Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Digital preservation with an eye on the rise of OA

Stijn Hoorens and four co-authors, Addressing the uncertain future of preserving the past:  Towards a robust strategy for digital archiving and preservation, RAND Europe, November 6, 2007.  (Thanks to Matt Cockerill.)  Research prepared for the Dutch Koninklijke Bibliotheek.  To keep my load manageable, I've generally stopped blogging digital preservation news, but this report has a clear OA connection.  Excerpt:

As part of the public responsibility of the national library of The Netherlands to archive publications with a Dutch imprint - general publications as well as scholarly output - the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) has undertaken to develop a digital archive, the national e- Depot. The ‘e-Depot’ system has been devised and implemented to maintain and preserve the delivered content for perpetual access. In addition to items having Dutch imprint, the KB archives international publications in the areas of science, technology and medicine (STM). Because the progress of scholarly knowledge feeds on the scholarship of the past, this is a task of great significance. Agreements have been made with the major international STM publishers, and with this global application of the e-Depot, KB aims to extend its public deposit function for electronic publications to the international level. In so doing, KB intends to become part of a global ‘safe places network’ consisting of a limited number of digital repositories for international electronic publications....

The principles upon which the KB’s strategy is based can be summarised as follows.

  1. Archiving and preservation of digital objects. As scholarly output is moving toward the exclusive use of electronic form, a digital archive is needed for KB to continue fulfilling its deposit task as a national library....
  2. International deposit function. Since the concept of imprint (location of publication) is no longer valid for digital publications, KB extends its national deposit function to the international level. In so doing, KB offers to become part of a global ‘Safe Places Network’, consisting of a number of digital repositories for international electronic publications. Because of the required scale of investment in equipment, skills and expertise, as well as a consequence of publishers’ archiving policies, it is expected that there will be a limited number of such ‘safe places’.
  3. Perpetual access. KB acknowledges research libraries’ concern about the threat of permanent loss of electronic journals and disrupted access to journals for a protracted period following a trigger event, such as a publisher going out of business or a library cancelling a journal subscription (see Section 2.2). An e-Depot would provide a way to manage this threat. Following a trigger event, e-Depot would provide affected libraries with either temporary or permanent access to a specific set of serials and volumes in its archive....

See Chapter 3 on Scholarly dissemination and publishing:  a complex and dynamic environment (pp. 15-32), especially 3.3, Trends and uncertainties in scholarly dissemination and publishing (pp. 26-32), covering trends, including the rise of OA, that e-Depot is designed to accommodate.