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Frequently Asked Questions about eVols
University of Hawaii at Manoa Library



Content and Copyright

What kind of content can I add to eVols?

eVols accepts many different digital formats. Some of these are

  • Documents, such as articles, preprints, working papers, technical reports, or conference papers
  • Books
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Data Sets
  • Multimedia publications
  • Images
  • Audio Files
  • Video Files
  • Web pages

Who can add content to eVols?

Any University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) faculty member or researcher can add content to eVols. Content must be added to a Community that exists or into a new Community. Departments, Labs, Centers and other UHM units can also establish Communities in DSpace. See What is a DSpace Community for more information.

Working within eVols

What is a eVols Community?

A eVols Community is an administrative unit at UHM that produces research, has a defined leader, has long-term stability, and can assume responsibility for setting Community policies. Each community must be able to assign a coordinator who can work with eVols staff. See full information under Community and Collections Policies.

Each Community can contain one or more collections. Communities can also contain sub-communities, which in turn house collections.


How does eVols preserve digital material?

eVols identifies two levels of digital preservation: bit preservation, and functional preservation. Bit preservation ensures that a file remains exactly the same over time - not a single bit is changed - while the physical media evolve around it. Functional preservation goes further: the file does change over time so that the material continues to be immediately usable in the same way it was originally while the digital formats (and the physical media) evolve over time. Some file formats can be functionally preserved using straightforward format migration (e.g., TIFF images or XML documents). Other formats are proprietary, or for other reasons are much harder to preserve functionally.

At UHM, for the time being, we acknowledge the fact we cannot predict or control the formats in which faculty and researchers create their research materials. Faculty use the tools that are best for their purposes, and we will get whatever formats those tools produce. Because of this we've defined three levels of preservation for a given format: supported, known, or unsupported.

  • Supported formats will be functionally preserved using either format migration or emulation techniques.
  • Known formats are those that we can't promise to preserve (e.g., proprietary or binary formats) but which are so popular that we believe third party migration tools will emerge to help with format migration.
  • Unsupported formats are those that we don't know enough about to do any sort of functional preservation.

For all three levels we will do bit-level preservation so that "digital archaeologists" of the future will have the raw material to work with if the material proves to be worth that effort.


Contact your Community's eVols administrator or write if you have questions about eVols policies.


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Appreciation is given to the University of Oregon and Massachusetts Institute of Technology for providing some of the information on these pages.

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