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Digital Preservation: Preservation Policy

The following is the current preservation policy for Virginia Tech University Libraries. The policy is updated as needed to incorporate new technologies and methods. 

VTDLP Preservation Policy

Virginia Tech Digital Libraries Platform Preservation Policy

Version: 1.0

Approved: 2021-01-29

Overview

Virginia Tech University Libraries (VTUL) is committed to providing persistent access and long-term preservation of the University’s digital assets curated in the Virginia Tech Digital Library Platform (VTDLP). We recognize our responsibility to preserve the integrity and understandability of our content following digital preservation best practices. This VTDLP Preservation Policy describes the approach taken to creating a sustainable platform for hosting and preserving digital assets. We acknowledge that the digital preservation field is a fast-changing, continuously evolving environment and we commit to testing and appropriately implementing current best practices, and therefore this policy is subject to change.

Scope

This policy applies to all content that is ingested into Virginia Tech University Libraries’ Digital Library Platform (VTDLP). This policy governs individual preservation policies for VTUL institutional repositories. All VTDLP Policies supporting this policy are accessible on the VTDLP Policies and Documentation page for reference.

Purpose

This policy governs the approaches taken to actively preserve and maintain content ingested into the VTDLP and to promote a sustainable digital preservation program.

Objectives

  • Protect and preserve Virginia Tech’s digital assets 
  • Provide long-term, persistent access to Virginia Tech’s digital assets for minimum preservation period of 5 - 10 years
  • Promote a sustainable preservation program
  • Demonstrate the preservation workflows that verify and audit integrity and authenticity
  • Capture file format characteristics to support regular review of contents enabling discovery and migration of at-risk materials
  • Satisfy the requirements of funding agents to preserve, access, and disseminate digital assets
  • Promote a community of trust with our administrators, stakeholders, and users

Transparency & Audit

VTUL will perform periodic self-assessments that will be made publicly available. These assessments will re-evaluate preservation strategies, technologies, and policies and update where appropriate. Documentation and policy versions will be made publicly accessible where possible to demonstrate our commitment to transparency to our users and stakeholders.

VTUL makes all appropriate code, deployment templates, and other assets that are not private to the Libraries available Open Source and freely available under the Apache 2.0 license via our VTUL and Digital Libraries Platform Github repositories.  All policies are freely available to the public on our Digital Library Policy and Document Confluence site.

Responsibility

Virginia Tech University Libraries maintains the VTDLP infrastructure and policies. All of our policies are subject to the VTDLP Policy on Policies, which articulates the responsibilities in the creation and review cycle for each policy. 

Collaboration & Outreach

Digital preservation is a community-supported effort. In support of maintaining best practices in preservation, VTUL commits to continue being active in the community with other similar organizations such as the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, our chosen distributed digital preservation service, and other institutions with comparable preservation goals. 

VTUL engages in campus events, and offers classes and events from the Libraries to promote awareness of our digital preservation efforts to the campus community.  VTUL also consults with Virginia Tech IT Security Office to ensure compliance with state and university best practices and policy.  

Financial Sustainability

VTUL is committed to digital preservation and has identified specific resources to support its digital preservation program. Permanent positions have digital preservation explicitly written into their job descriptions and receive professional development funding. University Libraries is an active member in multiple digital preservation networks, consortia, and other organizations dedicated to finding community solutions for digital preservation.

Access

Sustained access is the ultimate goal of preservation, without which long-term access and use would not be possible. Preservation is accomplished by preparing content according to accepted best practices and providing access using appropriate technology that is widely available. All access rights are governed by our institutional repository policies and the VTDLP Deposit Agreement.

Levels of Digital Preservation

See the VTDLP Preservation Assessment Criteria for more detail on appraisal for each Level.

Level 0 - No preservation action taken

Content located on working servers are backed up on secondary servers. No preservation actions are taken.

Level 1 - Basic preservation

Basic preservation supports the storage and monitoring of content to preserve its integrity. Preservation actions include:

  • Persistent identifier assigned
  • Preservation metadata created
  • 2 local, 1 cloud copies - Local Primary Storage, Local Secondary Storage, Cloud Primary Storage 

Content Examples: Content that is not unique to Virginia Tech that can be accessed elsewhere, e.g. collaborative projects hosted by other institutions and licensed materials, content versions that are not complete or static.

Level 2 - Extended preservation

Extended preservation supports the storage and monitoring of content to preserve its integrity and understandability in diverse preservation storage.

  • Persistent identifier
  • Preservation metadata
  • Secure storage
  • Virus check on ingest
  • Monthly fixity check
  • Versioning
  • 2 local, 2 cloud copies - Local Primary Storage, Local Secondary Storage, Cloud Primary Storage, and Cloud Secondary Storage

Content examples: Digital Humanities projects; digital collections and archival materials, institutional repository materials not meeting criteria for Level 3. 

Level 3 - Advanced preservation

Advanced preservation supports the storage and monitoring of content to preserve its integrity and understandability in diverse and distributed preservation storage.

  • Persistent identifier
  • Preservation metadata
  • Secure storage
  • Virus check on ingest
  • Monthly fixity check
  • Versioning
  • 2 local, 2 cloud, 1 distributed storage - Local Primary Storage, Local Secondary Storage, Cloud Primary Storage, and Cloud Secondary Storage, and APTrust or MetaArchive

Content examples: Digital collections and archival materials, institutional repository materials meeting criteria for Level 3 containing content that is unique and significant to Virginia Tech such as theses and dissertations.

Preservation Strategies

The VTUL Preservation Strategies describe the schedule, replication and versioning, auditing, reporting, storage, and restoration activities related to digital preservation assets. 

Information Security

The Virginia Tech Digital Libraries Platform is designed and developed to address the concerns documented in the Risk Management & Disaster Recovery Policy.  VTUL has extensive experience and certifications from The SANS Technology Institute, AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and others. VTUL Digital Libraries incorporates CWE/SANS TOP 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors in our development and review process and aims for 80% or greater testing coverage.


VTUL also maintains a remote replica with minimal overlap in permissions to ensure that risks to the primary preservation environment, such as cryptomalware, are not able to affect the secondary environment. The VTDLP is regularly audited by the Virginia Tech IT Security Office. The VTDLP conforms to the 7010 Policy for Securing Technology Resources and Services

Related Documents and Policies

Document Revision History

Version Status Date Responsible Notes
0.1 Draft 2020-07-20 Digital Preservation Coordinator
0.2 Draft 2020-10-29 - 2021-01-08 Assoc. Dir. Digital Libraries, Digital Preservation Coord. Opened to APTrust Community and IT Advisory for review for one month
1.0 Published 2021-01-29 Assoc. Dir. Digital Libraries, Digital Preservation Coord.  

 

Digital Preservation Coordinator

Profile Photo
Alex Kinnaman
Contact:
Newman Library, Room 4062
540-231-9474