Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, April 07, 2008

OA as a preservation model

Golnessa Galyani Moghaddam, Preserve Scientific Electronic Journals: A Study of Archiving Initiatives, The Electronic Library, 26, 1 (2008) pp. 83-96.

Abstract:   This paper seeks to review the archiving initiatives of scientific journals created and supported by various organizations or institutions. A review of nine archiving initiatives including JSTOR, Portico, E-Print Repositories, Open Access Model, LOCKSS, OCLC Digital Archive, JISC PubMed Central and KB e-Depot was carried out. The paper focuses mainly on the initiatives by an analytical approach. The paper provides a useful starting-point to anyone who wants to know about the preserving scientific electronic journal, enabling him/her quickly to achieve an overview of the existing archiving initiatives to date.

Comment.  The author is aware that OA is a kind of access, not a kind of preservation, and has this to say (from the body of the paper):

Some people reason that the Open Access is about ‘access’ not preservation. The author believes that though the Open Access is originally about ‘access’ and its purpose is different from preservation, it is practically functioning as an archive. This may be considered as a potential aspect of information technology used in Open Access models. This is definitely a new area of discussion and research need to be explored.

I'm not sure I understand.  If the claim is that many OA repositories, and to a lesser extent OA journals, deliberately include preservation in their mission, that's true.  If the claim is that OA permits widespread duplication, resulting in incidental or inadvertent preservation (on the LOCKSS principle), that's true too.  If the claim is that OA facilitates preservation by removing permission barriers that obstruct it (such as barriers blocking the migration of content to new formats and media to keep it readable as technology changes), that's true as well.  But none of these is a new area of discussion.  I'll add just for completeness that OA is compatible with every kind of digital preservation strategy, and that preservation is vitally important for most of the actual and perceived benefits of OA.