A long digital preservation policy may benefit from a concise and easily digestible summary. This could support:

  • influencing busy senior managers who might not read beyond the first page.

  • quickly and succinctly convincing a ‘lay audience’ of the purpose and benefits of the policy.

A summary should:

  • use short, concise paragraphs and/or bullet points.

  • be written in the same order as the full policy.

  • draw out the key aims and benefits of the policy.

There are no hard and fast rules to writing this section of a policy. Ultimately, a summary should always provide the key messages that you want to give to the audience you are aiming it at. These may include some of the following points:

  • a brief description of what digital preservation is and what the policy aims to do.

  • the opportunities created by digital preservation for the organization, and the risks it can mitigate.

  • the target audience, as well as an identification of ownership.

  • the context within which the policy sits and other relevant documentation.

  • a brief outline of policy principles.

This section may also be called 'Executive Summary' or 'Overview'.

Example policy statements

Penn State University

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries (University Libraries) collects and makes accessible content that meets the teaching and research needs of the University. Digital content requires special attention to ensure its long-term preservation and accessibility. This high-level plan that describes the University Libraries’ commitment, support, philosophy, and strategies for digital preservation will be updated over time as conditions change within the operating context.

This plan is modeled after digital preservation documents from Big Ten Academic Alliance members, other research libraries, and the digital preservation policy framework developed by Nance McGovern (McGovern, 2014).

Penn State University Libraries Policy UL-AD19 Digital Preservation Policy (2021)

Bodleian Libraries

Bodleian Libraries preserves its digital collections with the same level of commitment as it has preserved its physical collections over many centuries. Digital preservation is recognized as a core organizational function which is essential to Bodleian Libraries’ ability to support current and future research, teaching, and learning activities.

The purpose of the digital preservation policy is to provide a statement on Bodleian Libraries’ ongoing commitment and approach to preserving its digital collections. 

Bodleian Libraries Digital Preservation Policy (2022)

Digital Repository of Ireland

This document describes the policies and procedures at Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) that support ongoing preservation of deposited data. The DRI takes a broad view of preservation, recognising that it is not merely a matter of secure, reliable and error-free storage of data. It also encompasses provision of retrieval and access to data, now and in the future, as well as issues of ongoing understandability and reusability of that data. Furthermore, ensuring long-term preservation also requires consideration of issues of organisational continuity and sustainability, and planning for the transfer or hand-over of responsibility for data if it were to transpire that the DRI could no longer fulfil its preservation function.

This document is broken into sections that address the relevant areas and are described as high-level activities within and involving all areas of the Repository. Other documentation has been developed that outlines the more operational, low level activities and procedures and are referenced where relevant. In addition, an overall view of the Repository Infrastructure is given in the report Building the Digital Repository of Ireland Infrastructure1 for those interested to learn more about the specifics of implementation.

These preservation functions are constantly in development and this document will be updated accordingly in future.

Digital Repository of Ireland Preservation Policy (2018)

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