SUNYergy Archive: Access to All Issues

January 2007
Volume 9 Number 1
Page 1

photo of rare booksLOCKSS & Portico -- Collaborative Projects for Preserving Electronic Journals

Cover Story

LOCKSS & Portico

Features

Evolution or Devolution?

Ex Libris Acquires Endeavor

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Libraries have always taken on custodial responsibilities for the long-term preservation of library materials and other cultural artifacts in their care. Today's digital world changes the nature and scope of those responsibilities. Not all questions have been answered in regard to preservation of the digital library. Yet many in the library world are actively filling in the blanks.

One particular facet of this is the serial literature. More and more journals have electronic components or are published solely in an electronic form. What are the long-term risks to the ongoing accessibility of this literature? What risks are there in this regard should the publisher go out of business?

Librarians have a long tradition that includes a focus on stewardship. But, library budgets are strapped in attempting to provide new services while maintaining age-old parts of their mission. Surely, the publishers also have responsibilities in this realm. The scope of the issue calls out for collaboration. Here is yet another area where we as librarians know that we'll have to work together to be able to solve this problem.

Non-profit organizations, ARL plus other libraries and publishers have commenced this collaboration. Two examples are the LOCKSS and Portico projects.

LOCKSS (the following is from http://www.lockss.org)
LOCKSS (for "Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe") is open source software that provides librarians with an easy Link to LOCKSSand inexpensive way to collect, store, preserve, and provide access to their own, local copy of authorized content they purchase. Running on standard desktop hardware and requiring almost no technical administration, LOCKSS converts a personal computer into a digital preservation appliance, creating low-cost, persistent, accessible copies of e-journal content as it is published. Since pages in these appliances are never flushed, the local community's access to that content is safeguarded. Accuracy and completeness of LOCKSS appliances is assured through a robust and secure, peer-to-peer polling and reputation system.

LOCKSS provides benefits to libraries, publishers and researchers, while capitalizing on their traditional roles.

Libraries:

  • Can easily and affordably create, preserve, and archive local electronic collections;
  • Own rather than lease electronic information;
  • Retain traditional custodial role of scholarly information;
  • Provide continuing and perpetual access to their local community.

Publishers:

  • Can easily and affordably provide content to the libraries for preservation and archiving with minimal risk to their business models or to their publishing platforms;
  • Ensure perpetual access to their materials;
  • Fulfill librarians' requirements that publishers guarantee both continuing (day to day) and perpetual (very long-term) access to purchased content.

Researchers and Journal Readers:

  • Can access archived and newly published content transparently at its original URLs;
  • Can use existing search engines to transparently locate archived content;
  • Need not be aware that LOCKSS exists in order to take advantage of it.

    The design of the LOCKSS technology is based on a few key ideas:
    * The major threat to digital preservation is economic; no one has enough money to do a perfect job of preserving everything they would like to. Thus the less expensive the system is to run, the more content will be saved and the longer it will survive. ...

Portico (the following is from http://www.portico.org) Link to Portico

The scale and complexity of the infrastructure and operation necessary to preserve core electronic scholarly literature exceeds that which can be supported by any individual library or institutional budget. After extensive, iterative discussion in the library and publisher communities, the Portico electronic archiving service has been shaped in response to this need.

Portico began as the Electronic-Archiving Initiative launched by JSTOR in 2002 with a grant from The AndrewLink to Jstor W. Mellon Foundation to build upon The Foundation's seminal E-Journal Archiving Program. The charge of the Electronic-Archiving Initiative was to build a sustainable electronic-archiving model, and for more than two years, project staff worked on the development of necessary technology and engaged in extensive discussions with publishers and libraries to craft an approach that balances the needs of publishers and libraries while generating sufficient funding for the archive.

The Portico service offers a permanent archive of electronic scholarly journals, thereby providing protection portrait of Andrew W. Mellon, link to Mellon Foundationagainst the potential loss of access to e-literature integral to a library's collection.

Portico provides all libraries supporting the archive with campus-wide access to archived content when specific trigger events occur, and when titles are no longer available from the publisher or other source. Trigger events include:

  • A publisher stops operations; or
  • A publisher ceases to publish a title; or
  • A publisher no longer offers back issues; or
  • Upon catastrophic and sustained failure of a publisher's delivery platform.

Portico also provides a reliable means to secure perpetual access, if participating publishers choose to designate Portico as a provider of post-cancellation access. In addition, select librarians at participating libraries are granted password-controlled access for verification and audit purposes only.

The two projects are taking different approaches. Publisher content is likely to vary also between the two projects. But, no matter if you are in a library large or small, we all need to be aware of and consider participating in efforts such as LOCKSS and Portico.

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Cover Story

LOCKSS & Portico

 

[Image: Bobby Approved Logo]

Features

Evolution or Devolution?

Ex Libris Acquires Endeavor

 

SUNYConnect Updates

 

How to Contact Us

Linkable Links