Authenticity is a fundamental issue for the long-term preservation of digital objects: the relevance of authenticity as a preliminary and central requirement has been investigated by many international projects. Some focused on long-term preservation of authentic digital records in the e-government environment, and in scientific and cultural domains.

In the OAIS reference model authenticity evidence is part of the PDI (Preservation Description Information), it mostly deals with fixity and provenance, but other aspects, such as Persistent identifiers, interoperability, data quality and non-technical provenance, e.g. reputation, are involved as well.

Managing authenticity implies the early collection of evidence along the whole lifecycle of the digital resource, and possibly their standardized organization over time according to well defined policies, in order to lay proper bases for interoperability.

Asset base

Issue WP/Project/Tools/Services Asset Evidence

State of the Art


Extensive state of the art that addresses the main international projects in the field, as well as the standards, recommendations and guidelines for keeping and preserving digital objects. Includes an extensive reference list and an appendix where all the major projects in the area are reviewed.

Deliverable D24.1 Report on Authenticity and Plan for Interoperable Authenticity Evaluation System (2619) and D24.2 Implementation and testing of an Authenticity Protocol (1356)

APARSEN Internal Deliverable: ID2401

Resorting to inference allows one to derive provenance from elementary evidence, thus simplifying management and diminishing storage requirements.

The work described in C. Strubulis, Y. Tzitzikas, M. Doerr and G. Flouris, Evolution of Workflow Provenance Information in the Presence of Custom Inference Rules , 3rd International Workshop on the role of Semantic Web in Provenance Management (SWPM’12), co-located with ESWC’12, Heraklion, Crete, June 2012

Authenticity management


Systematic methodology for the management of authenticity of digital objects along their lifecycle. The methodology is complemented by a set of operational guidelines, i.e. a sequence of steps that should be followed, to get to the definition of an adequate authenticity management policy that is to formalize the rules according to which authenticity evidence should be collected, managed and preserved along the digital resource lifecycle.

– Deliverable D24.1 Report on Authenticity and Plan for Interoperable Authenticity Evaluation System (2619)

– M. Guercio, S. Salza. Managing Authenticity through the Digital Resource Lifecycle. In: M. Agosti et al. eds. Digital Libraries and Archives, IRCDL 2012 Revised Selected Papers. Comm. in Comp. and Inf. Science, vol. 354, p. 249-260, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-35834-0

Case studies


APARSEN authenticity methodology and guidelines have been tested in several real life environments. The case studies have proved the robustness, flexibility and effectiveness of the methodology. This documentation may be a useful starting point for those aiming at improving authenticity management in their repository.

Software – Deliverable D24.2 Implementation and testing of an Authenticity Protocol (1356)

– S. Salza, M. Guercio. Authenticity Management in Long Term Digital Preservation of Medical Records. In: R. Moore et al., Proc. of the 9th Int. Conf. on Preservation of Digital Objects, Toronto, Oct. 2012. ISBN: 9780991799701.

The case studies have proved the effectiveness of the methodology and guidelines in a large variety of contexts.

Policies for authenticity evidence management


Survey and recommendations

– Deliverable D35.1 Exemplar good governance structures and data policies (2186)



Framework definition and assessment of authenticity services

– i-TRUST: recommendations, agreed European and transnational teams, for the assessment of authenticity management in LTDP repositories

Authenticity services

SCIDIP-ES authenticity toolkit. This is an implementation of the APARSEN methodology within the SCIDIP-ES project.

Software to capture evidence to support claims of authenticity

The implementation of the interoperable framework proves the applicability of the methodology at implementation level, which has been taken as a reference and the basis to implement an interoperable framework.


Two different services have been proposed: a consultancy service to assist in analysis and design of authenticity management policies, and an authenticity evidence service based on an interoperable framework that can be customized to implement the policies (including consultancy support)

– Deliverable D21.1 Overview of preservation services (1928)

Implementing authenticity management policies

APARSEN – SCIDIP-ES cooperation

Cooperation between these two projects has led to the implementation of and Interoperable framework to support the management of authenticity evidence in a LTDP repository.

– SCIDIP-ES Authenticity Toolkit: a software framework, based on REST principles and Java technology.

– L. Briguglio, S. Salza, M. Guercio. Preserving Authenticity Evidence to Assess Provenance and Integrity of Digital Resources. In: P. Nesi, R. Santucci. Information Technologies for Performing Arts, Media Access, and Entertainment, Proc. ECLAP 2013. LNCS, vol. 7990, Springer-Verlag, ISBN: doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-40050-6_7



Case studies about audit and certification of authenticity management policies in digital repositories that have been audited as part of WP33 activities.

D33.1A Report on peer review of research data in scholarly communication (1217)

Persistent identifiers APARSEN WP22DIGOIDUNAODIN

Building an interoperability infrastructure for persistent identifiers systems for digital objects, authors, contributors and other related resources (e.g. organizations) as a crucial step to develop trust-enabling services such as authenticity, citability and provenance certification services.

WP22 survey on PIs systemsD22.1 Persistent Identifiers Interoperability Framework (1791) scenarios on authenticityInteroperability Framework (IF) for PIs systems developed within WP22

High Level Expert Group (HLEG) feedback and evaluation of the IF for PIs

Results from the two APARSEN Workshops on interoperability between PIs systems

One of the main results of the WP22 has been the definition of an IF for PIs. The trust criteria of eligibility to the framework have been recognized and agreed by many experts (in particular those who have evaluated the framework in two distinct phases, HLEG) as the crucial aspect to adopt the framework as the core interoperability layer on which to build authenticity and provenance services.

The main evidence comes from the results of the evaluation of IF by the High Level Expert Group in WP22.

D22.2 and D22.3 include a discussion of these results and a revision of framework based on this expert feedback.

Authenticity and provenance services are also discussed in details.

Modelling and exchanging provenance information APARSEN WP24Core ontology for provenance, mappings with other schemas that can capture provenance.Inference rules for propagating provenance. – ID2401- C. Strubulis, Y. Tzitzikas, M. Doerr and G. Flouris, Evolution of Workflow Provenance Information in the Presence of Custom Inference Rules , 3rd Intl. Workshop on the role of Semantic Web in Provenance Management (SWPM’12), co-located with ESWC’12, Heraklion, Crete, June 2012.



Insufficient gathering of authenticity and provenance evidence during the digital resource lifecycle. Vase studies have shown that the management of many repositories is not sufficiently aware of the relevance of the issue.
Lack of an acknowledged standard for the interchange of authenticity evidence. The issue is crucial, since in many cases preserved digital objects undergo changes of custody during their lifetime.
Lack of adequate definitions for transformational properties, to be used to check authenticity and integrity when the representation of digital resources undergoes transformations.
Application of provenance mapping and rules to tracing of authenticity evidence with large numbers of generations of large number of objects
Secure logging, which is important in terms of confidence in the evidence which is presented needs to be converted into a practical method
Data quality, which is very far from being generally solved
An automated way of evaluating evidence about authenticity is not available. Additional kinds of annotation are available, ranging from publications in refereed journals to grey literature.
Development of automated processes for making interoperable and sustainable large and differentiated groups of authenticity evidence information
The lack of an integrating infrastructure for discovering and locating digital resources (identified by different PIs) which ensures some basic fundamental criteria of trust as part of the process of assessing the authenticity of the retrieved resources.
The community is not aware that for tackling the problem of incomplete provenance one has to resort to inference (otherwise the storage requirements will be prohibitive, and the correction of errors is laborious).


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