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Preservation Policy

1.0 Scope & Purpose

This policy governs the long-term preservation of Content submitted to the Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR) website (the Site),, and the services available on or at the Site (taken together, the Service). Content deemed appropriate for long-term preservation will be processed and transferred into the care of a network of Preservation Service Providers (PSPs) committed to the ongoing preservation of Canadian research data. This Policy accompanies the Data Retention and Deaccession Policy, which governs the Service’s roles and responsibilities in maintaining reasonable access to all Content available through the Service.

The purpose of the Preservation Policy is to establish that the Service will take all reasonable measures to ensure that Content selected for long-term preservation will be retained indefinitely, and remain trustworthy and accessible.

This policy should be consulted in accordance with the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, the Glossary of Terms, and any other relevant policies.

2.0 Principles

2.1 Organizational Commitment

The Digital Research Alliance of Canada supports Canada's research infrastructure by providing in FRDR a platform through which research data can be ingested, curated, preserved, discovered, cited, and shared. The Service’s digital preservation strategies are directed by this mandate to ensure the persistence of Content submitted to the Service over time. The digital preservation program will comply with the Service’s existing policies, procedures, and relevant applicable legislation.

A central component of the Service’s digital preservation strategy is the development of a distributed digital preservation network, which focuses on building capacity in Canadian memory institutions and preservation partners. The long-term preservation of Canadian research data requires broad community support and participation, which is encouraged and maintained by the Alliance.

2.2 Digital Preservation Values

The Service recognizes that appraisal and selection are key factors in the responsible stewardship of research data. Appraisal decisions are carried out according to current best practices established by the digital preservation community. The Service Host also recognizes that continuous, meaningful community engagement is vital to ensuring the accessibility and usability of its digital assets. The Service will document and share, where possible, digital preservation policies, procedures, and actions for internal review, peer review, and public dissemination for the purposes of transparency and accountability.

3.0 Selection and Appraisal

All Content submitted to the Service will be evaluated for long-term preservation by the Service Host, using an appraisal guidance framework developed to support best practices in the field. Content determined to have long-term preservation value beyond the active life of the dataset in the repository, governed by the Data Retention and Deaccession Policy, may be selected for long-term preservation.

Submitters can contribute to appraisal and selection by considering what will be required for others to understand and reproduce their research. They should ensure files are well organized and described to support the work of the Curators and the Preservation Coordinator, who will make appraisal decisions on behalf of the Service.

4.0 Preservation Activities

In all cases the Service will preserve copies of the original files published, alongside any other manifestations created during preservation processing for the purpose of mitigating against technological obsolescence. The Service will make best efforts to follow international standards and established best practices in carrying out the following digital preservation activities:

  • Monitoring: Checksums will be calculated for individual files and retained to ensure ongoing file integrity.
  • Replication: Preservation copies will be stored in multiple, geographically distributed locations.
  • Migration: Data files will be migrated to new file formats, where necessary and possible, to ensure ongoing accessibility.
  • Continuation of care: Preservation copies of data files will be retained indefinitely.

5.0 Access

Descriptive metadata will be retained indefinitely for all Content, regardless of the disposition of associated data. The FRDR Service will maintain a registry of all preserved datasets transferred to Preservation Service Providers, and will endeavour to provide access to preservation copies upon request.

6.0 Succession Planning

The Service recognises that the preservation of digital content is an active process that requires sustainable management and resources. To that end, partnerships with Canadian memory institutions and preservation providers have been established to ensure the ongoing storage and maintenance of all Content selected for preservation.

The roles and responsibilities of Canadian memory institutions and preservation providers in the Service are subject to change and may be amended from time to time.

7.0 Withdrawal

As outlined in the Data Retention and Deaccession Policy, items may be withdrawn from preservation storage at the discretion of the Service.

Should content be removed for legal or ethical reasons, the withdrawal statement will withhold any information which may contribute to the potential risk or harm created by the disclosure.

8.0 Implementation and Revision

This Policy enters into force on the date of its adoption. It will be reviewed every two years or at any time, as required.

Last Revised: 2023-11-28