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Oxford Text Archive

Title of Service: Oxford Text Archive

Status of Document: This document presents the general responsibilities of the Oxford Text Archive in providing repository services relating to literary and linguistic datasets to support the advanced use of ICT in teaching, learning and research to Oxford University.

1. Introduction

1.1 The Oxford Text Archive (OTA) accepts deposits of digital literary and linguistic datasets.

1.2 The OTA catalogues the datasets according to accepted international standards, and makes the catalogue information freely available online to users and to resource discovery services.

1.3 The OTA makes the textual resources deposited in the archive available online for research and educational use.

1.4 The OTA services contribute to the digital research infrastructure, and aims to be a key component in the distributed network of datasets, services, tools, and support operations which facilitate the research community’s discovery of, and access to, literary and linguistic resources. A more effective infrastructure will lower the barriers to embarking on research computing, and make new forms of research possible.

1.5 The OTA participates in numerous externally-funded projects and services which contribute to supporting research. Each grant-funded project or service is governed by its own service-level description or project plan agreed with the funding body. Oxford University benefits from the development of expertise and experience in dealing with research computing in numerous communities.

2. Summary of OTA’s responsibilities

Summary of services

2.1 Electronic texts, language corpora and other digital literary and linguistic resources are made available to users with a minimum of administrative hindrances, respecting legal and ethical restrictions on the distribution or use.

2.2 The OTA carries out the cataloguing, curation and long-term preservation of electronic texts, language corpora and other digital literary and linguistic resources.

2.3 The OTA develops and maintains the connection of archive collections to relevant infrastructure services, for example for resource discovery, and for web services to access to the content of resources.

2.4 Resources which are accepted for deposit which comply with the guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative will be made available online in the following ways:

  • TEI, Dublin Core and OLAC metadata made available via OAI-PMH;
  • Texts made available under a relevant Creative Commons licence in the following formats: XML; HTML; ePub; mobi (Kindle); plain text.

2.4 The OTA seeks, on a best efforts basis, to prevent contraventions of the user licences

2.5 Email queries sent to will receive an initial response within one working day. An initial consultancy meeting will be offered free of charge to users who are full members of the University of Oxford if this is requested, and is considered reasonable and necessary. Requests for detailed advice or consultancy will be responded to on a reasonable efforts basis.

2.6 Externally-funded services with a remit wider that the University comply with project plans or service-level descriptions agreed with the funding body. At the time of writing, active projects and services involving the OTA:

  • CLARIN: a pan-European research infrastructure of language resources and technologies
  • British National Corpus;
  • Text Encoding Initiative.

Services associated with these projects are available to members of the University on the same basis as to members of other Universities.

3. Summary of client’s responsibilities

3.1 Users of resources downloaded from the OTA are expected to abide by the user licence agreement associated with the resource.

3.2 Users who deposit resources with the OTA are expected to agree to and abide by the terms of the OTA Deposit Licence.

3.3 Users of the OTA and other services are expected to abide by the University IT Regulations and to comply with any relevant legislation.

3.4 Users of OTA services are requested to share their knowledge and expertise and experiences to facilitate the building of capacity and shared infrastructure in the University and beyond, where this is relevant, and in so far as is reasonable.

3.5 Users who are applying for grant funding for a project which will create a resource to be deposited in the OTA are expected to apply for funding to cover the costs of deposit.

4. Premium Services

4.1 After free initial advice and a short consultancy session, IT Services will charge for significant effort in planning, carrying out or sustaining research activity.

4.2 IT Services welcomes approaches to be a partner in research projects led by University departments. The costing of participation in any such project must be agreed before any proposal is submitted to a funding body and will be undertaken in accordance with the University's policies on the costing and submission of research grant proposals.

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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 2 October 2014