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Preservation of Electronic Scholarly Journals

In October 1999, CLIR, the DLF, and Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) convened a group of publishers and librarians to discuss responsibility for archiving the content of electronic journals. The group was asked to consider what would be required to ensure access to electronic journals for 100 years. To stimulate progress, CLIR staff extracted minimum requirements for archival repositories from the Open Archival information System (OAIS) reference model and presented a document on the requirements for electronic journal archiving to a group of library directors. After incorporating the directors' suggestions for improvements into the document (version 1.1.), CLIR invited Karen Hunter of Elsevier Science to convene a group of commercial and nonprofit publishers to review the document. Finally, Ann Okerson, of Yale University, was asked to convene a group of licensing experts from the library and publishing communities to review the document as revised by publishers (version 1.2.) and make suggestions about the language that needs to be used in negotiating license agreements that include responsibility for digital archiving. As a result of the meetings, the groups managed to reach consensus on the minimum criteria that each group would require of an e-journal archival repository.

Building on that consensus, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation solicited proposals from selected research libraries to participate in a process designed to plan the development of repositories meeting those criteria. Seven major libraries have now received grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation including the New York Public Library and the university libraries of Cornell, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, and Yale.

Yale, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania will work with individual publishers on archiving the range of their electronic journals. Cornell and the New York Public Library will work on archiving journals in specific disciplines. MIT's project involves archiving "dynamic" e-journals that change frequently, and Stanford's involves the development of specific archiving software tools.

CLIR, the DLF, and CNI will continue to support the planning process in a variety of ways and the DLF will maintain the program's web pages with links to individual project sites, working papers, and other relevant information.

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