Preservation policies

It is important to consider the long term future of the material entrusted to your repository. You should ensure that it continues to be readable as technology and file formats change, and as your organisational circumstances change.

The OpenDOAR Policy Tool covers the following preservation topics:

Retention Period

How long do you undertake to retain items for? Indefinitely or not?

Functional Preservation

What are your intentions to ensure to continued readability and usability of the items in your repository? What technical steps are you taking to fulfil your intentions, either by yourself or with partners?

File Preservation

How are you backing up your repository files, in what form, and how often?

Withdrawal Policy

Do you allow items to be withdrawn? If so, what reasons are acceptable?

Withdrawn Items

How are items withdrawn? Are they deleted entirely, or do you just remove them from public view? Do the original URLs remain valid, and if so, do they point to 'tombstone' citations or to replacement items?

Version Control

Do you allow items to be changed after they have been committed to the repository? Do you allow multiple versions? Can addenda and corrigenda be accommodated?

Closure Policy

Heaven forfend that your repository be closed down, but just in case, what would happen to the material deposited in it?


Digital Curation Centre (DCC) and Digital Preservation Europe (DPE) (2008). The Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment (DRAMBORA). Accessed 4th November 2010.

The DRAMBORA toolkit characterizes digital curation as a risk-management activity and is intended to facilitate internal audit by providing repository administrators with a means to assess their capabilities, identify their weaknesses, and recognise their strengths in regards to digital curation.

Find out more from the JISC Digital Repositories infoKit