60  ·  Survey Results:  Survey Questions and Responses
30. Does your library (plan to) have restrictions/limits regarding what digital file formats it preserves
locally? N=51
Yes 35 69%
No 16 31%
If yes, please briefly describe the major factors impacting these limitations (e.g., external/internal
policies, technological factors, financial issues, user needs, etc.) N=35
Assessment of risk for long-term access in development. Best edition statements for copyright deposit in development.
Campus policies, faculty interest, funding, technology capacity.
Concerns about technical viability of certain formats; greater uniformity of format makes management, future migration,
and development of processes for ingestion, QC, and access/delivery easier.
Do not currently plan to have limits, assuming formats are migratable. If format is not fully migratable, it will be bit-
stream migrated.
Financial, technology, file formats that are not open source and cannot be guaranteed long-term preservation.
Financial, technological.
For the institutional repository, we accept standard formats that we can make a commitment to migrate and provide
access to over the long term.
Formats that will be sustainable and provide functionality and high quality.
Internal policies, technological factors, costs, user needs.
Our preservation policy will outline preferred file formats for preservation, based on the sustainability factors described
in the Library of Congress’ “Sustainability of Digital Formats” documentation: disclosure, adoption, transparency, self-
documentation, external dependencies, impact of patents, technical protection mechanisms. Other mitigating factors
will include local hardware/software support from the university Information Systems & Technology department,
discipline-specific requirements for file & data formats of stakeholder groups within the university community, and the
costs associated with guaranteeing support for a range of file formats over the long term.
Policies will fall from decisions around technology limits, scalability and sustainability concerns, risk analysis, user needs,
and other factors.
“Preservation decisions will be made within the context of the Collection Policy, balancing scholarly and historical
value, user accessibility, and cost constraints.” SILC limitations, limit total number of objects, limit of formats (not audio,
video).
Technical, financial.
Technically our repository will accept any file format, but due to technological factors and complexities with managing
and migrating obsolete file formats over time we will limit the file formats we commit to preserving over time.
Technological factors (2 responses).
Technological factors. The limits of the application used will be the limits to the preservation efforts.
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