When writing institutional policies
  • Develop a single policy that incorporates both preservation and access, to increase efficiencies and ensure coordinated planning towards access from the outset. Ensure this policy is acknowledged/incorporated into the institution’s higher level strategic and digitisation plans.
  • Always take the institution’s mission statement and goals into account when setting policies, as well as legal and financial considerations.
  • Build (or build on where they already exist) access goals into the institution’s core functions and establishing acts, creating a positive obligation to provide best practice access.
  • Consider undertaking public consultation, to establish staff and community wants and needs with respect to collection access. This can be useful both in setting standards and determining priorities.
  • Establish ‘notice and takedown’ procedures for dealing with requests to remove material from an institutional website. This should include clear guidelines on the circumstances in which it is appropriate for material to be removed (eg copyright infringement, cultural sensitivity etc) and the circumstances in which it is not.
  • Recognise that diversity in quality, subject matter and copyright status does not detract from a collection. Having some material available for open access – even if it is not complete or of the highest quality – is better than none.
  • Once policies have been determined, develop a detailed strategy or plan for their implementation. Establish staff position/s specifically tasked with creating/supporting access initiatives.
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