The DPC campaigns for digital preservation and long term access to be a feature of public policy and routinely advises Government and related agencies on issues that are relevant to our members and our mandate. 

The DPC Board has adopted a set of principles for the DPC's engagement with public policy and direct advocacy.  While this document is due for renewal, it lays out in clear terms the values of the Coalition and how and when the DPC will intervene in public policy matters. Download the full policy [PDF 332KB].


Our responses are published as a commentary of public policy consultations relating to digital preservation:

  • Response to the National Archives of Australia Request for DPC Feedback on Exposure Draft of Building Trust in the Public Record: managing information and data for government and community, submitted 13th August 2020
  • Letter to the Editor of the Telegraph Newspaper entitled COVID-19 Inquiry: Digital by Default, published 24th July 2020
  • Response to Call for Evidence: Impact of Covid-19 on DCMS sectors, submitted 19th June 2020
  • Joint statement entitled COVID-19: The duty to document does not cease in a crisis, it becomes more essential, published 4th May 2020
  • DPC Response to Public Data Corporation and Open Data Consultation, 11 November 2011: DPC has responded to two connected consultations from the Cabinet Office on proposals for the Data Policy for a proposed Public Data Corporation and for the UK government's Open Data Policy. The DPC believes that open data should be planned for the long-term otherwise the opportunities that it creates will be unsustainable and underdeveloped. Four practical implications follow from this principle: open data needs to be signposted predictably so that links and references to data are resilient; open data needs to be robust in terms of format, media and description to avoid the inadvertent disruptions caused by obsolescence and media failure; changes to open data need to be tracked and published to ensure that the integrity and authenticity is not lost; open data needs to be predictable in form enabling comparison of performance through time and facilitating the creation and refinement of analytical tools.
  • DPC Response to EU Science Information Policy Consultation, 08 September 2011: The DPC has responded to a consultation from the EC regarding science information policy, noting that the impacts sought from improved access to scientific information are only viable where sufficient attention is paid to preservation. Preservation has a particular importance for scientific information because meaningful innovation is necessarily responsive previous generations of research. In that sense, preservation of appropriate research outputs is essential to all sciences, especially for unrepeatable experiments or unique moments of discovery. Aspirations about access to information are meaningless without commensurate actions that to ensure preservation. We welcome all actions that will encourage a dialogue between and within member states to ensure the preservation of scientific information and we call on the EU to engage in that dialogue as a matter of urgency, using existing examples of best practice to help build capacity.
  • DPC Response to Second Consultation on Legal Deposit, December 2010: The DPC has responded to the second phase of consultation on Electronic Legal Deposit noting the essential relationship between preservation and access. We note and welcome the proposal that extend legal deposit to include charged content as well as content to which access is restricted. This will create the conditions where a more rounded and more valuable national archive can be created. Experience in digital preservation shows that normalization and adherence to standards in the creation of digital resources are advantageous to long term access. Therefore we have some questions pertaining to the practicality of provisions regarding deposit of materials, in particular those regulations that leave the medium and quality of electronic deposits at the discretion of publishers, and those regulations that pertain to adapting content for preservation. If poorly implemented, these provisions could have the inadvertent result of making preservation intractable or excessively complicated. We recognise that recommendations from the DPC are best focussed on those topics where we can offer specialist commentary. Therefore it is not our intention to provide a detailed scrutiny of each element of these regulations. However it is our view that preservation is only sensible within the context of access, and that preservation should be configured around the impact that comes with access. Therefore we have commented on a small number of access issues that we believe have a bearing on the case for preservation. In January 2010 the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) consulted on draft regulations for the legal deposit of ‘free of charge’ electronic publications – the ‘free web’.  This consultation was intended to be the first part of a two part process and the DPC responded arguing inter alia that the second phase of proposals be presented without delay as arguably the ‘paid web’ includes material of lasting value and that until regulations were introduced this element of our collected digital memory would be at risk. In September DCMS published a paper for the second phase of the consultation process.  The regulations discussed this time apply to a much broader range of material including publications for which there is a charge, publications which are subject to access restrictions and material compiled by queries from databases.  It excludes sound and film recordings and unpublished material.
  • DPC Response to Public Records Review, 30 July 2010: The DPC has responded to the consultation on the Public records review, welcoming the explicit statement that digitized and ‘born digital’ materials constitute a public record, noting and supporting the focus on informational content and the consequent need for ‘technology proofing’ and the management of formats.  The DPC has offered its assistance in identifying and resolving issues that may arise. Research shows that clear advice about the preservation of digital materials is both in high demand and can be difficult to procure, so we note the new role for the Keeper of the Public Record to advise and inspect archives.  The DPC has offered its help in two ways: to assist the Keeper in the production of specialist advice notes; and to support the Keeper in the wider dissemination of advice to a diverse audience that is hungry for solutions.  'This represents an opportunity to build capacity for digital preservation in a diverse range of authorities' explained William Kilbride, Executive Director of the DPC.
  • DPC Response to Review of Exceptions, 31 March 2010: The DPC has published its response to the recent Intellectual Property Office consultation on exceptions to copyright law with a detailed discussion of how these proposals impact on digital preservation. In summary, the DPC warmly welcomes the proposal to permit multiple copies to be created for preservation purposes. It notes and welcomes the proposal to broaden the types of content that can qualify for this exception and welcomes the proposal that extends this exception to a wider range of institutions. The DPC seeks a number of clarifications to ensure that perfectly reasonable preservation actions are not inadvertently inhibited. For example the Coalition want to ensure that institutions are not prevented from collaborative preservation and is concerned that attempting to restrict preservation copying to an institution’s permanent collection may interfere with perfectly laudable and reasonable rescue and appraisal efforts.
  • DPC Response to First Consultation on Legal Deposit, March 2010: The DPC has published its response to the recent consultation from the Department for Culture Media and Sport on 'UK Online Publications'. The DPC has welcomed the progress which has been made by the Legal Deposit Advisory Panel on recommendations for collecting digital material and is eager that the momentum recently achieved is maintained so that continuing progress can be made. It warmly welcomes the proposal for regulation-based harvesting and calls for early implementation of this proposal, offering the assistance of the DPC in capacity building for staff and tools which this will necessitate. There is a range of opinions within the DPC's membership regarding the access provisions within the Proposals. The position of the DPC itself, however, remains clear that future access to the harvested materials at any level will be impossible without the safeguards that rigorous attention to preservation provides. 

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