JISC Report Evaluates CLIR/ARL E-Journal Archiving Report

JISC has just released an evaluation of the 2006 CLIR/ARL report e-Journal Archiving Metes and Bounds: A Survey of the Landscape. The new report, which is by Maggie Jones, is titled Review and Analysis of the CLIR Report E-Journal Archiving Metes and Bounds: A Survey of the Landscape.

Here is an excerpt from the Executive Summary:

Although both legal deposit legislation and institutional repositories are important developments, neither of them can reasonably be expected to provide practical solutions for libraries licensing access to e-journals. In the UK, the archiving clauses in the NESLI licence have provided a measure of security for libraries but in the absence of trusted repositories charged with managing e-journals, these have provided largely theoretical assurance.

There is a pressing requirement for trusted repositories focussed on archiving and preserving e-journals, which are independent of publishers, and which offer services which can safeguard content while sharing costs between libraries and publishers equitably. While the concerns of libraries are much the same as they were when the JISC consultancy on e-journals archiving reported in 2003, there are now a clearer set of options emerging. Over the past few years, a number of promising initiatives have been developed which provide much better prospects for continued access to licensed e-journal content and which offer cost-effective services for libraries and publishers. Twelve of these trusted repositories have been profiled in a recent CLIR survey. Many of them, including Portico, Pub Med Central, CLOCKSS, and LOCKSS are already familiar in the UK.

Despite a rapidly changing landscape, there is nevertheless a powerful momentum, as evidenced in the rapid take-up of two of the services, LOCKSS and Portico. It is also now possible to articulate a set of principles for archiving services, based on practical reality, which can guide decision-making. The CLIR survey provides a valuable catalyst which the forthcoming BL/DPC/JISC E-Journal Archiving and Preservation workshop (27th March 2007) and other mechanisms have the opportunity to take a significant step forward in this crucial area.