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Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries

Depositing electronic publications

The British Library and other legal deposit libraries are entitled by law to collect UK-published material that is protected by password or behind a login facility by harvesting, subject to giving at least one month's written notice for the publisher to provide a password or access credentials.

Alternatively, by mutual agreement, a publisher and deposit library may decide to use another deposit method such as publisher delivery.


What do I need to do as a publisher?

Nothing yet. If you already deposit printed publications, please continue to do so until the British Library or another legal deposit library contacts you.


What formats should be deposited?

For works published in both print and non-print media which are substantially the same, only one medium is subject to deposit; a publisher should continue depositing print, until both the publisher and the deposit libraries mutually agree to transfer to depositing electronically.

For electronic publications published in more than one digital format, it may be necessary to agree which digital format should be deposited. Common accepted formats include XML, HTML, SGML, PDF, EPub, Microsoft Word and RTF.


What options are available for delivering content to the legal deposit libraries?

Options include:


Do I need to deposit metadata?

A publisher must also deliver a copy of any computer programs, tools, manuals and information?such as metadata, login details, and a means of removing individual DRM technical protection measures?that are necessary for using and preserving the publication. The deposit libraries have separate security arrangements restricting the use of deposited material to just those activities that are permitted by the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013.


What do new start-up companies and micro-businesses need to do?

Until 31 March 2014, micro-businesses of fewer than 10 employees and new start-up businesses are exempt from the non-print regulations that require a publisher to deposit offline publications or to provide a password for library harvesting of protected material.


Find out more about:


For further details please contact:

Digital Processing Team
The British Library
Boston Spa
West Yorkshire
LS23 7BY

Tel: +44 (0)1937 546060 (Customer Services)


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Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries is a registered Scottish charity: Scottish charity number: SC040300
Company Registration Number: SC348650