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Digital theses and ORA: Digital preservation

Bodleian Libraries digital policies

Credit: Clare Byers

Digital preservation

Now that a great deal of scholarly information is produced electronically, libraries and others are having to tackle the problem of not only storing, but ensuring that digital resources are accessible for the long term. The main problems associated with digital resources are:

  • obsolescence of systems: for example storage systems and the means of recovering the data such as data held on video discs
  • fragility of data
  • lack of long-term experiences and expertise: for example, CDs were first produced as little time ago as 1982

The Bodleian Libraries are committed to working towards solutions to digital preservation for the items held in ORA. To that end it is working with other bodies across the UK to develop the means to ensure that items are stored and accessible in the long-term.

ORA has been developed in such a way that the processes necessary for digital preservation are in place and working. These include procedures such as file format recognition and preservation 'events' in the maintenance schedule or ORA.

This commitment to digital preservation means that the Bodleian Libraries' staff may need to migrate items to newer formats or take other action in order to ensure that items are available and accessible. This is one of the reasons why users are required to agree to the deposit statement on deposit. 

Oxford Research Archive






Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) is an institutional repository for the University of Oxford and is home to the scholarly output of its research members. It holds publications, theses and research data.

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