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ARCHIVED - Electronic Collection
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This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Legal Deposit of Online Publications

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Is it mandatory to send copies of my online publications to Legal Deposit?

The Library and Archives of Canada Act (2004) (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showtdm/cs/L-7.7//en/en) is a federal statute of Canada that mandates and legally empowers Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to collect and preserve the nation's published heritage.

On January 1, 2007 legal deposit was extended to online or Internet publications. All Canadian publishers are required to deposit copies of their online publications with Library and Archives Canada (LAC), according to the Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/SOR-2006-337/index.html).

For information on legal deposit, refer to the Legal Deposit website. Please also consult the section on which online publications should be deposited?

Who should deposit?

Legal deposit applies to all publishers in Canada.

A "publisher" is defined broadly in the Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/SOR-2006-337/index.html) as "a person who makes a publication available in Canada and is either authorized to reproduce the content or has control over the content. It does not include a person who only distributes a publication".

This includes individuals, self-publishers, associations, publishers of audio, video, and multimedia materials, trade and periodical publishers, and federal government departments and agencies.

Which online publications should be deposited?

Not all online materials fall within the scope of legal deposit. Online publications submitted to Legal Deposit should have a distinct title, a specific author or authoring body, a specific publication date, be intended for public use, and be publically-available (e.g., on the Internet or through a distribution list).

For example, the types of online publications that should be deposited are:

  • Books (monographs)
  • Serials (journals, periodicals, newsletters, magazines)
  • Annual reports; research and working papers made available to public

Publishers must provide the complete publication at the time of deposit. LAC does not accept incomplete publications such as abstracts, summaries, or tables of contents without the complete articles, or advertisements that serve only as a description of a complete publication.

What should not be deposited?

Library and Archives Canada reserves the right to exclude certain materials from legal deposit. Types of online publications that are not collected through Legal Deposit include:

  • Unpublished manuscripts; materials not formally published
  • Blank materials (stationery, agendas, notebooks, forms, calendars, etc.)
  • Abstracts, summaries, or tables of contents without the complete publication
  • Newsletters, alerts, bulletins etc. comprised only of hyperlinks
  • Databases or web-based applications
  • Private email correspondence
  • Press releases
  • Advertisements
  • Schedules
  • Portals

If my publication is published in both electronic and print versions, do I need to send Library and Archives Canada copies in both formats?

According to section 10.4 of the Library and Archives of Canada Act (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/ShowDoc/cs/L-7.7/bo-ga:s_10::bo-ga:s_11/eng?page=3&isPrinting=false#codese:10-ss:_4_) "every version, edition or form of a publication shall be considered a distinct publication.

Therefore if an online document is published in multiple file formats (such as HTML, PDF and RTF), all file formats are required for deposit at LAC.

For information regarding legal deposit of publications that are not published online, please refer to the Legal Deposit website.

Which file formats should be deposited?

According to section 10.4 of Library and Archives of Canada Act (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/ShowDoc/cs/L-7.7/bo-ga:s_10::bo-ga:s_11/eng?page=3&isPrinting=false#codese:10-ss:_4_) every version, edition or form of a publication shall be considered a distinct publication".

Therefore if an online document is published in multiple file formats (such as HTML, PDF and RTF), all file formats are required for deposit at LAC.

How do I deposit online publications?

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) offers the following options for submitting your online publications:

  • Via LAC's web submission form (for single files, which are 200 MB or less)
  • Email (mainly for periodicals)
  • FTP (for a large quantity of files)
  • By post, via CD Rom and other storage devices (only one copy is required and it is not returned to the publisher)

To make arrangements to send your publications by email, FTP or by post, please contact LAC's Electronic Acquisitions within the Published Heritage Digital Office at the following email address: epe@bac-lac.gc.ca. When sending a message to the Digital Office, always indicate the URL of the publication, the title, publisher's name, email address and any other relevant information.

How do I deposit an HTML publication?

HTML publications usually consist of multiple files. In order to be easily transferable to LAC and identifiable for archiving, they may be compressed into a single file for ease of deposit.

HTML publications must also remain operational once archived. To meet these criteria:

  • All files and sub-directories that constitute the publication must be contained in a single root directory.
  • Relative URLs must be used within the hypertext links, for example: (../images/flowers.gif; images/flowers.gif; flowers.gif).
  • Absolute URLs must only be used for hypertext links which refer to resources outside the publication, for example: www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services/legal-deposit/Pages/legal-deposit.aspx
  • File or directory names must not contain spaces, accented letters (e.g.;é, î, ô) or special characters (e.g.; ; , : ? &.)

Adequate operability of the HTML publication is the responsibility of the publisher. LAC does not guarantee re-construction of faulty HTML publications and reserves the right to reject deposited HTML publications that do not meet these criteria.

Send HTML publications by one of the methods outlined in the How do I deposit online publications? section.

If you have any questions about submitting HTML publications, please contact LAC's Published Heritage Digital Office at the following email address: epe@bac-lac.gc.ca. When sending a message to the Digital Office, always indicate the URL of the publication, the title, publisher's name, email address and any other relevant information.

What happens after a publication has been deposited?

Once an online publication has been deposited and processed at Library and Archives Canada it is archived on a LAC server, and added to LAC's Electronic Collection. A bibliographic record will be created and made available in AMICUS, LAC's online catalogue, to promote awareness of the publication.

Will my publication be available to the public?

Currently LAC offers publishers a choice of two types of access levels for their online publications in our Electronic Collection: open access and restricted access. Publishers need to select one of these access options.

With open access anyone can view and download the publication through the Internet. Whenever possible we ask publishers to select the open access option.

With restricted access (usually for priced publications) publications are viewable by the public only at selected terminals at LAC's main building in Ottawa. It is not possible to print, download, or transfer files from these restricted access terminals.

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