs and risks. Portico has agreed to address those issues and to make certain disclosures to CRL periodically, as a condition of continued certification. The ongoing requirements are outlined in the third section of this report.

[1] A working version of the schema CRL uses in providing summary ratings of a repository’s compliance with the TRAC criteria is available at: http://www.crl.edu/archiving-preservation/digital-archives/metrics-assessing-and-certifying/crl-ratings.