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Press release: JISC issues call to preserve online journals

Of possible interest.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2005 16:23:12 -0000
From: Brian Mitchell <b.mitchell@jisc.ac.uk>
Subject: Press release: JISC issues call to preserve online journals

Press release

JISC issues call to preserve online journals

1st November, 2005. Access to entire back runs of electronic journals
could be lost to educational institutions when subscriptions are cancelled
or when journals cease publication. Because libraries can only lease
access to electronic journals, in contrast to their print equivalents,
their assets are at risk and valuable online content is in danger of being

JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), in partnership with CURL
(Consortium of Research Libraries in the British Isles), today issued a
call to librarians and publishers to meet these challenges together. An
extended pilot will see the LOCKSS system, devised at Stanford University,
deployed in selected libraries in the UK from January 2006.

LOCKSS - 'Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe' - is a low-cost system that
preserves access to a library's online journals in a local 'LOCKSS box' in
a manner acceptable to publishers. The chosen libraries will each keep
copies of the journals they subscribe to and together they will ensure
continued access to subscribed online journals even if a publisher should
disappear, a journal cease publication, or the library end its

The pilot will be supported by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) through
the provision of technical advice and training, and by Content Complete,
JISC's agent for Nesli2 in negotiating journal license deals.
Participating libraries will help identify additional titles to include in
the programme.

Robin Green, Executive Director of CURL, said that it was important that
university libraries came forward to participate in the pilot programme:
"The profile of digital preservation has increased significantly in recent
years, but there is still a great deal to do in this area and libraries
have a vital role to play. We hope that a great many will be interested in
playing their part in this important programme."

Lorraine Estelle, Collections Team Manager at JISC, said: "One of the
great barriers to the uptake of online resources in general, and journals
in particular, is the perception that they lack permanence. Without
assured future access to paid-for content institutions are reluctant to
move to electronic-only subscriptions. LOCKSS removes the difficulty at a
stroke and provides a very practical way of guaranteeing access to what
are vital resources for academic institutions."

Chris Rusbridge, Director of the DCC, said: "The elegance and practicality
of the LOCKSS approach is very appealing. We are delighted to be able to
support this project, which truly complements our mission."

Albert Prior of Content Complete, who will lead the discussions with
publishers, called on publishers to collaborate with libraries in ensuring
the preservation of online journals: "LOCKSS provides both libraries and
publishers with a practical and economic solution for ensuring continuing
access to key journal content. We look forward to meeting with publishers
to discuss the aims and benefits of LOCKSS and the issues for implementing
the system."

A town meeting will be held in London on the 2nd December to which all
interested libraries and publishers are invited. Further details,
including the call for participation, are available at:


For further information, please contact: 

Philip Pothen (JISC) on 020 7848 2935, 07887 564 006 or p.pothen@jisc.ac.uk
Robin Green (CURL) on  0121 415 8106 or robin.green@curl.ac.uk 

Notes to editors

1.  JISC - the Joint Information Systems Committee - is a joint committee
of the UK further and higher education funding bodies and is responsible
for supporting the innovative use of information and communication
technology (ICT) to support learning, teaching, and research. It is best
known for providing the JANET network, a range of support, content and
advisory services, and a portfolio of high-quality resources. Information
about JISC, its services and programmes can be found at www.jisc.ac.uk/,
or contact Philip Pothen on 020 7848 2935 / 07887 564 006 or

2.  CURL - the Consortium of Research Libraries in the British Isles - is
a nationally and internationally recognised partnership of 29 major
research Iibraries, including 24 university libraries, the UK's three
national libraries, and the libraries of the Victoria and Albert Museum
and the Wellcome Trust. CURL's mission is to increase the ability of
research libraries to share resources and provide for the information
needs of the local, national and international research community. CURL's
primary service is COPAC (www.copac.ac.uk <http://www.copac.ac.uk/> ), a
freely available union catalogue of over 40 million items from member
library holdings. CURL also has oversight of the Archives Hub
<http://www.archiveshub.ac.uk/> on behalf of the JISC
<http://www.jisc.ac.uk/>, and leads or participates in a wide range of
initiatives developing support for research.  More information on CURL is
available at <http://www.curl.ac.uk/> .

Dr Philip Pothen
Press and PR Manager,
King's College London,