Keepers Registry featured on The Signal

We’re delighted to be featured on The Signal, the digital preservation blog published by the Library of Congress, this month.

Mapping the Digital Galaxy: The Keepers Registry Expands its Tool Kit‘ is an interview with the team conducted by Ted Westervelt, manager of the eDeposit Program for Library Services at the Library of Congress, who will be speaking at Taking the Long View: International Perspectives on E-Journal Archiving.

The resulting conversation ranged from the history of the Keepers Registry to our new release and current plans for engaging more archiving agencies and libraries: below we repost a few extracts.

 

Ted: Most of the participating agencies are Western European or North American, which makes sense given the origins of the Keepers Registry. How actively are you looking at adding members from other parts of the world?

Keepers team: We have become well-traveled in our quest! The initial focus was on the UK, Europe and the USA as it was much easier for us to encourage participation from agencies in Europe and the US as we had existing contact and relationships with many of the original agencies. However, we are very conscious of need for more international participation as mentioned earlier. There is now engagement with China and Canada and with active outreach to India and Brazil, as well as more countries across Europe.

 

Ted: You are just now releasing a new version of the Keepers Registry, with some interesting new functionalities. One of these is the Title List Comparison, which you mentioned above. Who do you hope will use this and what do you hope this will do for them and for the mission of the Keepers Registry in general?

Keepers team: We anticipate that the Title List Comparison facility will prove very popular. […It] should allow libraries to have insight into the archival status of collections in order to assist informed decision making about subscriptions, cancellations and print rationalization. We hope that the tool will also improve communication between the library community and the Keeper organizations themselves, as libraries make known their priorities for the serial titles that they discover are not being kept safe. The Title List Comparison service is part of our Members Services; access to these requires membership, which is free of charge.

 

Ted: Another major functionality in the new release is the Machine to Machine Interfaces. Who do you expect will use this? What outcome would you like to see from launching this?

Keepers team: Librarians interact on a daily basis with a wide range of services and tools for serials. We want the information on archiving that we bring together in the Keepers Registry to be available and useful at the point of need – when there is need for a quick reference to make a measured decision. Those machine-to-machine interfaces are there to support linking tools from those other services, such as union catalogs, and even OPACs, as well as vendor platforms. In general, those ‘APIs’ are there so that others can do unimaginable things with our data – so please get in touch!

Read the original post.

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Taking the Long View: International Perspectives on E-Journal Archiving

We are delighted to announce that registration is now open for  ‘Taking the Long View: International Perspectives on E-Journal Archiving’, an international conference hosted by EDINA and the ISSN IC, as part of the Keepers Extra project.

September 7th 2015, University of Edinburgh

An international conference organised as part of the Jisc-supported Keepers Extra project, ‘Taking the Long View’ brings together international archiving agencies, representatives of national libraries from around the world, and research libraries and consortia to exchange knowledge, share ideas and discuss requirements for potential global collaboration to increase preservation coverage and tackle the ‘long tail’.

The importance of assuring continuing access to e-journal content has long been recognised. Many institutions now have e-first collection policies that require archiving of serial content before e-only or print disposal actions can be taken.  Nations are introducing legal deposit systems for electronic material.  Yet analysis undertaken as part of the Keepers Registry has shown that over 80% of continuing resources assigned an ISSN have yet to be archived. The need for ‘conscious coordination’ of international activity is clear (Lavoie and Malpas, 2015).  It is imperative that we now take the long view and consider if and how we can work together to address the challenge of stewarding the digital scholarly record.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the ISSN International Centre and the 20th anniversary of EDINA, this event presents a networking and briefing opportunity in which librarians can learn about a wide range of international activities, experiences and perspectives on the archiving and preservation of serial content, and gain insight into the operations and ambitions of some of the most important archiving agencies and initiatives from around the world.

More details and instructions on how to register are available on the conference website.

For more on the Keepers Extra project and the Keepers Registry, visit our blog.

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New Release of the Keepers Registry

We are pleased to announce the latest release of the Keepers Registry at http://thekeepers.org. This release adds significant new features that will help research library staff make local collection management decisions.

New Features Available in the Keepers Registry

Our new Member Services area provides access to our added-value features.  Once you’re registered you will find:

  • Our Title List Comparison service, enabling a user to discover the archival status for a list of serials:  identifying those that are being archived and those that are “at risk”.
  • The first version of our SRU and Z39.50 machine-to-machine interfaces.  This will be of value to other service providers who may wish to report Keepers Registry information in their interface.
  • Direct Linking to Records to support bookmarking and sharing of specific records.

Access to our Member Services is free. To learn more and try out a Title List Comparison of your own, please register now.

How the Keepers Registry helps libraries

The Title List Comparison service lets you upload a list of titles identified by ISSN and receive a report with information on “who is archiving what” and what is not being archived.

Information from the Title List Comparison was used by one university to assist with local library collection management decisions.  They told us about the benefits:

  1. Identifying which of our e-journal titles are archived. We were very quickly able to see which of our journal titles had some archiving activity reported.
  2. Lobbying publishers to engage with archiving agencies. Now that we can understand which titles and publishers are not being progressed, there is an opportunity to tell publishers that we think this is an important part of the subscription service.
  3. Discussing coverage with the agencies. Where we have specific local priorities, we are now better informed to initiate a discussion with archiving agencies to see how our priorities can be met.
  4. Disposing of print. We collaborate with other university libraries to dispose of print; knowing that the complete run of a title is preserved in electronic form provides reassurance that we are not depending solely on a single print copy.
  5. Discovery of other agencies. We have discovered other agencies that hadn’t previously been on our radar, and it has made us think about our relationship with other agencies and how we should be working with them.

We would like to hear how the Keepers Registry is helping your institution with collection management decisions. Please get in touch with feedback and suggestions for further improvements to edina@ed.ac.uk.

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Changes to the Keepers Registry

The Keepers Registry has been upgraded.   The latest release contains a number of new features:

  • a Title List comparison service
  • SRU and Z39.50 machine-to-machine interfaces
  • direct linking to records

Register for the new Member Services area to find out more – it’s free, and only takes a few minutes.  If you have previously registered for our Preview service you can login using the same account.

We’ll be posting more information about the new features and how you might use them over the next few weeks.

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Registration open for “Taking the Long View” workshop

KE-BrandWe are pleased to announce that registration is now open for our “Taking the Long View” workshop arranged as part of the Keepers Extra project.  Registration is free but places are limited: if you would like to join us, please register by June 30th.

 

Taking the Long View: Factoring Preservation and Continuing Access into your Library Workflow

A One-Day Workshop led by EDINA

July 10th 2015

National Rail Museum, York

With the transition from print to digital publishing, it is no longer libraries but publishers who provide access to online e-journals. Librarians now need to regularly review holdings and subscriptions to ensure appropriate access and optimal use of financial resources. Historically, preservation was an incidental by-product of the access role undertaken by libraries. Today, the stewardship that underpins long-term access for the future is increasingly undertaken by external agencies such as Portico and CLOCKSS. It can thus be difficult for librarians to ensure that their communities will have stable, long term access to materials in perpetuity: this lack of clarity can have significant consequences for decisions around print rationalisation, cancellation, and budget allocation.

This knowledge exchange workshop will explore how librarians can plan for long-term access to journals. Participants will have an opportunity to share stories on how their institutions conduct annual reviews, print rationalisation exercises and other related processes, and there will be discussion of how Jisc services at EDINA services such as the Keepers Registry and SUNCAT can assist in these workflows.

This event is free but places are limited.

Coffee and Registration: 10.30 am

Start: 11.00 am

Close: 15.30 pm

The National Railway Museum is conveniently placed near to York railway station. More details about the venue and arrival can be found here:http://www.nrm.org.uk/PlanaVisit/VisitYork/howtogethere.aspx

For further information please contact edina@ed.ac.uk

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Preview our new service features

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 11.52.39We are pleased to make available a preview of the next major service release of the Keepers Registry at http://preview.thekeepers.org

The current release (http://thekeepers.org) will continue as the primary service during May but we would encourage you to try out the preview version.  The preview will be released into service in June 2015. In the meantime, we are grateful for feedback to edina@ed.ac.uk.

New Features

Our new Member Services area provides access to our added-value features.  Once you’re registered for our new Member Services area you will find:

  • Our Title List Comparison service, enabling a user to discover the archival status for a list of serials:  identifying those that are being preserved and those that are “at risk”.
  • The first version of our SRU and Z39.50 machine-to-machine interfaces.  This will be of value to other service providers who may wish to report Keepers Registry information in their interface.
  • Direct Linking to Records to support bookmarking and sharing of specific records.

We anticipate that the Title List Comparison service will be of great assistance to library staff, as it allows you to upload a list of titles identified by ISSN and receive a report containing the data uploaded plus information on “who is preserving what” and what is not being preserved.

Access to our Member Services is free. To learn more about the our features and try out a Title List Comparison of your own, please register now.

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[Keepers Extra] Research: Keepers Extra Personas (Part Two)

KE-BrandIn a recent post, we introduced two of the four personas that have emerged through the consultation work we have been doing with libraries and archiving agencies. The consultation was an opportunity to learn about our users and their jobs, the kinds of priorities they have and where they have to and want to focus their resources.   We are creating personas by identifying common themes and positions: as we explained, they do not represent real individuals, who may have attributes of multiple personas or who may not conform to any, but rather they are simplified ‘types’ to help us keep our users at the forefront of our thoughts as we develop the registry and the Keepers Extra project. This post introduces the remaining two personas we are working with.

cross checker smallThe Cross Checker

 

“I need to confirm the details”

 This persona is task-oriented and typically works in a ‘publisher relations’ role that may include checking licences, negotiation of subscriptions, or monitoring publisher behaviour for accreditation or authentication. Their working contexts and priorities can vary quite dramatically but for a variety of reasons they need to cross check information from publishers and to double check that preservation activity is taking place as described. They typically think of the archiving agencies as ‘insurance policies’ and are not invested in the idea of preservation, seeing it as someone else’s responsibility. This persona typically discovered the Keepers Registry through word of mouth and now uses it regularly as part of their workflow, searching on a publisher basis and getting enough information to satisfy their requirements.
The Collection Analyst 

“I want control over how I filter and sort the data.”

 Working with large digital collections, typically in an archiving agency, this persona is concerned with monitoring preservation coverage for a large number of titles.  They have multiple responsibilities which include reviewing and reporting on their own collection, developing collections, or finding new markets/publishers, and they typically use holdings data in multiple workflows. Their priority is to ensure the integrity of their collection, identifying where there are gaps in their holdings that could be filled or whether there journals relevant to their collection priorities that are ‘at risk of loss’.  The Collection Analyst has plenty of ideas about how they could use the data, and would like to be able to arrange it according to their own parameters of interest, which might be subject-specific, geographical, historical or otherwise.  They understand the Keepers Registry and the issues around standardisation of data.
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[Keepers Extra] Keeper Agency Consultation: Common Themes

KE-BrandAs part of the initial research for the Keepers Extra project we have been speaking to archiving agencies about their use of the Keepers Registry and about the global digital preservation landscape more generally. Several common themes have emerged from these discussions.  We were delighted to hear that the Keepers Registry is highly regarded among the Keeper agencies and potential Keepers, and viewed as an important service and a way to increase the visibility of work in the field of digital preservation. There is wide recognition that the Keepers Registry occupies a unique position in having established productive working relationships with many major archiving agencies, and that this is a positive position from which to facilitate communication and collaboration.

There was also broad consensus on the need for more discussion between the Keepers, particularly around the areas of standardisation of data and tackling the long tail. Many of the Keeper agencies wish to use the Keepers Registry in order to analyse gaps and overlaps in what is being preserved. For some, this would be a way of analysing their own collections with a view to working at the title level to complete runs of particular journals. For others, it would offer a way to identify material ‘at risk of loss’ and therefore a way to prioritise publishers or titles for preservation. In both cases, doing such analyses quickly and efficiently depends on being able to access easily comparable data, so a better standardisation of data would be very helpful. This would also assist the sharing of data and impact on the ways in which an API could be used to integrate the Keepers Registry information into other systems and processes.

A further common theme was the challenge of preserving the ‘long tail’ of e-journals produced by small publishers and bodies such as academic societies or university departments. The key issues here are funding, scalability (or lack thereof), and division of labour. Reaching out to small publishers takes a lot of resources, human and financial, so this work is expensive. For every publisher that an agency works with, there are negotiations around a contract and costs around setting up technology and establishing protocols. If that publisher produces 300 journals, there is an economy of scale that justifies the cost. However, if that publisher produces only one journal, it suddenly becomes a very expensive process indeed. In such a context, having multiple agencies spend those resources on the same material seems illogical, yet there is no established way for agencies to cooperate to ensure as broad a coverage as possible. So there seem to be two potential ways of approaching this challenge: on the one hand finding ways to scale up the work and, on the other, finding ways to meet or lower the costs.

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[Keepers Extra] Research: Keepers Extra Personas (Part One)

KE-BrandThroughout the last two months we have been engaged in consultation work with libraries and archiving agencies. As well as getting feedback on the registry and on our project plans, we have been using this opportunity to learn more about the workflows, decisions and challenges that face the people who use Keepers Registry. Sifting through these interviews for common themes and concerns, we are in the process of developing a set of personas that will guide development of the registry and the directions of the Keepers Extra project. Personas do not represent real individuals, who may have attributes of multiple personas or who may not conform to any, but rather they are simplified ‘types’ which we can keep in mind as we work to ensure we are meet the needs of our different users.  This post introduces two of the four key personas that we have identified.

The Trouble Shooter

 

 

“I don’t have time to figure out how to use new tools”

 

This persona has a variety of responsibilities, typically working as part of a small team and often with comparatively few resources. Their job involves dealing with queries, working with others to make decisions about subscriptions and cancellations, maintaining data about their e-journal holdings and library systems, and responding to issues and challenges as they arise. The key priority of this persona is ensuring access and making their collections as discoverable and easy to use as possible. The trouble-shooter researches post cancellation access when they want to make decisions about cancelling particular titles, as part of an annual review in the summer months, or when they want to withdraw print. They currently have to check several sources to find data on holdings, licences and preservation, and they sometimes require input from agents and/or publishers.  They would like to have a more efficient way of analysing their collections and researching titles, but struggle to make time to research potential services and tools.

The Strategist

 

“I wish all these systems would speak to one another more effectively” 

 

At a senior managerial level, this persona has a broad awareness of current debates in the library and information sector and of the issues involved in digital collections management and preservation. They have responsibility for a team and for oversight of development projects and annual reviews, although typically they will be delegating research and administrative tasks. Their priorities are operational, typically around the smooth functioning of library workflows and systems integration, and they have the authority to implement change and the resources to develop projects. The Strategist recognises the importance of being able to guarantee perpetual access to research and learning communities, and they understand the risks in relying on publishers for preservation.  They typically know of the Keepers Registry and see its value, although not necessarily how it could fit into regular workflows.  They would be keen to support archiving initiatives and would like to be able to confidently assure their stakeholders of post cancellation access. However, they typically feel there are other more pressing priorities at their institution and they may not have considered the kinds of strategic or collaborative action that could be taken.

Both the Trouble-Shooter and the Strategist personas have emerged from our library consultations. In a future post, we will introduce the personas emerging from our other research exercises.

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[Keepers Extra] Title List Comparison Tool Ready for Testing

KE-BrandTo accompany development of a new release of the Keepers Registry, we have been conducting a number of consultation exercises to gather feedback from our users. One of the key points that emerged from these interviews is that use of the Keepers Registry has been incidental rather than systematic. Librarians and archivists have turned to Keepers Registry when they have needed to investigate the archival status of a single title or publisher, or when they have had a one-off task to complete, such as checking the preservation of numerous titles as part of a project to analyse collections and make decisions about withdrawals. While the filters we currently have allow them to do this, having to work at the level of single title or publisher makes the registry less practical for regular, large-scale analysis.

TLCTwo of the tools that we are currently working on are designed to address this issue. Our member services area, now undergoing final testing before public release, features two services designed to enable users to work with collection lists and larger scale holdings data. A title list comparison tool allows users to upload a list of titles with ISSNs and get a tailored report of the preservation status of the collection.

We have been trialling an early version of this since last summer and with some more development work completed recently, including an improved registration process, we are about to begin user testing with a view to launching the tool later this spring. Once registered, users can find guidance on preparing their data and case studies of how such data can be used. Librarians can upload lists generated from their library catalogue and then receive a report identifying how many of those titles have been preserved. As part of the Keepers Extra project we’ve started looking at how to return this information via a more manageable online interface, adding useful filters and more intuitive data visualisations.

Also forthcoming is an API that will allow data from the Keepers Registry to be integrated with other services used by libraries. This will be released at the same time as the Title List Comparison feature, and we’re looking forward to working with service providers to see how this data can be integrated more directly into library workflows.
If you would be interested in testing the title list comparison tool or have feedback that you’d like to share, please get in touch.

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