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Yale and Elsevier Science Plan E-Journal Archive

Please excuse the cross-posting of this message.  Ann Okerson


For Immediate Release: February 23, 2001

Yale Library to Plan Digital Archives with Elsevier Science

New Haven, Conn. -The Yale University Library and Elsevier Science
announce today a year-long planning process for the creation of a digital
archive for the 1,100 journals published electronically by Elsevier

Assuring the preservation of digital information is one of the highest
priorities for libraries and publishers, and this project marks a step
forward for both.  The project expects to realize a model archive within
two years and looks to a future in which scientists and scholars will be
assured that today's publications will be available decades from now.

For part of the "life cycle" of scientific information, commercial
publishing practices ensure the most effective and cost-efficient means of
maintaining access to current information; for other parts of that cycle,
digital preservation and access responsibilities must be deliberately
transferred to an archival agent.  Project planning will focus on the
critical events that should prompt changes in the management of
preservation, on what a library needs to act as an archival agent and on
the agreements needed to enable such changes.

The project will investigate the uses a digital archive supports and the
extent to which it is possible to differentiate between content-the
long-term integrity of which must be preserved-and the options for
rendering and using that content.  Various formats for encoding digital
content will be studied to determine which are likely to remain relatively
stable over time and to be good anchors for preservation.  Project
planners will establish an infrastructure for processing digital objects
selected for the archive.

The plan for a library-based archive of the digital publications of
Elsevier Science will include the business arrangements necessary for
maintaining the archive over time.  A good plan and a successful
implementation of that plan could result in a digital archive being in
place by 2003 The Yale Library hopes that in time it might be able to
offer model archival services to publishers other than Elsevier Science.  
A substantial number of other projects in the United States and abroad
create an environment of experimentation and professional discourse for
the collaborative work of the Yale Library and Elsevier Science.
The one-year planning work is supported by a grant from the Andrew W.
Mellon Foundation. Yale participants include Scott Bennett, University
librarian; Ann Okerson, associate University librarian; Paul Conway, head
of the library's Preservation Department; and David Gewirtz, project
manager in the University's Academic Media and Technology Department.
Elsevier Science personnel include Karen Hunter, senior vice president;
Geoffrey Adams, global information technology director; and Emeka
Akaezuwa, associate director of information technology implementation.

Yale University has one of the world's finest research libraries, with
over 10 million volumes and extraordinary special collections.  
Well-known for the depth and breadth of its print collections, the library
has been moving steadily to provide increased access to scholarly
materials in electronic form.  This interest in electronic media and the
library's concerns for the long-term preservation of scholarly resources
come together in the Yale/Elsevier Science project.

In commenting on the generous grant from the Mellon Foundation, Bennett
noted: "The Library has long been a leader in the area of book
preservation, creating model programs that have benefited the wider
library community.  It is our sincere hope that through this joint effort
with Elsevier Science we will begin to take on a similar role in the
preservation of digital resources."

Elsevier Science (http://www.elsevier.com) is the world's largest
scientific, technical and medical information provider, publishing
journals as well as books and secondary databases.  It is a member of the
Reed Elsevier plc group (http://www.reed-elsevier.com), a leading
international publisher and information provider.  Operating in the
scientific, legal and business-to-business industry sectors, Reed Elsevier
provides information solutions to professional end users, with increasing
emphasis on the Internet as a delivery method.


Paul Conway, Head of Preservation, Yale Library:  203-432-1714,

Karen Hunter, Senior Vice-president, Elsevier Science 212-633-3787,

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