These resources are all free and can be used by Sussex academics to support research. The Digital Development Team in the library use these digital tools to support researchers in managing and preserving their research data. These tools are also used by Library Special Collections to preserve their digital archives.
- Figshare uploader
This application enables the bulk upload of files and metadata held in an external spreadsheet to the Figshare repository. The uploader can be used to upload files and metadata to the Sussex Figshare repository or any other Figshare repository including Figshare.com and institutional repositories.
This tool is useful for researchers who have created a catalogue of digital resources, negating the need to manually input catalogue records individualy in Figshare.
All instructions on how to use the uploader are included in the github repository linked in the below Figshare record
It is a manual tool that allows you to record your browsing session. You press a record button and browse a website as you would normally. Conifer then allows you to play back your session in a non-linear way and to engage with the site as it existed.
You can use conifer to:
- See how a website changes over time
- Capture your own website
- Capture a one off event on a website
- Capture a website that is being decomissioned
- Analyse several websites on a particular day relating to a particular event
The slides linked below are from a library teaching session that cover the basics of how to use Conifer.
Conifer session slides [PPTX 12.02MB]
- Open Journal Systems
Open Journal Systems (OJS) is an open source publishing platform enabling Sussex researchers to establish open online journals. OJS supports a full range of publishing and editorial workflows and is supported by ITS and the Library.
Contact research support in the Library to set up your journal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DROID is a tool developed by The National Archives that can help to profile digital collections, identify file formats and file sizes, and capture last modified dates. It can also help to identify duplicate files in any folder including nested folders.
Special Collections in the Library uses this tool to profile their digital collections to analyse the size of the archive, preserve folder structures and identify the amount of particular file formats. This enables them to determine digital preservation priorities in the future.
This tool could be useful to academics who need to analyse large datasets.
The National Archives offer advice and guidance on how to use DROID.
HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. It is based on the open source tool FFmpeg and is recommended for anyone not familiar with using the command line. It is best used to rip unprotected DVDs and Bluerays for personal or research use.
Special Collections in the Library have used Handbrake to capture collections donated on DVDs/Cds to create access copies of the content. It can be used in conjunction with FTK imager to preserve digital objects on optical disks and to make them available.
Handbrake shouldn't be used for digital preservation purposes on its own. This is because it re-encodes the video during every video conversion. FFmpeg can be used to convert video without re-encoding. Handbrake also can't be used to preserve the menus of DVD - you should use a tool like FTKImager for that purpose.
See this quick start guide to get up and running with Handbrake.
- FTK imager
FTK Imager is part of the Forensic Toolkit developed by Exterro. It is a data preview and imaging tool that can create perfect copies of data on storage devices without making changes to the original content. It is used by legal forensic professionals and archivists to ensure the original media is not damaged allowing the data to be processed and analysed safely.
FTK imager can also be used to view the original data exactly as the user saw it on the storage device and to recover files that have been deleted from the Recycle Bin.
- Checksum by Corz
Checksum is a tool that can verify if a file has been intentionally or unintentionally changed. It does this by creating and checking an alphanumeric string known as a hash or checksum. A checksum is like a digital fingerprint that will change if any changes are made to a file.
Checksum can be used to:
- Verify if a file has been transferred intact from a content owner.
- Verify if a file has been changed whilst in storage.
- Verify if a file has been moved intact from storage to the user of the content.
For more information about checksums see the Digital Preservation Handbook compiled by the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC)
The DPC have written a guide and video explaining how to use Checksum.
Bagger is a graphical user interface to package a group of data files together according to the BagIt specification. The BagIt specification, developed by the Library of Congress is a set of hierarchical file layout conventions to store and transfer digital content in digital containers called ‘bags’.
Archives use Bagger to store their digital collections in 'bags' in storage systems which allows them to keep metadata together with the files.
Read more about the BagIt Specification and bags in the Community Owned digital Preservation Tool Registry (COPTR)
Read this DPC blog post for a guide on using Bagger
Read how the Wellcome Library are using Bagger in an ingenious way to create versioning in their bags.
If you have any questions or need any help using any of these tools, email the Digital Development Team in the Library at: