The FLAME File Management System

ICPSR is implementing the File-Level Archival Management Engine (FLAME) as a new repository technology infrastructure. FLAME is file-oriented rather than "study"-oriented, which is essential to ICPSR's future for two reasons:

  • First, more and more of our content doesn't fit nicely into ICPSR's classic "survey data and codebook" model. We're starting to receive content such as videos and open-ended textual content (and other qualitative data). Even some of our existing content (TIGER/Line files and census summary files) does not fit into the current object model without much manipulation.
  • Second, the file-level system provides a better fit mapping of business functions to the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model, and conforms to best practices, such as the Trusted Repositories Audit and Certification. For example, if we want to demonstrate trustworthiness when it comes to the mapping from a file we deliver on the website to a file we have in archival storage to a file that was deposited, we need to collect information and manage content at the file level.