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Digitisation Policy

The Library is responsible for the provision of digital surrogates to facilitate learning, teaching, research, accessibility, and preservation and access.  It will undertake the digitisation of original materials where it is practically and legally permissible to do so.

This policy will set out principles for the digitisation and delivery of material.  

Digitisation requests can only be accepted from a University student, course team or researcher.

Digitisation for Teaching
Digitisation for teaching will be undertaken in accordance with the terms the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) HEI Licence.   This allows a limited amount of material, limited to the requirements of teaching only, to be scanned from a publication and delivered within the virtual learning environment via the Library’s myReadingList service.  Extracts of audio-visual materials will be digitised on demand under legal exceptions in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988. 

Digitisation for Non-Commercial Research and Private Study 
Students and staff can request the digitisation of extracts of materials for the purposes of research and private study under the terms of legal exceptions in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.  The Library will digitise extracts and deliver these digitally via its Scan & Deliver service.

Digitisation for Accessibility
The Library will seek to acquire materials that are inclusive.  However where this is not possible the Library will digitise and supply materials in an appropriate accessible format to anyone with an identified need.  Digitisation is undertaken in accordance with legal exceptions within the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 and the Equality Act, 2010. 

Digitisation for Preservation and Access
Digitisation will be carried out for the purposes of preservation of Library and Archives & Special Collections materials where necessary and appropriate. This will include material, which is rare, fragile or stored in an obsolete format and consequently difficult or impossible to access. Surrogate copies will be created and managed in accordance with UK copyright and compliance laws and, if required, with permission from the rightsholder.

The Library will follow best practice and standards from the CLA, JISC and the National Archives and will include, but not limited to, file size, resolution and file type.  Standards will be reviewed annually to ensure they meet the requirements of learning, teaching, accessibility, and preservation and access.

Digitisation will be carried out by the Library on campus.  Where this is not possible the digitisation process will be outsourced to an approved supplier.  Material identified for digitisation will have an initial assessment to check - 

  • legal compliance
  • acceptable condition
  • practical for the purposes required
  • the Library has the appropriate resource to digitise and manage the surrogate.

A technical assessment will then be carried out based on the purpose of the digitisation of materials.  The technical assessment will involve assessing -

  • choice of digital format
  • resolution, quality and size
  • accessibility requirements
  • metadata
  • security

Delivery and Storage
All digitised content will be delivered in accordance with legal and contractual obligations. 

Delivery methods and solutions will be reviewed annually to ensure they meet requirements and are secure.

When digitised content for teaching, research and accessibility has been successfully delivered and utilised, the digital surrogate will be securely deleted.

Long term storage for the purposes of preservation will be managed by the library. Digital content will be kept as long as is necessary to ensure long-term access and preservation in accordance with Article 89 General Data Protection Regulation, 2018.

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