Standards and Specifications

Information about technical, organisational, and procedural standards used in digital curation and data preservation initiatives.

Visit our Disciplinary Metadata Standards page for information about metadata standards, including profiles, tools to implement the standards, and use cases of data repositories currently implementing them.


The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) System is for identifying content objects in the digital environment.

Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS)

The METS schema is a standard for encoding descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata regarding objects within a digital library.

Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH)

OAI-PMH provides a standard way for a data repository to expose metadata to third party indexing engines.

Open Data Protocol (OData)

The OData Protocol is an application-level protocol for interacting with data via RESTful web services.


The Simple Knowledge Organisation System (SKOS) Core provides a model for expressing the basic structure and content of concept schemes such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies, folksonomies, and other types of controlled vocabulary.

Standard Archive Format for Europe (SAFE)

SAFE has been designed to act as a common format for archiving and conveying data within European Space Agency (ESA) Earth observation archiving facilities.

XML Formatted Data Unit (XFDU)

XFDU defines the CCSDS Recommended Standard for the packaging of data and metadata, including software, into a single package (e.g., file or message) to facilitate information transfer and archiving.


Adobe's Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) is a labeling technology that metadata about a file to be embedded into the file itself.