Bodleian Libraries digital policies: Overview

(1) Scope: The Bodleian Libraries provide physical services predominantly based on printed materials, library buildings and staff as well as digital services based on online and offline software. The Bodleian Libraries can only function with digital systems such as those for finding and managing printed and digital materials, and managing admissions and access.

(2) Audiences: The digital policies of the Bodleian Libraries define the basic principles of the library as a digital enterprise to support discovery and access of physical and digital knowledge resources for research, teaching and learning within three audiences:

  • the collegiate University of Oxford
  • the global academic community
  • the wider public

(3) Assets: Digital knowledge resources include:

  • Descriptive Metadata enabling the management and discovery of physical or digital resources
  • Digitized images of books, manuscripts and other physical resources
  • Text-corpora comprising collections, editions, annotations
  • Born-digital resources such as documents, publications, administrative records and research data
  • Websites and complex online resources such as simulations, virtual exhibitions, or other knowledge resources requiring special applications to be used

(4) Access conditions: Secured or open access shall be provided, tailored to each individual case, as required by privacy or copyright law or as required for the protection of academic interests. Appropriate business models shall be arranged insofar as these support the viability or sustainability of academic services. In order to be able to enact these principles, the Bodleian Libraries seeks the ownership of digital knowledge resources.

(5) Machine Access: In order to maximize the global impact and dissemination of the knowledge resources offered by the Bodleian Libraries, automated access by computers and re-use of knowledge resources by third parties shall be actively supported.

(6) Contexts addressed: The digital policies address four fundamental areas:

DigitizationEditor: Christine Madsen

PreservationEditor: Michael Popham

To support the long-term accessibility of digital knowledge resources, Bodleian digital collections are kept at the appropriate levels of security in a sound digital preservation infrastructure.

MetadataEditor: Alison Felstead

ArchitectureEditor: Andrew Bonnie

(7) Other policies: More specific policies, such as policies on social media or on research data shall reference and be in accordance with the four fundamental policies. All policies shall be aligned with general policies of the University of Oxford, for example those on admissions, information security, collection management or research conduct. Further, they shall be aligned to and, if possible, cross referenced with the strategic plan of the Bodleian Libraries and of the University of Oxford as well as the respective implementation plans.

(8) Governance: All policies shall be reviewed before the end of each calendar year by the Digital Library Steering Group and, if significantly changed, submitted through the Executive Committee for approval by the Curators of the University Libraries. The policies will be published on the Bodleian Libraries website.

(9) Editorial process: The primary contact is the editor who is responsible for adding advising on the implementation of the policy and incorporating changes for review. The editor might seek advise from another person or committee or set up a dedicated editorial group.

(10) Compliance: Questions concerning compliance shall be directed to the respective editor who might chose to seek advise from the Libraries' Executive Committee.

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