The specifications maintained by the DILCIS Board fall broadly into three categories:
- Common Specification for Information Packages
- E-ARK SIP, E-ARK AIP and E-ARK DIP Specifications
- Content Information Type Specifications SMURF and SIARD (in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Archives).
The main aim of all these specifications is to provide for interoperability. This means that they only define these elements of an Information Package which are crucial for interoperability scenarios like cross-system transport, multi-site preservation etc. At the same time all specifications try to avoid defining elements which are only relevant in an institutional or local context.
The Common Specification provides the overall requirements which need to be met across all Information Packages (E-ARK SIP, E-ARK AIP or E-ARK DIP). Most crucially the Common Specification for Information Packages (CS IP) defines a common structure and core metadata requirements for any Information Packages. In other words: the CS IP defines the most crucial and generic Information Package interoperability aspects.
The E-ARK SIP, AIP and DIP build on the requirements posed in the CS IP but extend it with additional requirements coming from the appropriate processes (preparing and transferring digital content; long-term preservation; and access).
Further, any SIP, AIP or DIP can hold content in one or many content types (e.g relational database, geodata, 3D model, software code). To allow for in-depth, content level, interoperability the data within an Information Package must be formatted according to a Content Information Type Specification.