Working Together to Ensure the Future of the Digital Scholarly Record

EDINA and the ISSN International Centre are pleased to announce the publication of:

Working Together to Ensure the Future of the Digital Scholarly Record

This statement outlines the actions now required to tackle the evolving challenges of preserving and ensuring the long-term accessibility of digital scholarship. It was produced during and after the second Keepers Extra workshop, held in Paris on the 6th and 7th of June 2016.

We are grateful for the contributions and assistance of those who helped to shape and edit this document.

 

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Supporting E-Journal Archiving: Publishers

In June 2016, EDINA and the ISSN IC hosted a workshop as part of the Keepers Extra project. The event brought together representatives of the archiving agencies and libraries reporting into the Keepers Registry and other key stakeholder such as Research Libraries UK, Coalition for Networked Information and Digital Preservation Coalition, to explore potential international action to increase the preservation coverage of e-serials. Following the face to face discussions, the Keeper agencies were invited to submit prioritised suggestions for actions that could be undertaken by different stakeholder groups in order to  support e-journal archiving. The Keepers are committed to encouraging and supporting these actions, wherever possible. 

Publishers

Today publishers not only produce digital serials but also face the additional challenges of managing access and holding content securely over the long term. This applies to publishers across the spectrum, from large to small, and includes the rapidly expanding area of open access publishing. Archiving agencies support publishers by offering a robust and dependable third party solution for long term storage and back up. This enables publishers to offer assurance of post-cancellation access, and ensures that content would be preserved were the publisher’s platform to cease to exist. Publishers can support the archiving of their content in a number of ways.

Firstly, publishers can join at least one reputable third party archiving agency that reports into the Keepers Registry and promote their participation to customers. In this way, publishers not only invest financially in the long term sustainability of their content but also help to raise awareness of preservation among their peers, encouraging discussion and understanding of e-journal preservation strategies, risks, and business models among the publisher community.

Secondly, publishers can take preservation requirements into account within their internal workflows and production processes.  By following current guidance they can ensure that their publications are created in ways that encourage and enable preservation (i.e. use of certain file types, metadata), and that they are packaged and delivered in standard formats that make them easier to work with.

Thirdly, publishers should be vocal about the importance they place on long term archiving. Publishing societies and membership organisations should promote the value and benefits of archiving among members: these include not only the improved security of content, and long term reputational benefit, but also improved clarity of data and the support and establishment of international data standards.  A strong preservation strategy is a marker of best practice, an indicator of the quality of content, and of significant value to customers.

 

Learn how research libraries can support e-journal archiving

Learn how national libraries can support e-journal archiving

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Supporting E-Journal Archiving: Research Libraries

In June 2016, EDINA and the ISSN IC hosted a workshop as part of the Keepers Extra project. The event brought together representatives of the archiving agencies and libraries reporting into the Keepers Registry and other key stakeholder such as Research Libraries UK, Coalition for Networked Information and Digital Preservation Coalition, to explore potential international action to increase the preservation coverage of e-serials. Following the face to face discussions, the Keeper agencies were invited to submit prioritised suggestions for actions that could be undertaken by different stakeholder groups in order to  support e-journal archiving. The Keepers are committed to encouraging and supporting these actions, wherever possible. 

Research Libraries

Research libraries have traditionally been the collectors and stewards of journals, books and other materials. Their librarians are expert in identifying, selecting, and archiving content of value to the scholarly community and have strong connections with researchers, who rely on stable access to scholarship and publish their work in journals. It is important that such librarians are involved in shaping the future of the scholarly record, bringing their knowledge, expertise and skills to bear on the challenges that face libraries and archiving agencies alike. Research libraries should promote the value of this work and support their librarians to join the international community engaged in journal archiving. They should view archiving and preservation agencies not only as a form of insurance but also as partners in a shared project.

As a first step, research libraries could commit to supporting the work of e-journal archiving by joining a third party preservation service such as CLOCKSS or Portico, and/or by supporting local or regional hosting initiatives. They can identify clear digital preservation roles and responsibilities within their organization and embed consideration of long-term access issues in the process of licensing content.

Secondly, research libraries can collaborate with other libraries and archiving agencies to identify and prioritise serials for preservation. For archiving agencies, content identification is a resource-intensive task, especially when it comes to the ‘long tail’ of smaller publishers. Librarians have a broad view of what is being published where and can greatly assist archives by identifying valuable content and providing this information to archiving agencies.

Thirdly, libraries can advocate for digital archiving and preservation among publishing, research and funding communities. They can raise preservation as a concern during their negotiations with publishers, enquiring about digital preservation arrangements, and making third party hosting a condition of subscription. They can suggest researchers take archival status into account when choosing where they will publish their work.

They can also encourage library associations to promote awareness and understanding of digital preservation through events, publications and training. This is a new and rapidly shifting landscape and research librarians need to feel confident in their knowledge of archiving and preservation in order to ‘effectively demand archival deposit by publishers’, and ‘educate authors and readers to consider these archiving provisions in evaluating the suitability of journals as durable records of scholarship.’ (Waters, 2005: 3)

 

Learn how publishers can support e-journal archiving

Learn how national libraries can support e-journal archiving

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Supporting E-journal Archiving: National Libraries

In June 2016, EDINA and the ISSN IC hosted a workshop as part of the Keepers Extra project. The event brought together representatives of the archiving agencies and libraries reporting into the Keepers Registry and other key stakeholder such as Research Libraries UK, Coalition for Networked Information and Digital Preservation Coalition, to explore potential international action to increase the preservation coverage of e-serials. Following the face to face discussions, the Keeper agencies were invited to submit prioritised suggestions for actions that could be undertaken by different stakeholder groups in order to  support e-journal archiving. The Keepers are committed to encouraging and supporting these actions, wherever possible. 

National Libraries

 

National libraries have historically taken a leadership role in identifying, collecting and stewarding content published within their country. Although, like research libraries, they typically have close relationships with the academic community, they are distinguished by their wide ranging contacts across the spectrum of publishers, from large to small, and by the diverse and active communities of interest that they serve. While most national libraries have collection development policies, some are supported by legislation that requires publishers to deposit copies of their content. As a result, although the resources available to them can vary significantly, national libraries are uniquely experienced in collecting ‘long tail’ publishers. Given the international nature of publishing today, and the extent of the ‘long tail’ still to be archived, national libraries are likely to play an important role in ensuring preservation coverage is increased around the world.

National libraries should continue to provide their services to diverse publishers, prioritising local and small publishers whose work may not be easily collected by larger international archiving agencies. Collection of bespoke, non-standard formats is an important aspect of increasing preservation coverage and, like research librarians, national librarians have collection development expertise that can usefully be brought to bear on e-journal archiving. However, there is scope to work collaboratively to reduce duplication of effort. For example, national libraries can report into the Keepers Registry to share their data with one another. This would enable easy identification of content being archived by others and enable effort and resource to be targeted efficiently.

National libraries can take an active international leadership role on digital preservation and setting priorities, forge international partnerships, and share knowledge and best practice with their peers. Joining the Keepers community is a first step in this direction. Advocating for archiving is a second step: given their wide ranging contacts, national libraries are well placed to raise the topic with governments, research libraries, and publishers. They can also provide awareness building and training sessions for different stakeholder groups to understand and assess risks and take action.

 

Learn how research libraries can support e-journal archiving

Learn how publishers can support e-journal archiving

 

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Keepers Network to Tackle Challenges of E-Journal Archiving

 

On the 6th and 7th of June, EDINA and the ISSN International Centre hosted a second international workshop as part of the Jisc-supported Keepers Extra project.  

 

Following on from last September’s Taking the Long View: International Perspectives on E-Journal Archiving, the event provided an opportunity to discuss recent projects and developments in e-journal archiving and focused on exploring potential collaborative activity among the network of organisations reporting into the Keepers Registry. Delegates included representatives of the agencies reporting into the Keepers Registry and other key organisations such as the Coalition for Networked Information, the Digital Preservation Coalition and Research Libraries UK.

The workshop opened with a series of presentations, including overviews of the work of two new ‘Keepers’ who have recently begun reporting their data into the Registry: the Public Knowledge Project , which archives Open Access journals published on the OJS platform, and the Cariniana network, an initiative of  Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology (IBICT).  These were followed by reports from the Keepers Extra project team, who presented the work that had been completed since the first workshop.

One of the main aims of the Keepers Extra project has been to explore the challenge of increasing the archival and preservation coverage of scholarly journals, with a focus on tackling the ‘long tail’ of small publishers.  At the first workshop, it was established that the key barriers to increasing coverage were lack of resources, particularly around publisher participation negotiations and technical set up. In discussion with the agencies, the Keepers Extra project team drew up a series of proposed activities to address these barriers, and then tested the viability of the proposals through a series of consultations. The team found that while archiving agencies themselves often had quite divergent approaches and missions, there were a number of shared challenges around working with other stakeholders, such as publishers and libraries.

Outcomes

The workshop affirmed the value of the Keepers Registry as a tool and locus of community activity and the enthusiasm for knowledge sharing and collaboration which has been evident throughout the Keepers Extra project . The value of coming together to discuss shared challenges was evident, and it was agreed that the group might effectively speak as one on several issues.  Over the next months, a small working group has agreed to collaboratively craft a shared statement, setting out the importance of the Keepers Registry as a community hub, highlighting the progress made in e-journal archiving, and setting out actions now required. It was agreed that regular meetings of the network around the Registry would be useful, and a series of provisional dates were proposed.

participants at the workshop

Keepers Extra Workshop, University of London Institute in Paris, June 7th 2016

 

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E-Journal Archiving: Progress and Future Challenges

 

Recognition of the importance of digital preservation has grown significantly over the last few years: what progress has been made, and what challenges do we face today? 

 

Digital publishing has fundamentally changed the distribution and preservation of serial publications. While preservation and stewardship of print was recognised as a core function of libraries and archives, today publishers manage and provide access to digital content, and libraries subscribe to access publications through publisher platforms.

In 2005, the Association of American Research Libraries issued a statement calling for urgent action to ensure the preservation of scholarly electronic journals (Waters et al. 2005). Detailing the risks inherent in the new journal distribution and licencing models that have emerged in the shift from print to digital, the authors argued that research and academic libraries must work to establish ‘trusted archives in which the published scholarly record in electronic form can persist outside of the exclusive control of publishers, and in the control of entities that value long-term persistence.’  Now, just over a decade later, many of the key actions that the statement deemed essential are underway.

Academic and research libraries today recognize the importance of preservation. They understand that archiving is a necessary form of ‘insurance’ and the only means to guarantee long-term, perpetual access. Many libraries now have sustainability policies that encourage investment in archiving services and many raise preservation as a concern during their subscription negotiations with publishers. Publisher awareness of the various benefits of participation in an archiving service is growing. The ‘qualified preservation archives’ that were beginning to emerge in 2005 have become established, and their number has grown significantly. Regional and national initiatives, some led by research library consortia, now operate alongside large globally active third party archiving services.

The development of this emergent ‘archive layer’ has been supported through a variety of investments and initiatives. In the US, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation made significant investments in Portico and in the LOCKSS programme, and supported ‘Strategies for Expanding E-Journal Preservation’, a 2013 project run by the 2CUL partnership between Cornell and Columbia University libraries. Jisc has continued its investment in this area, supporting the development of the Keepers Registry and constituting an e-Journal Archiving Implementation Group (JARVIG) in 2011, whose recommendations form the basis of the Jisc-supported Keepers Extra project (2014-2016).

Although progress has been made, a series of significant challenges remain. First among these is the challenge of the ‘long tail’. Scholarly publishing is a diverse sector in which a variety of organisations operate. These range from large multinationals such as Elsevier or Taylor and Francis at one end of the spectrum, to scholarly societies and individual academics publishing online journals at the other. In order to establish broad collections and ensure that they are archiving high quality content, preservation agencies have tended to initially focus on working with major publishers. This is productive not only because larger publishers are more likely to have resource that can be diverted into ensuring their content is preserved, but also because there is an economy of scale that means a single negotiation can yield significant quantities of content.

Work with smaller publishers is considerably more expensive, requiring the same amount of initial resource but sometimes returning as few as only one or two titles. Moreover, while larger publishers are both technically astute and increasingly aware of the benefits of archiving their journals, small publishers may not have resources to invest and may not be able to access the same levels of information and support.

Yet it is widely recognised that important and high quality academic content is published across the spectrum, and that if the long tail of smaller publishers is not preserved it will constitute a very significant loss to future scholarship.

A second key issue is sustainability: agencies operate in a difficult environment and archiving is typically seen as a lower priority than access. While publishers are increasingly aware of the importance of archiving, many do not have the resource to commit to archiving their content. The output of small publishing houses and Open Access publishers, whose content does not enter established acquisition streams, is particularly vulnerable to the risk of loss.

As the final report of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation (2010) points out, there is little incentive for individual institutions to take action on preservation, and strong incentives to wait for other institutions to act. But the responsibility is truly a shared one. Increasing sustainable preservation coverage of the long tail is an urgent challenge and one that archiving agencies cannot tackle alone.

 

Over the last two years, the Jisc-supported Keepers Extra project has been working to facilitate discussion and explore opportunities for collaborative action.  In September 2015, Edina and the ISSN IC hosted a workshop designed to bring together Keepers and other key stakeholders to identify the next steps that can address the challenge of the long tail (the report is available here). A second workshop of this Keepers network is planned for June 2016, after which we aim to announce our vision for an international action agenda. 

 

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Keepers Extra Project: Workshop Two

We are pleased to announce that EDINA and the ISSN International Centre are hosting a second workshop as part of the Keepers Extra project. The event will be held on the 6th and 7th of June 2016, at University of London Institute in Paris.

eiffel_towerThe Keepers Extra project, being carried out at EDINA as a Jisc investment, builds on prior work that encourages collaborative activity such as the recommendations outlined by the JARVIG working group. Building on the first workshop held in Edinburgh in September 2016, this event will bring together representatives of international archiving agencies, national libraries, research libraries and consortia, and other key stakeholders to exchange knowledge and update one another on recent projects.The project team will report back on the recently conducted agency consultation, and we will continue to explore how archiving agencies and libraries can respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by the ‘long tail’, including publisher participation negotiations, sharing information and handling content, and resourcing.  This event is intended to be formative in the foundation of an ongoing international e-journal preservation network.

This event is invitation only. A full report will be posted after the event.

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The Cariniana Network joins the Keepers Registry

We are very pleased to welcome the Cariniana Network as the latest archiving organisation to join the Keepers Registry.

The Cariniana Network is a national distributed preservation network, funded by the Brazilian government, which provides long term preservation and access for Brazil’s open access scientific publications.   Its parent organisation is the Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology (IBICT), which was originally established by the Brazilian government in the 1950s, and plays a key role in promoting effective production, management and dissemination of information.

As the Keepers Registry’s twelfth Keeper, the Cariniana Network significantly extends the reach of the Keepers Registry, in particular greatly increasing the number of non-English language titles which the Keepers Registry is able to report on.

For more information about the Cariniana Network’s approach to archiving and contribution to the Keepers Registry see the Archiving Agencies section of the Keepers Registry.  Find out more about the Cariniana Network and IBICT on their website: http://cariniana.ibict.br/.

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[Keepers Extra] Next Steps for the Keepers Extra Project

The Keepers Extra project is entering a new and very active phase, following the exchange of knowledge and ideas at our September workshop.  Drawing on the feedback from participants, among them representatives of the keeper agencies and related initiatives, we have defined a set of activities for the next six months. The key outputs we are working towards are as follows:

  • Introduction of an effective governance model for the Keepers Registry service.
  • Delivery of improved service features and functionality by working to enhance and standardize the data ingested from Keepers, standardize modes of transport, and assess stakeholder needs to propose functionality that meets the needs of the service user community.
  • Production of an International Action Agenda, as shared strategy, that outlines a mechanism for future collaboration between archiving agencies, a list of viable activities for the collaborating agencies to tackle, and an appraisal of the metrics that can be used to test progress in those activities.

Our plans and the steps we envisage taking to achieve these outcomes are outlined in  the full Next Steps document.

Feedback on the project and our plans is welcome. Please email at edina@ed.ac.uk with comments or suggestions.

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[Keepers Extra] September 2015 Workshop Report now Available

On September 8th 2015, EDINA and the ISSN International Centre hosted a workshop designed to explore the challenges of increasing preservation coverage of e-journals and related digital resources. Following the conference Taking the Long View International perspectives on E-Journal Archiving, the workshop was attended by representatives of the agencies who report into the Keepers Registry, other national libraries, and related initiatives including the Digital Preservation Coalition, the Digital Curation Centre, and UNESCO. It was organised as part of the Jisc-supported Keepers Extra Project and the key objective of the day was to scope the challenges and barriers to improving preservation coverage and to explore potential for collaborative action at an international scale.

A workshop report which documents the event is now available. The workshop discussions produced a set of common interests and challenges for the participants.  We are now using the workshop outcomes as a basis for planning further research and development work to be carried out under the Keepers Extra project.

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