A Submission Agreement defines the nature and scope of the records involved in an Ingest Project and delineates the manner in which the Archive and the Producer execute the transfer, validation, and transformation of these records. In addition to guiding the work of the Producer and the Archive for transfer and transformation and serving as the benchmark for validation, it also provides both entities a document describing the terms of an Ingest Project that they can endorse and agree to. The Submission Agreement can cover a single Ingest Project or serial Projects.
The Submission Agreement documents the information needed to establish the terms of the scope, transfer, validation, and transformation of an Ingest Project. The Archive documents this as Components in the Submission Agreement. Most of these Componentsand the decisions they representare tied to standing Resources. For example one of the elements of a Submission Agreement identifies the format types of the records in an Ingest Project. This Component in the Submission Agreement references a Formal Representation Information System on the format types the Archive employs as preservation formats in its Preservation System. Resources are usually policies, procedures, metadata records, or logs of action. While these Resources have an impact on nearly all of the Archive's Ingest Projects, they are not specific to any single Ingest Project.
Ideally, the Archive creates machine-readable and human-readable versions of its Submission Agreements. A human-readable version gives the Producer and the Archive a document both can agree to and endorse. A machine-readable version enables a degree of automated validation and transformation, usually coordinating calls to sets of other machine-readable code that dictate validation and transformation activities. This automation should help the Archive make the size and number of its Ingest Projects scalable. The degree of automation depends largely on the amount of detail an Archive's Resources has. For example, if the Archive's Format Representation Information System contains detailed, machine-readable, technical, and administrative metadata about each Format, it can use that metadata to automatically validate and transform the formats of records during Ingest. If the Archive's Format Representation Information System is a simple paper list and brief narrative description of formats, the Policy will not help the Archive automate the validation or normalization of records.
Some Ingest Projectsusually those with new types of records, formats, creators, or special circumstancesprompt the Archive to create a new version or add to one or more of its Resources. For example, if the Archive decides to preserve a record in a format that is not one of its existing preservation formats, it will have to add that format to its Format Representation Information System, producing technical and administrative metadata about the new format. Although this Resource development demands time and effort, it allows the Archive to automate a greater variety of Ingest Projects in the long run. As the Archive adds detail and breadth to its Resources, it will be able automate a greater portion of its Ingest Process for a broader range of records.
The Survey Report, created in Parts A2 and A3, is a critical part of the Ingest process: it inventories the records that the Archive should accession in a particular Ingest Project. A Survey Report which a Submission Agreement references, can exist as a separate entity, or it can be embedded into the Submission Agreement.
See Appendix B for an example of a Submission Agreement.
© Tufts University and Yale University, 2006.