The repository shall have an appropriate succession plan, contingency plans, and/or escrow arrangements in place in case the repository ceases to operate or the governing or funding institution substantially changes its scope.

This is necessary in order to preserve the information content entrusted to the repository by handing it on to another custodian in the case that the repository ceases to operate.

Written and credible succession and contingency plan(s); explicit and specific statement documenting the intent to ensure continuity of the repository, and the steps taken and to be taken to ensure continuity; escrow of critical code, software, and metadata sufficient to enable reconstitution of the repository and its content in the event of repository failure; escrow and/or reserve funds set aside for contingencies; explicit agreements with successor organizations documenting the measures to be taken to ensure the complete and formal transfer of responsibility for the repository’s digital content and related assets, and granting the requisite rights necessary to ensure continuity of the content and repository services.

A repository’s failure threatens the long-term sustainability of a repository’s information content. It is not sufficient for the repository to have an informal plan or policy regarding where its data goes should a failure occur. A formal plan with identified procedures needs to be in place.

Governance Manual:

ARTICLE X: Dissolution

Upon dissolution of APTrust, the assets shall be applied and distributed as follows:

  1. All liabilities and obligations shall be paid, satisfied, and discharged, or adequate provision shall be made therefor.
  2. The term “assets” in this section does not include the digital content deposited with APTrust, whose disposition is determined by relevant deposit agreements.
  3. Assets held by APTrust upon condition requiring return, transfer, or conveyance, which condition occurs by reason of the dissolution, shall be returned, transferred, or conveyed in accordance with such requirements.
  4. Assets received and held by APTrust subject to limitations permitting their use only for educational, scientific, or similar purposes, but not held upon a condition requiring return, transfer, or conveyance by reason of the dissolution, shall be transferred or conveyed to one or more organizations exempt from income tax such as those organization described in section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code, having and pursuing purposes substantially similar to those of the APTrust, pursuant to a duly adopted plan of distribution.
  5. Any remaining assets shall be distributed to one or more organizations exempt from income tax such as organizations described in section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code for any one or more literary, educational, or scientific purpose or purposes, or to the federal government, or to a state of local government, for a public purpose, pursuant to a duly adopted plan of distribution, or by a court to one or more such organizations to be used in such manner as in the judgment of the court will best accomplish the purposes for which APTrust was organized.

APTrust Sustaining Member Deposit Agreement:

  • Succession Plans
    • Rights related to Deposit
      • As noted above, Depositors hold responsibility for all all ownership, usage, intellectual property, and other rights to the Deposit. If for any reason Depositor cannot fulfill those responsibilities, Depositor must notify the APTrust and terminate this Agreement unless other arrangements are made to the satisfaction of the APTrust.
    • APTrust organizational succession plan
      • The University of Virginia Library manages and operates the APTrust on behalf of the Sustaining Members in a spirit of openness and transparency. If for any reason the University of Virginia Library becomes unable to continue to manage and operate the APTrust, the Library will notify the APTrust Board and provide the Board with a transition plan to be accomplished fourteen months before the end of its service. If the Board is unable to agree on a transition plan, the University of Virginia will inform Depositors ten months before the University’s last day of responsibility for the APTrust that their Deposits must be removed or deleted from the APTrust’s storage environment by that last day, or the APTrust will be authorized to delete those Deposits itself.

Academic Preservation Trust Succession Policy, Version 1.0:

This policy outlines the reserve fund and financial review, dissolution by the governing board, change in affiliation with the University of Virginia Library, and the process of converting to a direct relationship with a third-party storage provider, as well as the succession plans described above.