University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy >
University Digital Conservancy Services
The University Digital Conservancy provides a wide range of services in support of the use and long-term stewardship of digital information produced by the University.
The Digital Conservancy provides consulting services for individuals, departments, or other groups about the management of their digital content as it relates to the Conservancy or to best practices. Most common consulting topics include:
- Best practices surrounding file formats - which formats are most appropriate for the Conservancy
- Author's rights and copyright. How to determine what rights an author has to share her/his work in the Digital Conservancy
- Digital Conservancy benefits and best practices - find out how the Digital Conservancy can make your work more visible and preserve it for future use
- Coordinating your departmental/unit contributions to the Digital Conservancy - offering flexible models and workflows that meet each unit's needs
The University Digital Conservancy provides for distributed item deposit - authorized individuals from across the University may submit their own works or as proxy may submit items on behalf of others.
The Digital Conservancy will work with departments and other units at the University to create authorizations for individual faculty and administrators. Aside from faculty self-submission of their own items, the preferred workflow is to designate a departmental/unit administrator who will submit items to the Conservancy on behalf of members of that department. The Digital Conservancy will work with departments to define the most suitable workflow for that unit.
Item submission is flexible and straightforward. Contributors contact the Digital Conservancy staff to receive submission authorization, which allows the contributor to submit to specific collections. Contributors then complete a brief deposit agreement and grant non-exclusive rights to the University Digital Conservancy to disseminate and preserve contributed items in accordance with the Conservancy's stated policies. Additional submission services include:
The University Digital Conservancy is committed to ensuring long-term open access to digital assets produced by the University. Conservancy policies and digital archival practices are designed to provide longevity to items, in terms of discovery, file integrity, and usability.
- Items in the Digital Conservancy are typically ranked higher in web search engines like Google and Yahoo than are the same items on personal web pages. Ranking algorithms give extra weight to items contained in repositories like the Conservancy
- Items in the Digital Conservancy are exposed as interoperable open archives to harvesters that specifically target scholarly or other works found in digital repository databases, such as Scirus.
- Search the descriptions of Digital Conservancy content to retrieve matches to author, title, subject, or other descriptive terms
- Browse collections to find items listed by author name, title, collection, or subject
- View online and/or download the contents of an item as well as the descriptive metadata associated with an item
- The links to your items will not change. Unique persistent identifiers (URIs) are assigned to items in the Digital Conservancy. The use of the Handle System for objects allows for intact links even when system software and locations change.
- The Digital Conservancy works in partnership with the University of Minnesota Office of Information Technology (OIT) to provide secure storage and backup.
- The Digital Conservancy performs routine data checks using MD5 checksum technology to ensure that files do not become changed from their original state.
- While the Digital Conservancy provides search, browse, view, and download functionality for items, it is not a software platform for using or manipulating files. Web browsers may be configured with plug-in software that allows readers to view some file formats, such as Adobe Acrobat PDF files.
- The Digital Conservancy provides file format best practices, which indicate which formats will receive the most preservation support and remain usable far into the future. See the Preservation Policy for more details.
Flexible models for collection and item management are supported in the University Digital Conservancy. The University Libraries provides overall management for Digital Conservancy collections, and will:
- Create new collections
- Train contributors and departmental/unit coordinators
- Consult on workflows and metadata creation, including defining metadata needs
- Consult to define collection use policies
- Coordinate batch loads of existing digital content and metadata.
The University Digital Conservancy is committed to providing long-term access to the digital works it contains, and adheres to digital preservation best practices to ensure data accessibility, fixity, and usability in perpetuity. Understanding that software, hardware, and format obsolescence is a complex issue with outcomes that are difficult to predict, the UDC uses digital preservation strategies designed to anticipate unknown changes in the technological environment. The University Digital Conservancy cannot promise the same level of support for digital objects in all formats, but will promise to make explicit the level of support it will provide for each file format MIME type deposited in the UDC, and will provide best practices guidance for contributors in selecting formats for inclusion in the UDC.
Contributors should understand that the level of preservation support provided for works is determined by the file format in which it is submitted.
Refer to the Preservation Policy for details of the Conservancy's tiered preservation support strategy, stated preservation commitment for each file format, and file format best practices.
Technical and consulting help is available to contributors and readers for all aspects of the University Digital Conservancy.
To ask a question or comment on the Digital Conservancy, contact Lisa Johnston or Erik Moore.
To report a technical problem, contact Autosys.
Go to the UDC home page