December 2011

Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

For all those who couldn’t be there – Happy [Pagan] New Year!

Preserving Email report marks launch of new DPC Tech Watch Series

I am delighted to announce that the first of the new Technology Watch Reports Series that Charles Beagrie Ltd been producing for the Digital Preservation Coalition has just been released as a preview to DPC members. It is also the first report in the new series design and report format. I’m just back from the winter solstice at Stonehenge this morning, so I feel we have done all the rites and it is an auspicious time to launch the first report in the series!

The report ‘Preserving Email’ is authored by Chris Prom, Assistant University Archivist at the University of Illinois. During 2009-10, as part of the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award, Chris directed a research project at the Centre for Archive and Information Studies at the University of Dundee concerning “Practical Approaches to Identifying, Preserving, and Providing Access to Electronic Records”. This included a major focus on preservation of email.

Neil Beagrie, Director of Consultancy at Charles Beagrie Ltd, was commissioned to act as principal investigator and managing editor of the new series in 2011.  The managing editor has been further supported by an Editorial Board drawn from DPC members and peer reviewers who have commented on the text prior to release.  The Editorial Board comprises William Kilbride (Chair), Neil Beagrie (Series Editor), Janet Delve (University of Portsmouth), Tim Keefe (Trinity College Dublin), Andrew McHugh (University of Glasgow), Dave Thompson (Wellcome Library).

The full text of the report is available now to DPC members (from the DPC member web pages – accessible by DPC members only) but it is expected to have its wider public release on the DPC website in late January or early February 2012. The public release and url for the public version will be announced on release.

JISC Collections conclude a UK consortium membership rate for the Portico archive

I missed a significant announcement back in the summer holidays so I will blog a (belated) update this month. In July JISC Collections and Portico concluded a UK consortium membership rate for the Portico archive. This builds on a previous consortium agreement with Portico for Scottish university libraries in SHEDL.

The JISC agreement offers a substantial discount to consortium members on the individual library rate that would apply. As of 12 October 2011, 57 UK university libraries have joined the Portico e-journal archive (20 of these are since July 2011 and as part of the new JISC Collections agreement). Take-up of the e-books archive has been much lower so far: only the SHEDL libraries (where e-journal and e-book archive membership was bundled) and 5 out of the 20 new UK library members have taken this option.

Membership of Portico acts as an “insurance policy” should post-cancellation access arrangements with a participating publisher fail and provides a fully out-sourced service. The Portico archive service is discussed in more detail in a JISC Collections Guide to e-Archiving Solutions.