Further International Exposure for the Keepers Registry

From the outset, the focus of PEPRS (the forerunner of the Keepers Registry) and now the Keepers Registry, has been international, reflecting the reality that scholarship and research knows no national boundaries.  Metadata held in the Registry is supplied by keepers from 5 different countries in 3 continents.  It is the mission of EDINA to extend this coverage.

 Of course, it is not only the supply of metadata which needs to be international but also the demand.  That means ensuring the international community knows of the existence of the Registry and what it is trying to do.  A key way to do that is to ensure there are presentations, posters etc, at major international conferences.  A recent post described a presentation at the major international conference for librarians, International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), held in Singapore in August 2013.

 The 10th International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects (iPress-2013) was held in Lisbon in September and was attended by 392 delegates from 37 countries.  During the conference there was a workshop entitled : Preservation of Scale Workshop.  The organisers are to be congratulated on attracting a wide range of speakers from major organisations in the field including:  e-Depot (Netherlands), British Library, LOCKSS, Directory of Open Access Journals, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and EDINA, University of Edinburgh.

The title of the talk given by one of the Project Directors of the Keepers Registry, Peter Burnhill,  was:  Using the Keepers Registry to assist collaboration between keepers.  The Abstract and Presentation are available.

In his talk Peter Burnhill made reference to the fact that some recent investigations had indicated that around three quarters of the estimated 100,000 e-journals without an ISSN appeared not to be in an archiving programme.

Rick Anderson in a blog post (March 2012) entitled,  E-journal Preservation and Archiving: Whether, How, Who, Which, Where, and When?  posited the question:

“..how important is it that we archive all of the scholarly record?”

This posting attracted 26 comments, many of them quite detailed.

One very useful feature of the iPress-2013 conference website is that the organisers arranged for notes to be available for each of the presentations and for the discussions at the end of each session (there were 4 discussion sessions).   In the discussion after the presentation by Peter Burnhill, there was a question about additional keepers and another one about the contrast with the ‘analogue’ world.  Reference was also made to the role of the legal deposit electronic materials and it was noted that only 44% of national libraries (in 2011) had legislation for e-book or e-journals although that figure was expected to rise to 58% by 2012. 

The comments on the blog post by Rick Anderson and the notes from the conference show clearly that there are a lot of questions appertaining to the digital preservation of electronic journals and that members of the Community wish to engage in discussion.  It is accordingly worth asking how and where the discussions might take place.  Conference proceedings, blog postings, journal articles etc. are all important communication channels but they are essentially passive communication forms (although, as mentioned, blog posts do attract comments) and they require users to know of their existence.  The availability of an internationally recognised, accessible and secure facility to allow such discussions to take place is surely worth considering for an area of activity which is of such importance for scholarly communication. 

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