What do the preserved electronic journals in LOCKSS look like?

Continuing access to valued content

De Montfort University has been archiving copies of the electronic journals it values since around 2007 (using a system called LOCKSS) , but it is only in 2012 that it has become possible to make this activity visible to library users. Now we have linked the ‘Find It @ DMU’ service with LOCKSS  for 250 of the preserved journals.

‘Find It @ DMU’, behind which we have an ExLibris SFX4 OpenURL Resolver, is a good match for the archiverd content in LOCKSS. It makes it possible to see the archived content in LOCKSS as just another source for accessing journals. If the publisher’s version is unavailable, then the archived content in LOCKSS can come to the rescue.

This is all quite timely as the recently published Finch Report: ‘Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications‘ reminded its readers of the key role that journals have had since their origin in the seventeenth century of preserving a record of scientific findings for the long-term. The need for greater investment in digital preservation efforts (like LOCKSS) was one of the things called for by the report.

What do the preserved journals look like?

With content preserved in LOCKSS, the content should be as close as possible to its original version on the publisher’s website. So it is not just the PDF copy of the article that gets preserved, but also the accompanying images, stylesheets and javascript that have to be collected and re-constructed.

Example 1: Link to a specific article

Rosse WF, Narla M, Petz LD, Steinberg MH. New Views of Sickle Cell Disease Pathophysiology and Treatment. Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2000:2-17.

What are the differences beween the version preserved in LOCKSS and the publishers own live version?

Answer: They are pretty much the same, especially for the full text of the article.

Journal content archived in LOCKSS

Example 2: Journal and year

Hematology [1520-4391] yr:2000

What are the differences beween the version presented by LOCKSS and the publishers own live version?

LOCKSS presents a default menu page, called a ‘Manifest’ page, which links to the available volumes for this year’s volumes of the journal.

LOCKSS manifest page for a journalExample 3

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

Where the request is just to see if a journal has been archived, and not for a specific issue or article, LOCKSS presents a menu page listing the possible relevant volumes (or ‘Archival Units’ in its terms) from that publisher. Selecting one of the archival units will get you to a further menu page and closer to the archived content for the journal.

A LOCKSS Journal menu screenExample 4

Stollery, M. Transformation and Enhancement: Film Editors
and Theatrical Adaptations in British Cinema of
the 1930s and 1940s. Adaptation Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 1–20

The more specific the request, the easier it is for LOCKSS to get you the required content. Most requests from library users are for individual articles, only a few people want to browse through journals generally.

Direct access to a preserved article in LOCKSS

If you have any queries about how this works, or spot any missing content, please do let me know.

PS: If you are interested in all aspects of continuing access to electronic material, you may find the Digitalpreservation News interesting. It is an update based on the tweets of people involved in this area.

About Philip Adams

Senior Assistant Librarian at De Montfort University. I am interested in digital preservation and the use of data to measure a library's impact. All comments own.
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