June 2008

Wired Magazine: Petabyte Age Issue

The latest issue of Wired is devoted entirely to massive data and data mining applications: everything from astronomy, environmental and medical applications, through to legal discovery, tracking airfare prices, and pollsters identifying voter intentions.

Its a fascinating range of 13 articles that should have something to interest most readers of this blog – all available from the online issue linked above.

Congratulations to Seamus Ross

Seamus Ross, professor of humanities informatics and digital curation at the University of Glasgow, has been appointed the new dean of the Faculty of Information Studies at Toronto University for a seven-year term effective 1st January 2009. There is further information on the appointment in the June issue of the University of Toronto Bulletin.

Just published: A Comparative Study of e-Journal Archiving Solutions

I am pleased to announce that the JISC-funded report A Comparative Study of e-Journal Archiving Solutions has just been published and is now available to download as a pdf from the JISC Collections website. It has been a great pleasure to work with Julia Chruszcz, Maggie Jones and Terry Morrow on this study over the last few months.

The report is the result of a call by the JISC, issued in January 2008, for a Comparative Study of e-Journal Archiving Solutions. The Invitation to Tender asked for a report that ‘will be published for wide use by institutions to inform policies and investment in e-journal archiving solutions.’ The ITT also stated that the report should ‘also inform negotiations undertaken by JISC Collections and NESLi2 when seeking publishers compliance to deposit content with at least one e-journal archiving solution.’

The report contains chapters covering: Approaches to e-journal preservation, Publisher licensing and legal deposit, Comparisons of Six Current e-Journal Archiving Programmes (LOCKSS, CLOCKSS, Portico, the KB e-depot, OCLC’s Electronic Collections Online, and the British Library’s e-journal Digital Archive), Practical experience of e-journal archiving solutions, Evaluation of four common scenarios/trigger events, and Criteria for judging relevance and value of new archiving initiatives. There are two appendices on Publisher Participation in different programmes.

The report has the following recommendations:

  1. When negotiating NESLi2 agreements, JISCs negotiators should take the initiative by specifying archiving requirements, including a short-list of approved archiving solutions.
  2. To help quantify the insurance risk and the necessary appropriate investment, bodies representing publishers and other trade organisations should gather and share statistical information on the likelihood of the trigger events outlined in this report.
  3. Post cancellation access conditions should be defined in the licensing agreement between libraries and publishers. Publishers should be strongly encouraged to cooperate with one or more external e-journal archiving solutions as well as provide their own post-cancellation service (at minimal cost).
  4. The publisher (or subscription agent) should state their policy on perpetual access under the four scenarios described in section 9.
  5. When titles are sold on to other publishers, the Transfer Code of Practice (see section 9.3.) should be followed.
  6. Archiving service providers and publishers should work together to develop standard cross-industry definitions of trigger events and protocols on the conditions for release of archived content. Project Transfer is a potential exemplar. The ground rules for any post-trigger event negotiation should be clear and transparent and established in advance.
  7. Archive service providers must provide greater clarity on coverage details, including not only publishers and titles, but also the years and issues included in the archive.
  8. Using the scenarios outlined in this report, libraries should carry out a risk assessment on the impact of loss of access to e-journals by their institution, and a cost/benefit analysis, in order to judge the value and relevance of the archiving solutions on offer.
  9. Relevant UK bodies and institutions should use whatever influence they can bring to bear to ensure that archiving solutions cover publishers and titles of particular value to UK libraries.
  10. The findings of this study should be reviewed and updated at regular intervals to reflect continuing developments in the field of e-journal archiving and preservation.

Its publication comes hot on the heels of two related studies the Portico/Ithaka e-journal archiving survey of US Library Directors and the JISC-funded UK LOCKSS Pilot Programme Evaluation Report. A further blog entry will follow!