Standards Watch

Electronic document file format for long-term preservation–Part 1: Use of PDF 1.4

Cindy Hepfer, ALA Voting Representative to NISO, reports to us that there is an ongoing systematic review of the published standard, ISO 19005-1, Document management: Electronic document file format for long-term preservation–Part 1: Use of PDF 1.4 (PDF/A-1). She points out that the intent for ISO 19005 was to have a “family” of standards, allowing the creation of future parts, which can provide compatibility with future versions of the underlying PDF specification without rendering Part 1 of the document, or applications based on PDF Version 1.4, obsolete. Currently there are two other parts in development: ISO 19005-2 which will be based upon ISO 32000-1 (PDF 1.7) as well as ISO 19005-3 which will address electronic documents containing dynamic media (movies, sounds, 3D, etc.).

This is not a NISO standard, but one that is being balloted by ISO. ALA is not voting on the standard itself but rather is providing feedback to NISO as to whether it should recommend approval or disapproval to AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management). NISO will review and consider the feedback that it receives prior to submitting the US vote. Our voting options are: Confirm, Revise/Amend, Withdraw or Abstain. Voter comments are optional for this ballot. Deadline for vote recommendations and comments to Cindy is Nov. 19, 2008.

ALA members interested in reviewing the standard should apply to Cindy ( directly for a copy of the document (please confirm to her that you’re an ALA member, and copy me on the request, please:

I hope that we will see some strong interest on the part of LITA members to review and comment on the standards routed to us for our opinion. Though it sometimes seems that there are far too many layers between individual members and the standards bodies, I know from experience that well considered comments can have an enormous impact on the process. Please consider participating!

Diane Hillmann
LITA Standards Coordinator