Common Specification for Information Packages

The Common Specification for Information Packages aims to serve three main purposes:

  1.  Establish a common understanding of the requirements which need to be met in order to achieve interoperability of Information Packages;
  2. Establish a common base for the development of more specific Information Package definitions and tools within the digital preservation community;
  3. Propose the details of an XML-based implementation of the requirements using, to the largest possible extent, standards which are widely used in international digital preservation.

Ultimately the goal of the Common Specification is to reach a level of interoperability between all Information Packages so that tools implementing the Common Specification can be taken up by institutions without needing further modifications or adaptations. 

As an implementation specification the Common Specification defines an overall physical structure for Information Packages, detailing the position of data, metadata, and any other components within the package. Further, the Common Specification describes in detail the requirements in regard to metadata, most notably the interoperable use of METS and PREMIS within any Information Package. 

Please note that all requirements presented within the Common Specification have been followed in the E-ARK SIP, AIP and DIP specifications. As such we recommend to start with the Common Specification before getting to any of the other!


We welcome all feedback in regard to the Common Specification - if you have any comments or proposals, please contact us per This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or leave your comments on GitHub!

Download the Common Specification!

Current version

Common Specification v1.0 (February 1, 2017)


Previous versions: 

Common Specification v0.17 (December 16, 2016)

Common Specification v0.13 (January 5, 2016)



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