The UOC approves a policy to preserve the university community's open knowledge

Subject:  Multidisciplinary
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A digital preservation roadmap to guarantee the conservation of and long-term access to content published in the UOC's institutional repository, O2

The institutional repository plays a key role in the preservation of the UOC's open academic and scientific production

Unexpected messages such as "the file is damaged and cannot be opened" or "incompatible file type" may be the result of obsolete technology or the deterioration of physical supports, things which jeopardize the conservation of content. The new digital preservation policy of the UOC's institutional repository, O2, approved by the Executive Board on 9 October 2020, provides a framework for preventative action to guarantee long-term access to the digital knowledge that is generated at the University.

The institutional repository plays a key role in the preservation of the UOC's open academic and scientific production. Each of the 14,000 items it currently contains (such as final projects, scientific articles or learning resources) has a permanent and unique URL, which will ensure present and future access. With the new policy, the University is committed to ensuring the authenticity, integrity and traceability of the digital documents in the repository, to avoiding the technological degradation of the tool, and to devoting all the work and resources required, in line with the institution's legal and strategic framework.

The aims is to conserve the academic community's legacy, making it available to everyone through the repository, facilitating and consolidating the UOC's commitment to sharing the contents it generates with its Open Knowledge Action Plan. This is why the new digital preservation policy's reach extends to virtually all the University's areas and processes, and its application must be the result of a coordinated task that involves the faculties and the Technology and UOC Library teams.

Open Access and the UOC digital repository


"In 2018, a report by Spanish universities warned of the lack of digital preservation plans in the sector, and the new policy addresses this challenge," explained Ciro Llueca, director of Library and Learning Resources at the UOC. Thanks to this policy, "the UOC positions itself with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the University of Granada in committing to permanent access to documentation deposited in the institutional repository by the faculty and the students," he added.

The UOC publishes its own policy after participating in cooperative preservation initiatives in the university sector, including the actions carried out by the repositories group in the REBIUN-CRUE network of Spanish university libraries. The University has also participated in initiatives by the Catalan University Service Consortium (CSUC), which belongs to the MetaArchive Cooperative, a digital preservation network formed by 23 institutions, which ensures the longevity of the doctoral theses deposited in the TDX portal.

To promote open publications

The UOC's institutional repository, O2, was created eleven years ago, in order to collect, disseminate and preserve UOC members' publications, so as to increase their visibility and impact.

Currently, it offers over 2,000 scientific articles, 150 doctoral theses, 80 books, 1,600 learning resources and over 8,500 final degree projects written by students.

Since the implementation of the Open Knowledge Action Plan two years ago, there has been a significant increase in the volume of open publications, and currently 52% of the articles published by UOC researchers are open. ​

Digital preservation, a 21st-century skill

The ability to preserve digital information that is generated forms part of the knowledge, skills and the attitudes required for applying digital technologies to educational and professional life. Therefore, the Library team has prepared content with advice and tips to help anyone who needs it to organize their personal digital archive, and to be able to access the data they generate today in the future.