E-journal preservation at UKSG 2013

UKSG holds a major annual conference and this year the event in Bournemouth, England (8th – 10th April) attracted a record number of (over 900) delegates.  Alongside the conference is an exhibition which each year is fully booked within a short time after booking opens.  There were over 80 exhibitors including all the major publishers.

The conference programme was a very full one comprising 5 Plenary Sessions, 3 sessions of Lightning Talks and 30 Breakout sessions.  The latter were divided into three groups and each session was offered on two occasions.

One of the Breakout sessions was entitled E-journals and long-term availability: an overview and panel discussion on the archiving infrastructure to meet the needs of users.  Over the two sessions this event attracted well over 60 delegates. 

Fred Guy provided an overview of e-journal preservation mentioning the roles played by the archiving organisations (the keepers) and the Keepers Registry followed by Adam Rusbridge who briefly described the UK LOCKSS Alliance. 

These presentations were then followed by a panel session comprising David Prosser (Research Libraries UK – RLUK), Lorraine Estelle (Jisc), Joanne Farrant (Cambridge University), Bill Barker (London School of Economics).  The panel addressed two questions. They were:

o   How has the introduction of e-journal preservation services helped libraries withdraw print collections and focus on e-journals?

o   How can institutions, community bodies and service providers best work together to ensure sustainable, long-term initiatives?

The content of the panel session will comprise the subject of a future blog posting.

UPDATED 16th April 2013: A blog posting by one of the delegates at the breakout session has now been made available. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Keepers Registry at the “Digital Future & You” series

The Keepers Registry was presented to colleagues at the Library of Congress.  The following text is from the ISSN International Centre’s helpful summary:

The US National ISSN Centre organised a talk by Peter Burnhill (entitled “Tales from The Keepers Registry”) as part of the “Digital Future & You” series at the Library of Congress’.

Held on 10th December, this was prior to involvement (on behalf of the EDINA/ISSN project) in a meeting organised on 12th December by Columbia & Cornell University Libraries about monitoring e-journal archiving for US research libraries.

The presentation made to Library of Congress is available online.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Trial Holdings Comparison

The Keepers Registry: more fun than doing it by hand. (Perkins Library Card Catalog, 1969, http://www.flickr.com/photos/dukeyearlook/3811954463)


This case study explores the benefits of the Keepers Registry, comparing an institution’s e-journal holdings catalogue against the archiving agency metadata held by the Keepers Registry.

The Keepers Registry Beta service provides easily accessible information about the archiving arrangements for electronic journals.

The Keepers Registry is an output of the JISC funded project, Piloting an E-journals Preservation Registry Service (PEPRS).  The Keepers are the participating archiving agencies that are acting as stewards of digital content. Each of these agencies runs a programme for the archiving of e-journals and is making metadata on the journals in their programme available to the Keepers Registry. The data supplied by the agencies is linked to the authoritative bibliographic information obtained from the ISSN Register.

A summary of progress to date of the Keepers Registry service can be found in a recent blog post.  The Development Roadmap describes planned activity.  Our focus at the moment is on providing a publicly available Holdings Comparison service.  This will allow a user to upload a file that represents an institution’s catalogue (we expect this will be output from the library’s OPAC or link resolver service).  Libraries can then assess the extent of archiving for individual titles, of assistance to collection management decisions (eg. on print cancellation).

EDINA, a national data centre based at the University of Edinburgh, has developed the Keepers Registry service along with its partner in the project, the ISSN International Centre in Paris.

Duke University

This case study is based on an interview with Winston Atkins, Preservation Officer for Duke University in Durham, NC, USA, on 21 August 2012.

Details of service

Duke University is a ‘Research 1’ University in the US which has grown, over the last 40 years, from a strong regional university to one with a national and international presence.  Duke University Libraries currently hold approximately 6 million volumes including 142,000 serials.  There are 97,800 (de-duplicated) electronic titles, and 78,000 journals in print and other electronic formats [1].

Archiving services to which Duke is subscribed

Duke participates in the Global LOCKSS Network, CLOCKSS Archive, and Portico and is a member of HathiTrust.

Motive for using Keepers Registry

In October 2011, Cornell and Columbia University Libraries released a White Paper which documented a comparison of electronic journal holdings with titles preserved by LOCKSS and Portico.  The Preservation Officer (PO) at Duke was interested in their findings that showed under 20% of titles in the library catalogues were preserved [2].

This report motivated the Preservation Officer to analyse the Duke ejournal holdings against titles preserved in LOCKSS and Portico. The number of ejournals in Duke’s collection led him to the Keepers Registry site as a way to make the title-by-title review more efficient. During the initial analysis, the Preservation Officer realized that agencies had gaps in some of their holdings, and that in some instances no single agency had a complete set of the available ejournal content.

Undertaking a (trial) Holdings Comparison

EDINA invited the Preservation Officer to participate in a trial holdings comparison in order to gather information on institutional requirements and to test the code and output format.

The ‘holdings comparison’ tool facilitates bulk comparison of holdings with titles preserved by the agencies. Many titles are held in several aggregations of electronic journals and, often, each provides different volumes.  The Preservation Officer provided the Keepers Registry with a file of unique IDs (ISSNs or eISSNs) representing de-duplicated titles and volumes with indication of the earliest start date and latest end date for each title.  The Keepers Registry returned a file which indicated, for each of these titles, whether it was preserved, whether it was in the process (awaiting preservation) and which volumes were preserved or in process.

This service saved the Preservation Officer hours of work.  Without The Keepers Registry, and the bulk upload service in particular, it would have been necessary to download the information from different agencies and aggregate and analyse the data.  A task that he imagines ‘would have been an enormous undertaking’.

Benefits of the Keepers Registry (Holdings Comparison)

Identifying which of Duke’s ejournal titles are preserved

Duke compared its ejournals holdings with titles preserved in LOCKSS and Portico.  The Preservation Officer started by using the title-by-title search facility on the Keepers user interface.  To help the EDINA development team refine the process and understand library workflows, Duke subsequently became the first university to use the ‘Holdings Comparison’ service. The Keepers Registry allowed Duke “to include HathiTrust and CLOCKSS Archive, services in which we have memberships, in our review of agencies.”

Lobbying publishers to engage with preservation agencies

Duke intends to use the data from its analysis to persuade publishers to engage with the preservation agencies.  The acquisitions staff will raise this when negotiating renewals and the Preservation Officer will raise it with other universities with a view to lobbying as a group, possibly through the American Library Association (ALA) Preservation Section.  The Preservation Officer notes ‘I think we have an opportunity to tell publishers that we think this is an important part of the subscription service.’

Discussing coverage with the agencies

The Duke Preservation Officer is now aware of gaps in coverage by the agencies and plans to discuss with them how they intend to fill those gaps. It is very helpful to report information not only on the participating titles, but also which volumes have been preserved and are in progress. For some titles, an institution can benefit from more complete coverage by participation in multiple initiatives. It would be useful for agencies to indicate why the gaps are occuring and what is being done to fill them. It is not clear that the complete run for this title will, at some point in the future, be preserved by the agency.

Disposing of print

Duke is a member of a local consortium of University libraries whose members are collaborating to dispose of print from the shelves whilst ensuring that at least one print copy of each title is retained.  Knowing that the complete run of a title is preserved in electronic form provides reassurance that it will be accessible – i.e. that the libraries do not depend solely on a single print copy.

Discovery of other agencies

The Duke Preservation Officer was interested to discover other agencies that hadn’t previous been on the radar, for example, the National Science Library of China and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) e-Depot.  The Preservation Officer notes ‘It’s made me start to think about our relationship with other agencies and how we should be working with them.’

Developing the Comparison Service

It has been a valuable exercise for us at EDINA to have conducted a trial holdings comparison.  We’ve learnt more about how catalogue data can be generated from library systems and we’ve refined suitable fields and format for the data returned. We’re feeding this back into our requirements for the Holdings Comparison service.

We’d like to thank Winston Atkins at Duke University for his feedback throughout the trial comparison.

If you’d like to send feedback, or make any suggestions for the service, please leave us a comment.

[1] Statistics on Duke holdings can be found at http://library.duke.edu/about/assessment/libstats/.

[2] LOCKSS and Portico combined preserved approximately 13% of Cornell’s ejournal holdings while Portico preserved only 17% of Columbia’s ejournals holdings. (Columbia did not analyse its holdings against LOCKSS titles.)


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One year on for the Keepers Registry beta service

© http://www.flickr.com/photos/zenat_el3ain/3727013559/

As we reach the first birthday of the Keepers Registry, it’s worth reviewing how the service has developed to date and how it will develop in future.

Developments over the past year

EDINA and the ISSN International Centre launched the Keepers Registry beta service a year ago, on the 4th October 2011.

Our primary focus over the year has been on currency and completeness of the archiving agency metadata.

Some of the participating preservation agencies had previously made available metadata on the holdings of the archive; there were variations, however, in structure and depth of reporting.  In the Keepers Registry, we attempt to report at volume-level, though some had only explored to title-level.  Others had never issued publicly available coverage statements.

We’re pleased to report that all participating agencies have now supplied us with complete holdings information. The success of the Keepers Registry is tightly coupled to the individual contribution of each archiving agency in providing holdings’ information.  We would like to acknowledge these contributions and thank each agency for their efforts in making available this information, and for their support.

We can note the following highlights from the past year:

Data from Archiving Agencies

  • Added NSLC data
  • Added complete volume information for e-Depot data
  • Added complete volume information for CLOCKSS Archive data
  • Added complete volume information for Global LOCKSS Network data
  • Made available statistics on the coverage extent archived by archiving agencies in the Keepers Registry

New Agencies

Data Format

Comparison with local holdings

  • Formalised requirements
  • Developed initial scripts to support comparisons
  • Undertaken a trial comparison

Developments scheduled for the year ahead

Developments planned for the future can be found on our Development Roadmap.

Our first priority is to release functionality to compare Keepers Registry information with local library subscription holdings.  After uploading a list of Titles and ISSNs, a report will be generated to list the known preservation action for each ISSN.

While all archiving agencies have made great progress by making available holdings information, we would like to further encourage clarity and automation by broadening adoption of machine-readable format standards such as ONIX-PH.

The public response to the Keepers Registry service has been uniformly positive, and the Keepers Registry has received strong endorsement from the JISC’s e-Journal Archiving Implementation Group.

The current project funding completes at the end of September 2012, and EDINA is currently in discussion with JISC regarding further funding.  The Keepers Registry remains a Beta service and we plan to become a fully operational service as we refine our processes and agree common workflows with participating agencies.  As part of this process we will be establishing a Board of Governance with international representation.

We welcome comments and suggestions, and enjoy hearing about how you are using the Keepers Registry beta service in your organisation.  Please get in touch at edina@ed.ac.uk.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Keepers Registry’s first Pecha Kucha outing is a winner!

The very popular Pecha Kucha format was used for three sessions in the Open Repositories 2012 (OR2012) conference held in Edinburgh from 9th – 13th July.

In the first PK session entitled: Repository Tools and Approaches there were 11 presentations .

The winning one was the one entitled E-journal Preservation and the Archival Value of the Authors’ Final Copy.  It was written by by Peter Burnhill, Director of EDINA and co-director of PEPRS/Keepers Registry, Adam Rusbridge, EDINA and Theo Andrew of the University of Edinburgh library and presented by Peter and Theo.  Many congratulations to all of them on their success.

The presentation built upon the approach used for the one minute presentation at the recent LIBER conference.

Slides from the Petcha Kucha presentation are now available and a video of the presentation is embedded below.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Your one minute starts now!

How do you describe a  specialist project to a general audience making it memorable but only having one minute in which to achieve results?  An impossible task?  Peter Burnhill, Director of EDINA , succeeded in captivating the audience attending the recent LIBER conference held in Tartu, Estonia, by using a fairy story to tell them about the Keepers Registry.  The full presentation is listed here.

The purpose of the short presentations was to provide the speakers with an opportunity to attract delegates to posters about their projects and activities.  Further information (including a link to the poster developed for The Keepers Registry) is here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Draft Inclusion Criteria released for review

A public draft of inclusion criteria for archiving agencies that wish to participate in the Keepers Registry is now available for public review.  We would welcome feedback and community input by the 31st July 2012 either to edina@ed.ac.uk or in the comments below.

For example, it would be helpful to receive comment on any other criteria that readers think we should consider.

The criteria are intended to ensure that we develop an understanding of the operating model and financial and access conditions of archiving organisations.  Completing the criteria is intended to expose consistent information about archiving agencies to assess suitability for inclusion in the Keepers Registry; it is not intended to be an audit of the organisation.

The Keepers Registry service makes available easily accessible information about the inclusion of journals in preservation services.  It provides an authoritative online facility that lets a range of stakeholders check the archival provision for e-journals.  Although archiving arrangements have been in place for some years, prior to the Keepers Registry there was no systematic source of information about who is doing what for each e-journal.

Participating agencies regularly provide the Keepers Registry with metadata about the e-journals in their programme.  At launch of the PEPRS Beta Service in April 2011, we included metadata from five initial agencies (British Library, CLOCKSS Archive, KB eDepot, Global LOCKSS Network, Portico).  We have since added two more agencies:  HathiTrust in October 2011, and National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences in March 2012.  A number of additional agencies have approached us regarding participation and are at varying stages of inclusion.   We are encouraging these additional archiving agencies to adopt the ONIX for Preservation Holdings format for data supply.

Download the inclusion criteria document here [PDF, 154KB].

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ONIX for Preservation Holdings

As part of our efforts to simplify the data ingest process, EDINA has participated in a working group to extend the ONIX for Serials format to handle specific e-journal preservation information requirements.  This cross-sector working group also included representatives from a number of archiving agencies participating in the Keepers Registry.

The ONIX for Preservation Holdings standard (http://www.editeur.org/127/ONIX-PH/) has now been made available in a draft v0.21 and is now undergoing pilot exchanges.  On conclusion of the pilot, the message will be modified as necessary and released in a formal v1.0.

At EDINA, we are encouraging prospective and new archiving agencies to implement the ONIX-PH standard when supplying data to the Keepers Registry.  We also plan to encourage existing institutions to adopt the standard, helping us improve the efficiency of our data processes.

To test the standard and to improve awareness of the structure of an ONIX-PH message, we have produced a simple sample file which can be used as a reference guide.  If other organisations make available sample or full files, we are interested in learning of these and pointing others towards them.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Latest Statistics of E-Serials Preserved

As of April 16th, the seven registered Keepers across the globe are reporting having  ingested and ‘Preserved’ one or more volumes (issues) for nearly 17,000 (16,888) unique Serial Titles (see definition below). In all there is some kind of archival action being taken for about 20,000 (20,378) unique Serial Titles, including reports of ‘In progress’ for almost 10,000 (9,886) Serials by the various Keepers. The status ‘In progress’ is given until the archiving agency provides specific volume information to the Keepers Registry.

However, the extent preserved for a given Serial varies greatly. In future we hope to assist by providing overlap statistics that highlight missing volumes. That requires work on ‘holdings’ and knowledge of the ‘ever issued’.

We have included facilities to upload a list of ISSNs and compare against the contents of the Keepers Registry in our Roadmap for 2012/13, so we should then be able to allow libraries to establish what the preservation status for what matters most for them.

The summary counts provided here include serials issued by publishers as e-serials and being archived by six of the Keepers plus a much smaller number of (usually older) print serials that have been digitised.

At present the Keepers Registry only records archival action for serials that have had an ISSN assigned. Fortunately nearly 100,000 have been assigned to e-serials by members of the ISSN Network, and this includes the vast majority of e-journals. Nevertheless, not all electronic versions of serials have yet been assigned their own ISSN (the eISSN): Of the 20,378 online serials reported, 15,181 had an e-ISSN assigned: 5,195 only had the print ISSN – and that includes many of the ‘digitised journals’. Conversely, 1,359 had only an eISSN; that is, they were online only.

The ISSN-L is the linking field that co-relates ISSNs for the print and online version of the same serial title (the latter sometimes called eISSNs). We use the occurrence of ISSN-Ls as the count of unique serial titles.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Presenting the Keepers Registry to Publishers and Subscription Agents

A short presentation on the Keepers Registry was given at the International Committee on EDI for Serials (ICEDIS) meeting held on Wednesday 28th May in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow after the conclusion of the 2012 UKSG Conference.

ICEDIS brings together business and technical representatives from the world’s leading journal publishers and subscription agents. Together these trading partners are developing and defining industry standards for EDI and other e-commerce applications in facilitating journal subscription processing.

The presentation took the form of explaining the purpose of the Keepers Registry and mentioning the keepers who are currently supplying the metadata about the journals they are preserving.

Particular reference was made to the recent work which had been carried out by a number of the keepers, EDItEUR and EDINA in developing ONIX for Preservation Holdings (ONIX-PH).  Version 0.21 of ONIX-PH is now available.  It is hoped that ONIX-PH will, in due course, be used for the transmission of metadata from participating keepers to EDINA for ingest into the Keepers Registry.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment