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Help & guidance Guides to Good Practice

Depositing to an archiving body

Armin Schmidt and Eileen Ernenwein, 2nd edition, Archaeology Data Service / Digital Antiquity, Guides to Good Practice

If the Archive has been compiled according to the steps listed above it is ready for archiving. As a first step it can in this form be saved in a secure location for storage. However, to reap the benefits of archiving (see Documenting and archiving) it should also be deposited with an Archiving Body (see The archive and the archiving body for different types). Each Archiving Body will have its own requirements, charging policies and forms to complete. This information can be obtained from the Archiving Body, either through their web site or from the respective data curator. A well-formed Archive as described above will be far easier to ‘ingest’ (i.e. incorporate) for the Archiving Body and archiving charges may hence be minimised. In particular, the clear indication of preservation files (e.g. through appropriate folder names), which the Archiving Body has to earmark for future migration, helps with the evaluation of a deposited Archive. Only if no quality control and no identification of migration files are envisaged (types 1 and 2 of Archiving Bodies) can such a manual inspection be avoided. Any more advanced Archiving Body will have to recover the associated labour costs.

Important when negotiating with an Archiving Body are Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). If for example the IPR for data is held by the client of a geophysical contractor deposition of an Archive may require explicit permission of the client. Similarly, decisions will have to be made about data confidentiality if an Archiving Body makes data publicly accessible (type 4). An Archiving Body will usually address all these issues in its deposition policies.