The Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS) is a records management framework developed for the state archives of Victoria, Australia. The VERS framework of standards, guidance, case studies, demonstrations, and implementations has been created to enable the long-term preservation of current electronic documents. The VERS Standard for the Management of Electronic Records "includes specifications governing the metadata necessary for long term preservation of electronic records, a standard long-term XML format, and a method for securing records so that unauthorized changes are detectable. The VERS long-term format is based on the notion of encapsulating the computer files which make up the records along with the metadata necessary to understand those computer files in the future. Digital signature technologies are used to seal the XML record so that it is possible to detect any alterations made to the record. Public Record Office Victoria has recently released an online VERS toolkit which contains a step-by-step implementation guide as well as a discussion forum, a toolbox and a reference library."
"Objects encoded using the VERS DTD are known as VERS Encapsulated Objects or VEOs. There are currently two differing types of VEOs: (1) Record VEOs which contain the record content and metadata, and (2) File VEOs which contain metadata related to a logical grouping of records. Changes to a record's metadata may be made by wrapping a new layer of XML around the existing Record VEO. In this way it is possible to store a record's 'history' with the record itself. These layered VEOs are known as Onion VEOs."
"Basically what we do in VERS is wrap a new layer of XML around the existing VEO and sign the new object. We call this an 'Onion Record' because you end up with an object which has distinct layers which can be peeled back like an onion. One limitation with this (because of the way we designed it) is that it is not possible to add or amend documents. There are a number of possible ways to address this limitation which we have discussed including creating a new record and relating that (via metadata) to the old or changing the XML structure to accommodate adding new documents..."
- Victorian Electronic Records Strategy website
- "Introducing the Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS)." By Justine Heazlewood (Manager, Electronic Records and Online Access, Public Record Office Victoria, Victoria, Australia). In D-Lib Magazine Volume 8 Number 3 (March 2002). [ISSN 1082-9873]
- VERS Toolkit
- VERS Standards and Guides
- VERS XML DTD. See also sample Record VEO, File VEO, and Onion VEO.
- VERS VEO DTD (alternate); see also the text or display HTML version.
- Public Record Office Victoria PROS 99/007 Standard