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Distributed digital preservation occurs when functions such as storing and maintaining data, description and management of digital collections, and access services are performed in coordinated ways across several institutions. Distributed digital preservation has several notable advantages over preservation undertaken by a single institution, wherein one organization is responsible for every aspect of content storage, description, collection management, and access services.
Distributed digital preservation is able to achieve economies of scale, for example. It is premised on the leveraging of expertise across a variety of technical and content domain experts. As a result, in such a system there is no single point of failure. That said, to be successful this approach requires explicit commitments by participating institutions with respect to roles and responsibilities.