The ARPO Index and the companion Assessment Tool were created by Scott Pitol, CA, while serving as assistant professor and University Archivist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Currently, Pitol is a Solutions Architect in the Iron Mountain Library and Archival Services unit.

The index is a content analysis method for reviewing nine components on an archival website that allow a researcher to prepare online for an on-site visit. The nine components are phrased in a way to ensure they evaluate content that may be acted upon by researchers using a website.