Safe and sustainable transport for rural communities
Safe and sustainable transport for rural communities

The following public facing Rural Access Library policies are included in this document

  1. Content Policy
  2. Data and Metadata Policies
  3. Submission Policy
  4. Preservation Policy
  5. Take-down Policy
  6. Copyright and Liability Statement
  7. Systems Policy
  8. Open Access Policy

1. Content Policy

The Rural Access Library (RAL) contains:
Knowledge and Research generated by: 

  • ReCAP (Research for Community Access Partnership)
  • AFCAP1 (Africa Community Access Partnership, Phase I)
  • SEACAP (South East Asia Community Access Project)
  • As well as other relevant resources from other sources

Where possible a full-text download of each knowledge item is provided. In a very few cases a metadata-only entry is included to provide a record of the research output. Knowledge items in RAL include, but are not limited to: technical reports; research papers; blog posts; newsletters; milestone/progress reports; journal articles; book chapters and sections; conference papers; and presentations, workshop reports and training materials.
Most of the knowledge items in the library are in English, with a number of items available in French, Lao, Vietnamese, Khmer (Cambodian), Portuguese and Spanish.

2.  Data and Metadata Policies

These policies pertain to the full-text and other datasets of the knowledge items hereby termed full data items in the following text.

2.1 Data policy

Commercial re-use of full data items is permitted.

Access to some or all full items is controlled.

Copies of full items generally can be:

  • Reproduced, displayed or performed, given to third parties, and stored in a database in any format or medium
  • for personal research or study, educational, not-for-profit, or commercial purposes without prior permission or charge
  • Provided:
    • the authors, title and full bibliographic details are given
    • a hyperlink and/or URL are given for the original metadata page
    • the original copyright statement is given
    • the original rights permission statement is given
  • Full items must not be harvested by robots except transiently for full-text indexing or citation analysis. 
  • Some full items are individually tagged with different rights permissions and conditions.
  • This library is not the publisher; it is merely the online archive. 

Mention of the library is appreciated but not mandatory.

2.2 Policy for information describing items in the library

Anyone may access the metadata free of charge.

The metadata may be re-used in any medium without prior permission for not-for-profit purposes and re-sold commercially provided the OAI Identifier or a link to the original metadata record are given.

3.  Submission Policy

Knowledge items are deposited by the author or his/her delegate, and are subject to final checking and amendment by ReCAP staff before being made publicly available.

  • The administrator only vets knowledge items for the eligibility of authors/depositors, relevance to the scope of the library, valid layout & format, and the exclusion of spam.
  • The validity and authenticity of the content of submissions is the sole responsibility of the depositor.
  • Knowledge items can be deposited at any time, but will not be made publicly visible until any publishers' or funders' embargo period has expired.
  • Any copyright violations are entirely the responsibility of the authors/depositors.
  • If the library receives proof of copyright violation, the relevant knowledge item will be removed immediately.

In some cases knowledge items may be directly deposited by ReCAP staff, with the agreement of the copyright holder where applicable.

4.  Preservation Policy

Knowledge items and the full-text uploaded to RAL will be retained indefinitely. ReCAP will aim to ensure continued readability and accessibility. Knowledge items will be migrated to new file formats where necessary. It may not be possible, however, to guarantee the readability of some unusual file formats. The library regularly backs up its files according to current best practice. The original bitstream is retained for all items, in addition to any upgraded formats. Items are allocated a checksum to facilitate the detection of alterations.
In the event of the library being closed down, the database will be transferred to another appropriate archive. Knowledge items may not normally be removed from the RAL, see the take-down policy for exceptions.

5.  Take-down Policy

Knowledge items included in the RAL must be cleared for inclusion by the copyright holder and must comply with any existing licence terms. The depositing author or his/her delegate confirms this clearance with their acceptance of the Distribution Licence, and ReCAP staff will perform additional checks before a knowledge item is made publicly available. The depositing author/delegate is responsible for ensuring that their knowledge item is otherwise legally suitable for dissemination.
Valid reasons for withdrawal of a knowledge item include:

On receipt of a complaint the following actions will be taken:

  1. The ReCAP team will return an acknowledgement in writing that the complaint has been received and make an initial judgement as to the validity of the complaint.
  2. If the complaint is judged to warrant further investigation, the knowledge item in question will be withdrawn from public view within 48 hours of receiving the complaint. Complaints sent on a non-working day (weekends, public holidays and other closure days) will be treated as being received on the next working day.
  3. The complaint will then be reviewed by the ReCAP team (together with Cardno management where necessary). If the grounds for the complaint are found to be plausible, the full-text of the knowledge item in question will be removed from the RAL. In most cases the metadata will NOT be removed, and a note will be supplied giving reasons for withdrawal of the content. If the complaint concerns the breaking of an embargo, the content will be suppressed for the specified embargo period.
  4. The complainant and the author will be informed of the outcome.

Withdrawn knowledge items are not deleted per se, but are removed from public view and withdrawn knowledge items' identifiers/URLs are retained indefinitely. URLs will continue to point to 'tombstone' citations, to avoid broken links and to retain knowledge item histories, with:

  • A link to a replacement version, where available.
  • A note explaining the reasons for withdrawal

Errata and corrigenda lists may be included with the original record if required and If necessary, an updated version may be deposited:

  • The earlier version may be withdrawn from public view.
  • There will be links between earlier and later versions, with the most recent version clearly identified.

6.  Copyright and Liability Statement

6.1        Copyright statement

All hosted knowledge items are presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright unless otherwise stated, for example by a Creative Commons Licence. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

6.2        Liability statement

The RAL contains knowledge items submitted by, and on behalf of, members of ReCAP; ReCAP, AfCAP, SEACAP grantees; and partners. The maintainers of the library explicitly disclaim to the extent permitted by law any responsibility for the accuracy, content, or availability of information located through use of the library, or for any damage incurred owing to use of the information contained therein.

7.  Systems Policy

  • The RAL is guaranteed to be online 99% of the time, and usable on all devices (including mobile).
  • The RAL will ensure that the technology used to host and manage the collection is kept up to date and monitor security vulnerabilities and security patches, the press, security alert services such United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)[1] and others for an alerts and advice.
  • Backups of the database, configuration files and asset store are taken periodically and the restore process tested.
  • The RAL will endeavour to make sure to respond to any bugs reported to ReCAP within 2 working days from receiving the report.

8.  Open Access Policy

The Research for Community Access Partnership (ReCAP) is committed to :

  • enabling good practice in generating an evidence base of low volume rural road and transport services knowledge;
  • sharing the knowledge as widely as possible;
  • supporting its members (and any partner organisations) in making their work available as Open Access.

The benefits of increased access include broader reach and impact worldwide, especially in Southern countries, and fostering collaboration with peers. The image below demonstrates some of the benefits of Open Access.
ReCAP recommends that members (with any partner organisations) publish through gold Open Access where feasible but that the green option is also acceptable where necessary.

ReCAP supports the use of Creative Commons licences as appropriate to the published piece and the research funder’s provisions, and always subject to proper attribution.

All published outputs by ReCAP members (and any partner organisations) are required to be deposited in the Rural Access Library – RAL – at appropriate times according to any publisher and funder embargoes.

ReCAP will ensure that any special allocations from funders towards gold Open Access publishing will be suitably managed to cover any Article Processing Charges from journal publishers.

ReCAP members (and any partner organisations) are not deterred from publishing in journals of their choice, even if those journals do not currently support Open Access, if the paper is not emanating from ReCAP research.

This policy applies to peer-reviewed journals, technical reports, research papers, newsletters, milestone reports, presentation, books and book chapters, conference proceedings, grey literature and other media such as photographs, video and audio material, and website and blog content.

This Open Access Policy does not cover datasets, however should there be a requirement by the funder to make dataset available, then they should be deposited in an appropriate repository as may be recommended by ReCAP or the funder and a record of the metadata must be recorded in RAL with a URL pointing to the location of the dataset.

This policy, published in January, 2020, will be reviewed regularly in order to respond to any changes in Open Access policy by funders and other external organisations. Implementation and evolution will be ongoing until the end of the project funding in 2020.


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