Digital Media Policy

Digital media associated with Arctos catalog records may be stored in any web-accessible location, but all Arctos Member collections have access to web-accessible digital media storage under the Arctos Project Allocation on Corral at TACC. 

This policy addresses the Arctos Consortium approach to the storage, retrieval, and disposal of digital media in the Arctos Project Allocation on the storage and data management resource (Corral) at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). For the purposes of this document, digital media refers to media as defined in the Arctos Handbook. This documentation covers Arctos digital media that are stored at and hosted by TACC through the Arctos Project Allocation (generally understood to contain “utexas.edu” in the web address of the digital media). 

Arctos Project Allocation at TACC 

The Arctos Project Allocation is the digital media storage capacity negotiated between the Arctos Consortium and TACC for digital media storage available to all Arctos collections. It does not include any separate agreements negotiated directly between Arctos member institutions and TACC. Each Arctos member institution is granted access to this shared allocation to the Arctos Consortium. This capacity can be changed or updated by mutual agreement between the Arctos Consortium and TACC. All digital media in the Arctos Project Allocation are publicly available online regardless whether links are publicly accessible, and thus sensitive digital media should not be stored there.

Additional Media Storage at TACC

If a member institution requires more than what is available in the collection’s share of the Arctos Project Allocation, the member institution may discuss and negotiate costs directly with TACC for additional storage.

Delegation of Authority for System Access

As of June 2020, access to storage folders and media files are assigned to individual users, not to institutions. Only users with appropriate permissions can write directly to the Arctos Project Allocation directory and direct access to the TACC storage is mediated by TACC security procedures (e.g., a registered user account, two-factor authentication, VPN, etc). These  users are responsible for any file structure and the contained files uploaded to their user directory. For example, a registered TACC user who creates a subdirectory within a folder will have sole edit access to that subdirectory and all its contents. Collection administrators should be aware of this limitation. Users who need write access to the Arctos Project Allocation need to follow the steps outlined in the procedures for requesting a directory structure in the Arctos Project Allocation and adhere to the TACC Usage Policy. The user is responsible for coordinating with their collection so it adheres to any collection policy. TACC and Arctos are not responsible for member institution or collection-level policies about digital media access. Should media need to be deleted from the TACC allocation (e.g., deaccessioned or erroneous media), a request can be submitted to the Arctos officers by an authorized representative of the member institution to permit the database administrator to permanently remove the relevant files. Further, by storing media here, users permit the Arctos database administrator to manage accounts and access in the case of collection staff turnover and/or nonresponsiveness; every effort will be made to have account holders be the primary managers of the digital media in their accounts but sometimes database administrators are required to make management decisions for the Arctos project, especially if related to security.

Usage Policy 

All Arctos Member Collections are expected to follow the TACC Corral Usage Policy. In addition, digital media stored at TACC are expected to directly support or enhance Arctos records. Digital media without a Media Relationship will be reviewed periodically by the Arctos Working Group with input from the contributing collection, and may be removed from the Arctos Project Allocation if there are no imminent plans to relate the digital media directly to Arctos data. Files loaded to the Arctos Project Allocation at TACC and linked to Arctos records should be considered to be archived in perpetuity. Unlinked files may be removed by Arctos scripts.

Data Retention

See the TACC Corral Data Retention Policy. Digital media in the Arctos Project Allocation that include a Media Relationship should not be moved or removed as doing so will result in broken media links. Collections that elect to remove their data from Arctos will be given the opportunity to remove their digital media from the Arctos Project Allocation. Any remaining digital media without a Media Relationship will be reviewed and removed as above.

Failure to make an annual financial contribution to the Arctos Consortium, per the member’s MOU, may result in loss of access to the Arctos Project Allocation; however, all digital media will continue to remain accessible as long as it remains linked to Arctos data items. 

Key Points

In summary:

  1. Arctos database has media storage in an Arctos Project allocation at TACC that is available as a shared resource. Institutions may negotiate for a separate allocation directly with TACC and are responsible for any associated fees.
  2. TACC controls access to the Arctos storage of digital media and general usage policy. Users agree to their Usage and Data Retention Policies.
  3. Member institutions acknowledge and agree that Arctos database administrators retain direct access to all media within the Arctos project especially in the case of collection staff turnover and legacy files.
  4. Ultimately, media policy, file organization, and access are the responsibility of the member institution and collection. Collection administrators should be aware of the access limitations.