Our policy is intended to fulfill the following objectives:

  • ensure that a consistent set of practices is followed for the collection of web content;
  • clarify the responsibilities of those nominating web content for collection; and
  • provide context and recourse to web content owners whose content may be nominated for collection, currently being collected, and/or represented in an archival replay interface.

We will obey website-specific instructions concerning archiving, whether expressed in machine-readable format using the robots exclusion standard or in reasonably discoverable human-readable text. In cases where these directives would prevent the archiving of content, we will seek permission from the content owner before proceeding.

We will make a reasonable effort to notify content owners of our intent to archive and publicly re-present their web content after a six-month embargo. The standard notification message and this website link to a contact form through which they may opt-out of collection and/or public archival re-presentation of their web content. Content owners may alternatively request that access to archived versions of their content be disabled through Stanford University's form for Reporting Alleged Copyright Infringement.

Specific categories of web content are not subject to the notification and public access embargo requirements: United States Federal Government, stanford.edu-hosted, public domain, open copyright license, and content governed by individual agreements. We may also collect content not falling into these excepted categories without first notifying the content owner if the content is deemed "at-risk." A subsequent notification is still required before public access will be enabled.

We will obtain signed Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act releases before archiving web content that reflects the product of student course work.

We will collect only professional or corporate social media account content. All other instances will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

This policy is informed by the 2011-2012, 2013-2014, and 2016-2017 National Digital Stewardship Alliance Web Archiving Survey Reports, the Association of Research Libraries Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in Academic and Research Libraries, the Section 108 Study Group Report, and consultations with peer institutions engaged in web archiving, and is subject to ongoing revision based on evolving community standards, legal context, and the changing Web.