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Harvard Library & E-Journal Archive

This message was forwarded by Ivy Anderson of the Harvard University
Libraries.  Please excuse cross-postings.

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2001

Harvard University Library and Key Publishers Join Forces for Electronic
Journal Archive

The Harvard University Library and three major publishers of scholarly
journals - Blackwell Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and the
University of Chicago Press - have agreed to work together on a plan to
develop an experimental archive for electronic journals. The preservation
and the archiving of electronic journals - which are increasingly "born
digital" and for which, in many cases, no paper copies exist - present
unique, long-term challenges to librarians, publishers, and, ultimately,
to the scholars and researchers who will seek to access to them over time.

The new joint venture is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,
which recently made a $145,000 grant to the Harvard University Library
specifically for the planning of an electronic journal archive. The grant
challenges Harvard and its publishing partners to address a fundamental
issue in the digital environment:

Until it is clear that electronic journals will be accessible far into the
future, scholarly communities are hesitant to fully support the electronic
medium for communication and publication. Without electronic archives,
libraries and publishers face a difficult choice between bearing dual
costs of maintaining the electronic version of journals for convenient
current access and the paper version for long-term availability, or the
potential loss to future generations of scholarly materials published
solely in electronic form.

The year-long planning effort will explore the issues related to
electronic journal archiving and develop a plan for a repository at
Harvard for electronic journal publications. The expected outcome is a
proposal for an archive for these journals. Major areas to be studied
during the year include:

o establishing agreements between the partners regarding archival rights
  and responsibilities;
o formulating a technical implementation plan;
o defining methodologies that the archive would adopt to validate its
  archival processes and assure the scholarly community that the journals
  for which the archive is responsible will be preserved and useable over
o creating organizational and business models.

Dale Flecker, Associate Director for Planning and Systems in the Harvard
University Library said, "We are extremely fortunate to be able to work on
this critical issue with three outstanding partners who produce a
significant portion of the core journal literature (together producing
over 900 electronic journals) and who have the willingness and the
technical sophistication to address the difficult issues involved. Through
this work, the Harvard University Library will gain substantial experience
in handling a large volume of complex electronic journal data from a
variety of sources. This experience will contribute to the growing body of
knowledge in preserving electronic materials."

Blackwell Science, Blackwell Publishers, and Munksgaard are merging during
2001 to form Blackwell Publishing - the world's largest publisher on
behalf of academic and professional societies. Today, the three companies
cumulatively publish nearly 600 journals in partnership with over 500
societies. This year alone, they will produce over 600 text and reference
books across a wide range of STM, social science, and humanities subject
areas. Blackwell Publishing will consolidate the individual companies'
reputations for high quality publishing of highly cited and reasonably
priced peer-reviewed journals. The online versions of the majority of
these journals are available on Blackwell's online delivery system,
called Blackwell Synergy (http://www.blackwell-synergy.com).

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., is a global publisher of print
and electronic products specializing in scientific, technical, and medical
books and journals; professional and consumer books and subscription
services; and textbooks and educational materials. Wiley's Internet site
can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com. Through Wiley InterScience, which
was launched in the fall of 1997, more than 300 journals in full text
dating back to January 1997 and a number of major reference works are now
available online to licensees and their authorized users. Wiley
InterScience (http://www.interscience.wiley.com) also provides Web access
for members of scientific societies to their peer-reviewed professional
journals published with Wiley, as well as Web-based access, for guest and
other users, to cited journal content linked via CrossRef
(http://www.crossref.org), a publishing industry initiative in which Wiley
has played a leadership role.

Founded in 1891, the University of Chicago Press was conceived by
President William Rainey Harper as an "organic part" of the University,
extending the influence of Chicago scholars around the globe. Within ten
years of its founding, the Press had introduced fourteen scholarly
journals. Today, the Journals Division of the Press distributes 48
serials, presenting original research from international scholars in the
social sciences, humanities, education, biological and medical sciences,
and physical sciences. Its web site can be accessed at

The Harvard University Library is one of the five largest libraries in the
world and the largest academic library system in existence. In addition to
holdings of more than 13.4 million books, Harvard is a world-renowned
repository for manuscripts, personal and organizational archives,
photographs, audio and video recordings, oral histories, and ephemera
ranging from 19th-century advertising art to the famed Harvard Theatre

Significantly, Harvard is the home of the Library Digital Initiative (LDI)
which is creating the infrastructure needed to support the development,
storage, and delivery of digital library collections at Harvard. For more
information, visit the LDI web site at http://hul.harvard.edu/ldi/.


Dale Flecker, Associate Director for Planning and Systems, the Harvard
University Library: 617/495-3274, dale_flecker@harvard.edu

Evan Owens, IT Manager, The University of Chicago Press: 773/753-3375,

David Sommer, Synergy Product Manager, Blackwell Publishing: 
+44 (0) 1865 206193, David.Sommer@blacksci.co.uk

Susan Spilka, Director of Corporate Communications, John Wiley & Sons,
Inc.: 212/850-6147, sspilka@wiley.com