SOAS University of London

Access Protocol: Information for Depositors

See also: ELAR’s Protocols for Access Management | Managing Access Protocol

ELAR recognises that some endangered languages materials can be associated with sensitivities and thus can require controlled access. ELAR provides a comprehensive Access Protocol System enabling depositors to select, manage and update access to their materials.

It is a key duty of language documenters and depositors to find out from language speakers and consultants any sensitivities and restrictions on the sharing of materials and how these should be implemented as access restrictions. By providing secure restriction on access where it is required, ELAR aims to provide documenters, speakers and consultants with the confidence to make as much data as possible openly accessible. As a depositor, you can at any time set and change the access restrictions on part or all of your deposit, or on individual files in your deposit.

While depositors need to respect restrictions required by language speakers or communities, ELAR prefers as much material as possible to be openly accessible (i.e. coded as ‘U’ in ELAR’s scheme, see below). If much of your deposit needs to be in controlled access, please identify at least some resources that can be freely viewed by all ELAR users.

ELAR archives materials of all access levels from ELDP grantees, but if you are not depositing as an ELDP grantee, ELAR strongly prefers to archive materials where the majority of files are openly accessible (‘U’).

Summary of Access protocol values

  • O – any visitor of the archive can access and view resources, registration is not required
  • U – only registered Users of ELAR, who have agreed to the Terms and Conditions of ELAR, can access and view resources
  • S - only Subscribers, that is registered ELAR users who have specifically requested and been granted access to the resources by the depositor or the depositor’s delegate, can access and view resources

User registration is free and automatic; see ELAR’s registration page.

See the Access Protocol page for further details of the categories.

Note that ELAR does not hold so-called ‘dark records’; the existence of files is always indicated in the catalogue (via metadata), even when access to those files is restricted.

Expressing and managing Access protocol values

In general, specify the access protocol value for each file in the metadata that you provide to ELAR when depositing. It is important that file-level protocol is clear and accessible to ELAR staff so that ELAR can implement it. If a single protocol value applies to the whole of the deposit, depositors can simply note this in communications with ELAR or in a note that accompanies the deposit, such as a ‘readme’ file. In addition, depositors can manage access at any time using ELAR’s Online Protocol Management.