Session 9

Session 9: Access to Collections and Digital Preservation

Thursday 26th June 2019 – 9:45-11:15

Chair: Thomas Kaarsted, University Library of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark

9.1 Access to Collections: an Essential Part of Research Collaborations

Alex Fenlon, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom


Many ‘research intensive universities’ have witnessed an expansion of research and teaching collaborations internationally. There are many models, many names and many scales involved in collaborative activities and the challenge for many libraries is remaining up to date and understanding what is required to support these activities, and what has been agreed between the parties.

With the opening of our Dubai campus in September 2018, a root and branch review of all library licensed e-resource agreements was instigated to ensure they remain fit for a 21st century, global, research intensive University. The aim was to ensure all University of Birmingham staff, researchers, and students were entitled to access resources licensed to the university in full compliance with the licence terms. Over 380 different publishers, aggregators and suppliers were contacted as we extended access across 1,000 agreements.

The outcome was a 95% success rate within a 12 month period. No supplier refused access and over 70% agreed to our access at no additional cost. We planned for a 20% uplift in our costs; our suppliers quoted an 11% increase; we agreed a less the 5% increase in costs.

Three key lessons emerged from the licence review project:

1- Reviewing- research collaborations requiring library access need to be communicated so that the Library understands what the institution is doing, where, and with whom. Review the licences to understand the rights and responsibilities are for all parties involved.

2- Resourcing- where collaborations require support ensure that sufficient staff resource is available. For a licence review many teams, colleagues and senior management were all crucial to successfully completing such a project.

3- Robustness- if licences need extending negotiation with suppliers requires buy-in from senior University figures to be successful. Discussion with suppliers, academics and senior management can be detailed, complex and lengthy as the policies around collaborations are variable- having a robust approach with full disclosure is key to successfully completing any negotiation and ensuring value for money.

When new research focused collaborations are agreed libraries need to be informed, especially if those collaborative activities require access to University systems including Library acquired e-resources. The library is key assessing the impact enabling access by additional researchers may have on the licences held, to determine if access is permitted, on what terms, and whether the increase in numbers impacts on budgets.

We know that research activity will take place wherever staff and students are, indeed several research bids have already been accepted from Dubai based staff. We know that researchers will research and libraries need to ensure our licensing arrangements remain fit for purpose.

Presenting on behalf of Alex Fenlon:

John Dowd is the Assistant Director for Collection Management and Development at the University of Birmingham.  John’s team oversees the library print and digital collection as well as the Scholarly Communications and Copyright and Licensing teams.  Given the shift and increase in the deployment and exploitation of digital tools to support research activities John’s teams are central to researchers not only in enabling access to content but also in ensuring it is fit for research purposes.  John co-chairs the Midlands University Academic Libraries (MUAL) purchasing consortium.

9.2 Clear and Consistent: Copyright Assessment Framework for Libraries

Fred Saunderson, National Library of Scotland, United Kingdom, Dafydd Tudur, National Library of Wales, United Kingdom


Lengthy, complex terms of copyright protection and the constrained pace of copyright reform necessitate that libraries and collecting organisations increasingly look to practical methods for enabling mass digitisation of collections. Such methods may include licensing or orphan works clearance. In practice, however, proportionate acceptance of risk seems inescapable, especially when collections contain works that are not, or never have been, commercially available, or when institutions seek to digitise at scale.

This paper presents the copyright assessment framework developed and adopted by the National Library of Scotland and the National Library of Wales. The framework is a pragmatic risk assessment and decision-making tool to aid the digitisation of collection material (Original Objects) and the making available of digitisations of collection material (Digital Surrogates). Using a number of assessment criteria, including publication status and commercial intent, the framework allows libraries logically and consistently to identify, record, and rationalise the relative risk of making Digital Surrogates available to the public and to make standardised copyright assessment decisions. The framework specifies suitable rights statements for assessed Digital Surrogates, using the standard statements published by Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America at

Functional across content types and at a high (eg collection) level, the framework is useful even when minimal copyright metadata is available, in particular when data related to authorial lifespan (often essential for determining the term of copyright protection) is missing or unknown. The schema is based in UK copyright law, although it can be adapted to comparable copyright systems, and works around a series of date ranges associated with an Original Object’s creation or publication, calculated in accordance with the methodology set out by Deazley and Padfield (Intellectual Property Office (2014). Consultation on reducing the duration of copyright in unpublished (“2039”) works in accordance with section 170(2) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. p.35).

As a joint development, the framework is approved for use at the National Library of Wales and the National Library of Scotland, where it is integrated into the digitisation assessment workflow. The schema was developed by copyright and digital access specialists from the two organisations, grounded in established practice, and subject to peer review of experts from the UK cultural heritage and library sectors.

This paper presents the framework, setting out its methods, benefits, and intended outcomes. The authors will invite other libraries to consider adopting the tool as a method of copyright due diligence, noting that wider adoption of an assessment standard strengthens its value for all users. The paper sets out the rationale behind the framework, while seeking feedback and suggestions to aid its ongoing improvement. The authors aim to encourage further application of the framework within the European library sector, as well as learn of complementary efforts so as to further the development of a standard structure for copyright assessment and decision-making.

Fred Saunderson is Rights and Information Manager at National Library of Scotland, where he leads strategic development in copyright, data protection and records management and acts as Data Protection Officer. During 2019 he is leading the implementation the Library’s records management plan and the overhaul of the Library’s copyright metadata policies and practices. Fred is currently industry co-supervisor for a collaborative PhD studentship on artificial intelligence and the identification of sensitive content. He has published on copyright and open licensing and is chair of the UK Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance (

Dr Dafydd Tudur began his career supporting cultural heritage organisations throughout Wales to digitise their collections and make them accessible online. He later led the formation of the National Library of Wales’s (NLW) policy on open access and the Library’s successful collaboration with Wikimedia. Dafydd has been Head of Digital Access at NLW since 2015, and he leads the content and community engagement strands of the People’s Collection Wales programme. This year, he has also been the lead for NLW’s contribution to the Europeana Rise of Literacy project and is now a member of the Impact Taskforce.

9.3 Networking with Networks: What is the Landscape for Digital Preservation Communities like?

Thomas Bähr and Michelle Lindlar, TIB Leibniz Information Center for Science and Technology University Library, Germany, Sabine Schrimpf, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Germany, Stefan Strathmann, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen, Germany, Monika Zarnitz, ZBW Leibniz-Information Center for Economics, Germany


Since the early 2000s digital preservation networks appeared all over the world. These are networks bringing together libraries, archives, museums and even private enterprises that have to cope with the challenge of preserving their digital content. It is nearly impossible to run a digital archive without contacts to colleagues and institutions because digital preservation it so complex and demanding concerning the technical surrounding that is needed. So networking keeps digital archives at the state of the art by fostering the national and international transfer of knowledge on this topic. However, not all digital preservation networks have been able to sustain themselves. While grant funded networks, such as DigitalPreservationEurope seized to exist post-project phase, first large membership funded networks, such as the US-based DPN (Digital Preservation Network) are now announcing their wind-down.

The landscape of digital preservation networks can be described based on location – with regional, national or international networks – as well as based on the digital preservation topics a network covers. While some networks, such as nestor, the German Competence Network for Digital Preservation or the Digital Preservation Coalition dpc cover a wide range of subjects, others, like the Open Preservation Foundation (OPF) target a specific challenge within digital preservation. A third network category is that of distinct service-providing networks, such as the aforementioned DPN, which functioned as a broker between members’ storage nodes.

Despite so many active digital preservation networks, a landscape overview is currently missing.

The paper presents a nestor project which aims to close this gap via an in-depth analysis of these networks. Such a study within nestor as one of the key players in the wider landscape itself, serves a threefold purpose:

(1) for nestor it is a means of self-reflection, evaluating where the networks sits within the larger international context

(2) it presents a starting point for a closer national and international cooperation with these networks with the potential to support a bottom-up development of closer cooperation of networks by collecting information on these networks

(3) it fulfills members’ and the wider communities information needs regarding different network acitivities

The project forsees an initial desktop analysis as well as a survey of the different networks. While nestor will conduct the survey in the summer of 2019, the concept and results of a first stage analysis of these networks will be presented at the LIBER conference with the aim of making this idea public and asking for support for the survey that will follow.

Thomas Bähr works in TIB Hannover. He is head of the preservation section in this special library

Michelle Lindlar is working in the TIB Hannover and is responsible for digital preservation.

Stefan Strathmann coordinates the digital preservation activities of  the SUB  Göttingen. He is active in training for digital preservation within the nestor school.

Sabine Schrimpf is the head of the nestor office at DNB

Dr. Monika Zarnitz is head of the department „User services and collection care“ of the ZBW Kiel/Hamburg.

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