University of Essex,UK Data Archive (UKDA)
The UK Data Archive is an internationally acknowledged centre of expertise in the areas of acquiring, curating and providing access to data. Since 2005 the Archive has been designated a Place of Deposit by the National Archives allowing us to curate public records. It acquires high quality data from the academic, public, and commercial sectors, providing continuous access to these data while also supporting existing and emerging and communities of data users.
The Archive follows a policy of active preservation to ensure the authenticity, reliability and logical integrity of all resources entrusted to its care while providing usable versions for research, teaching or learning, in perpetuity. Its Preservation Policy is the codification of long-standing good archival practice at the Archive. From a preservation point of view this policy is generally conformant to the OAIS Reference Model, with additions and alterations which are specific to the materials held within the Archive. UKDA has a series of strict requirements for its digital preservation activities which are laid down in this policy, together with how these requirements can best be achieved in relation to regulatory requirements, archival best practice, information security and available funds. The Archive’s Preservation Policy is based upon open and available file formats, data migration and media refreshment.
UKDA ensures that it is at the leading edge of technical advances by taking a strategic approach to long-term digital preservation, and by monitoring hardware and software developments and migrating our collections accordingly. It also aims to continually improve all aspects of the preservation related workflow by embedding an awareness of quality in all processes.
The Archive has been involved in the creation of the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) because it believes that the complex international standards which currently exist in this area are not the best place for repositories to start to assess their practices. The DSA is a ‘low-level’ series of guidelines which does not replace more formal standards, both existing and forthcoming, but provides a way for smaller and more specialist organisations to reach a recognised benchmark in digital repository management.