March 2010

Ensuring Perpetual Access – German National Hosting Strategy for electronic resources – Study now available

I am pleased to announce that our study Ensuring Perpetual Access: establishing a federated strategy on perpetual access and hosting of electronic resources for Germany is now available.

Concepts and Properties of Archives and Hosting in the Strategy and their Relationships ©Charles Beagrie Ltd 2009

Concepts and Properties of Archives and Hosting in the Strategy and their Relationships ©Charles Beagrie Ltd 2009. CreativeCommons Attribution-Share Alike3.0 Key: solid colour represents core properties and fading colour represents weaker properties of archives and hosting services.

The study was commissioned by the Alliance of German Science Organisations to help develop a strategy to address the challenges of perpetual access and hosting of electronic resources. In undertaking the study we were requested to focus on commercial e-journals and retro-digitised material.

Although developed for Germany, there is substantial discussion and recommendations around the issues of perpetual access, archiving, and sustainability of hosting and access services for these materials which will be of interest to an international audience.

Contents include:

  • Discussion, definition, and glossary of terms;
  • Review of relevant  international activity;
  • Review of current and future desired position in Germany;
  • Gap analysis;
  • A series of use cases;
  • Scenarios, potential solutions, and recommendations

Model used for discussion of the Federated Strategy on Perpetual Access and Hosting of Electronic Resources for Germany  ©Charles Beagrie Ltd 2009. CreativeCommons Attribution-Share Alike3.0

The members of the Alliance of German Science Organisations are the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Rectors’ Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz – HRK), the Helmholtz Association, the Leibniz Association, the Max Planck Society, and the Wissenschaftsrat (German Council of Science and Humanities). For further information on the Alliance Hosting Working Group that steered the study see:

English webpage:


Elsevier and PANGAEA Data Archive Linking Agreement

An interesting press release from last week particularly when seen in the context of previous announcements on this blog: an emerging trend of journals and publishers linking to open-access data repositories?
Extract: Amsterdam, 24 February 2010 – Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today that the data library   PANGAEA – Publishing Network for Geoscientific & Environmental Data – and Elsevier have implemented reciprocal linking between their respective content in earth system research. Research data sets deposited at PANGAEA are now automatically linked to the corresponding articles in Elsevier journals on its electronic platform ScienceDirect and vice versa. This linking functionality also provides a credit mechanism for research data sets deposited in this data library.
Dr. Hannes Grobe, data librarian of PANGAEA at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research commented, “Through this fruitful cooperation, science is better supported and the flow of data into trusted archives is promoted. The interaction of a publisher with an Open Access data repository is ideal to serve the requirements of modern research by diminishing the loss of research data. It also enables the reader of a publication to verify the scientific findings and to use the data in his own work. The Elsevier-PANGAEA cooperation consequently follows the most recent recommendations of funding bodies and international organizations, such as the OECD, about access to research data from public funding.”
“Our goal is to continuously improve user experiences, and this is one of the ways we make this happen” added Dr. Christiane Barranguet, executive publisher at Elsevier. “This is the beginning of a new way of managing, preserving and sharing data from earth system research. It also highlights the value ScienceDirect can deliver on its platform by giving researchers the papers they need and helping them put those papers in context, delivering unique value to user.”
Working with the scientific community to preserve scientific research data is also an objective of the Elsevier Content Innovation programme. Through this agreement and development Elsevier supports long-term storage, wide availability and preservation of large research data sets.

Final report of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access

The Final Report of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access is now available.  The report Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-Term Access to Digital Information describes its work as follows:

“…questions remain about what digital information we should preserve, who is responsible for preserving, and who will pay.

The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access investigated these questions from an economic perspective. In this report, we identify problems intrinsic to all preserved digital materials, and propose actions that stakeholders can take to meet these challenges to sustainability. We developed action agendas that are targeted to major stakeholder groups and to domain-specific preservation strategies.

The Task Force focused its inquiry on materials that are of long-term public interest, looking at four content domains with diverse preservation profiles:

  • Scholarly discourse: the published output of scholarly inquiry
  • Research data: the primary inputs into research, as well as the first-order results of that research
  • Commercially owned cultural content: culturally significant digital content that is owned by a private entity and is under copyright protection; and
  • Collectively produced Web content: Web content that is created interactively, the result of collaboration and contributions by consumers.”

I have not had chance to look at the report in detail but hope to add a short commentary to the blog in due course.