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EdShare – Repository preservation objectives

EdShare logo
Background to EdShare
EdShare is a resource for collaboration and sharing of materials used in teaching and learning at the University of Southampton.  EdShare is based on the successful EPrints software and was developed in the EdSpace Project at the University of Southampton.

The resource has been created for teachers and other staff, who are involved in supporting students in their learning, to organise, manage, share and collaborate on the everday resources that they use in their teaching. 

EdShare enables the entire University community to make resources visible to colleagues and students across the University and the World.  These resources may be very simple in format – Powerpoint presentations, Word documents and PDF files – or they may be more complex learning objects combining a range of file formats.

EdShare is at:

EdShare provides a safe, secure and persistent URL for the learning and teaching resources of the whole University community deposited in its shares.   This EdShare approach requires that we engage actively with the issues of digital preservation which are particularly relevant to the growing community for learning and teaching repositories.

EdShare objectives in KeepIt:

Objective 1
to define the preservation needs of the most prevalent file types and formats for learning and teaching
. These resources typically use a very broad range of file formats, with some potentially very complex varieties; the “significant properties” aspect of specific software applications may override all other considerations for some teachers – what might the impact of this be for EdShare?  In practical terms, it is difficult to anticipate anything approaching completeness for preservation of all file formats, but we should aim to address concerns for the most common and most deposited formats.

Objective 2
to explore and understand the concerns, in preservation terms, of people who add content to EdShare
.  What are the lessons and implications for the growing community of learning and teaching respositories?

Objective 3
to explore and understand institutional concerns and policies in the realm of preservation of learning and teaching resources.
The institutionally-focused aspect of EdShare leads us to be concerned about significant institutional aspects of: document retention policies, legal and contractual obligations and responsibilities, as well as consistency with other repository policies across the institution.

Objective 4
to understand the relationship between the responsibilities of EdShare and the responsibilities of the creator of the content being added to EdShare
.  In many ways the burden of preservation being placed at the door of the sharing, organising and managing tool is a distraction from the appropriate, and rightful responsibility that all teachers and content creators have to ensure the preservation of their own materials.

Debra Morris
September 2009

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