RODA: open-source digital repository

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RODA is an open-source and supported Open Archival Information System (OAIS) digital repository for digital objects’ preservation. RODA can manage, give access and ingest several typologies of digital objects.

This piece is more technical in describing RODA, however, with the rise of digital object productions, it is vital to know and understand tools for digital asset management and especially open source.

RODA is a long-term digital repository system that validates Submission Information Package SIPs, checks for viruses, extracts technical metadata and migrates file formats to preservable surrogates. It offers access to digital information, management interfaces, and logging for security and accountability. RODA ensures authentic data by recording PREMIS metadata, archival metadata standards, and integrity by monitoring and ensuring data availability.

How to use RODA: Functions

  • Catalogue: inventory of repository items, organized in collections, subcollections, and sub-aggregations.
  • Search: This page allows searching for Intellectual Entities, Representations, or Files using the down arrow, expanding advanced search options, and using partial terms with the ‘*’ operator.
  • Advanced search: Search for Intellectual Entities, Representations, or Files using the down arrow, expanding advanced search for specific properties
  • Pre-ingest: The producer creates SIPs for ingesting, adhering to repository policies, and submitting data and metadata.
  • Transfer: The Transfer area stores SIPs, and allows searching, creating/deleting folders, and uploading multiple SIPs for processing and ingesting.
  • Ingest: The Ingest process accepts and prepares Submission Information Packages, ensuring their establishment within the repository. It lists current and past jobs, allowing filtering and tracking.
  • Assessment: Assessment determines the permanent archival value of records based on factors like provenance, authenticity, order, condition, and intrinsic value.
  • Preservation actions: RODA’s preservation actions involve tasks like format conversion, checksum verification, reporting, and virus checks to improve accessibility and mitigate risks.
  • Internal actions: The repository performs complex tasks like moving AIPs, reindexing, and deleting files.
  • Users and groups: User management service allows repository managers to create, modify, and filter user and group permissions, add users, and edit existing users.
  • Activity log: Event logs record significant events in a repository, including user logs, downloads, and metadata changes, enabling future auditing and filtering by type, date, and attributes.
  • Notifications
  • Statistics
  • Risk register: The risk register comprehensively lists identified risks, estimating probability, severity, and frequency, guiding mitigation actions.
  • Representation network: Representation information enhances understanding and rendering of digital materials and metadata.
  • Format register (deprecated): The format registry supports digital preservation services in repositories.

Roda benefits:

  • Conforms to open standards: it adheres to several standards apart from OAIS, to Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS)  for structural metadata, Encoded Archival Description (EAD) for description metadata, PREMIS (Preservation Metadata) for preservation metadata and Dublin Core (DC).
  • Vendor independent: RODA is built entirely of open-source technologies.
  • Scalable: its service-oriented architecture enables the processing distribution between several servers, with indexing components.
  • Embedded preservation actions: a manager through a job execution module running preservation tasks over a data set. “Preservation actions include format conversions, checksum verifications, reporting (e.g. to automatically send SIP acceptance/rejection emails), virus checks, etc.”
  • Authenticity: PREMIS enables a trust chain between format migration and content verification.
  • Support for multiple formats: wide range of formats and plug-ins for additional migration formats.
  • Copes with the rapidly changing nature of technology: the plug-in and job execution module allows to adapt the system.
  • Advanced access control: user permissions, authentication and actions logging.
  • Integration with 3rd party systems
  • Advanced ingest workflow: ingests digital material, metadata, SIPs, and customizes workflows.

Our take

Roda is a must for your toolkit! Apart from adhering to several standards, with several strategies for digital documentation and preservation deployed worldwide, tools such as RODA are and will be more indispensable in the everyday life of heritage management.

I want to learn more:


Open Archival Information System (OAIS)

Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS)

Encoded Archival Description (EAD)

Dublin Core (DC)

PREMIS (Preservation Metadata) 

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