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Digital Content Policy

Background and Context
The Library holds a unique and growing collection of digital content to support learning, teaching, and research; to improve discoverability and accessibility; and to address physical space and preservation and access issues.

This Policy sets out the principles for managing the Library’s digital content.  It forms part of the Digital Content Framework alongside -

This Policy applies to all digitised content which the Library manages to underpin the University’s learning, teaching and research practice -

  • Archives and Special Collections - rare or unique materials, such as rare books, original letters and artwork, and zines held by the Library
  • Images - from museums, libraries and archive collections
  • Recordings - lectures, webinars, conferences and events
  • Research outputs - UCA-authored articles, books, theses, and creative outputs
  • Student work - dissertations and extended research projects

This Policy does not apply to – 

  • digital content that is purchased and licensed by the Library from publishers and other third parties, such as books, journals, digitised readings and databases
  • digital files that are generated by the Library as part of day-to-day operations.

The selection of digital content that falls outside of the scope of this Policy rests with the Library and must meet a clearly identified learning, teaching, and research need.  Collections and content will be subject to weeding in accordance with the Review and Withdrawal Policy.

The Library will document all decisions, procedures, and workflows for acquiring, processing, and providing access to digital content to ensure consistency and resilience of its service.

Metadata will be created and managed in accordance with the Library’s Metadata Policy.  Any local modifications, and any metadata for new collections, will be determined through appropriate liaison with the Metadata & Resources Librarian.

The Library will determine the most appropriate system for digital content.  In most cases, digital content will be made discoverable via LibrarySearch and myLibrary, to provide a clear, consistent point of discovery of all library content.

The Library will also periodically review with students and staff on the design, usability, and functionality of its digital content services and make enhancements to these where possible.

Copyright and Privacy
In accordance with the Library’s Copyright Policy, digital content will be stored, managed, and made available to students and staff in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988), Data Protection Act (2018), other relevant legislation, licences and policies with guidance from the Copyright and Compliance Manager.

Digital content will be retained and delivered for the length of time that is appropriate for the specific purpose and legal basis upon which it is being provided.  This will be detailed in the procedural documents for each digital collection.  

Take Down
The Library has a Take Down Notice, which outlines the process by which requests can be made and are investigated when digital content may have inadvertently infringed copyright, or contains personal or sensitive data, or may be regarded as factually incorrect, offensive or defamatory.

The Library will review this Policy every year and any significant changes will be considered and approved by the Director of Student Services.


January 2024
Review: January 2025