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Please note that ICA-AtoM is no longer actively supported by Artefactual Systems.
Visit for information about AtoM, the currently supported version.

Assign unique identifiers to a description

Main Page > System requirements > Metadata requirements


The application must be able to:

  • Assign one or more unique identifiers (codes) to descriptions.
  • Include in the identifier components that represent the institution that is responsible for the description and its country of origin.

Context (parent requirements)

Source quotations

Associated functional requirements

Associated quality requirements

The application should be able to:

  • Keep database IDs (automatically generated by the application and hidden from user) separate from reference codes (assigned by the archivist and meaningful to users).
  • Support auto-entry of next available reference code upon record creation.
  • Automatically concantenate a repository's institution and country identifiers with the description reference code to ensure unique identifiers in a multi-repository system (user should not have to manually enter institution and country codes).

Associated technical requirements

ICA-AtoM fields

  • information_object::id
  • information_object::identifier

ICA-AtoM implementation

  • ICA-AtoM automatically assigns each record a unqiue database ID (id); this value is invisible to users.
  • Users enter their own Reference code (identifier). ICA-AtoM allows any type of value in this field (numbers, text, alpha-numeric code) to accommodate any institutional system for assigning identifiers.

Known issues

  • ICA-AtoM 1.0 beta cannot currently auto-generate next sequential reference code / number.

Use cases

User Manual sections

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