This section states the scope of the policy in terms of the organizational context and the digital content to be preserved. This may include setting the scope as digital content created by a particular institution or organization, or a department or division within that organization. It may also be limited to particular collections, time periods, or types of digital objects (e.g. research data, digitized images, audio-visual material, line-of-business data, or web archives). The scope may be defined by a legal requirement on the institution (such as public records legislation or health and safety regulations), by organizational mandate (such as the mission of a collecting institution), or be implied through strategic and contractual relationships (such as a requirement of a funder, or the supply of a service or product with a long life-cycle). For organizations with collecting policies, it will be important to align this section with those parts of the policies relevant to the digital content within scope.

Tips for writing the scope of a policy:

  • be as specific as possible as to what is in scope.

  • for clarity, it can be useful to also identify what is out of scope.

  • if your digital collections are continuing to grow, ensure that the scope section covers content which is not yet in your possession, but which is likely to be transferred to you in the lifetime of the policy.

  • you may also wish to include metadata and documentation (that describes content in the collection) in the scope of the policy - this will need preserving for the long term too.

Example policy statements

University of Warwick

This policy makes provision for how digital content is preserved for the long term at the University of Warwick. Digital content could include digital records (as defined by the Information and Records Management Policy), the outputs of research (including but not exclusively research data, theses, websites, publications) and any other digital content which is likely to be required for business, legal or historical reasons for medium to long term (ten years or more). The policy also includes metadata associated with any of the above.
Not included in the scope of the policy are digital content hosted by the University of Warwick but managed externally such as eBooks, library databases, etc. Hardware is also not included. We will endeavour to work with creators to find emulated solutions to preserve digital content which has specific hardware requirements.

University of Warwick IG04: Digital Preservation Policy (undated)

British Geological Survey

The scope of this policy is limited to the organisation’s research data collections and applies to born digital and digitised data. It covers all research data and associated project management information in all formats located on the BGS Storage Area Network and the Digital Tape Archive including:

  • NERC (or BGS) owned data
  • Data generated by NERC funded geoscience grants
  • Third party data (commercial and voluntary donated data we hold under non-exclusive, in-perpetuity licence)

Corporate administrative records, which are covered in the UKRI/NERC Records Management Policy, are not considered by this policy. Excluded also are web pages, preserved by the UK Government Web Archive managed by the National Archives, and research papers, stored in the NERC Open Research Archive (NORA).

British Geological Survey Digital Preservation Policy (2020)

University of Bristol

The scope of the University of Bristol’s Cultural Collections Digital Preservation Policy covers born digital and digitised cultural collections acquired or created and accessioned by Special Collections or the Theatre Collection.
Out of scope for the policy are:

  • Records produced in the course of University business which have not been accessioned by Special Collections or Theatre Collection
  • Research data and research records which have not been accessioned by Special Collections or Theatre Collection
  • Materials for which other services and agencies have assumed preservation responsibility

University of Bristol’s Cultural Collections Digital Preservation Policy (2020)

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