Workflow for adding new content to LOCKSS

Every few weeks LOCKSS Alliance members receive a message informing them of the release of the latest batch of Archival Units (mostly journal volumes). At De Montfort University we do not respond immediately, but prefer to wait for the LOCKSS website’s new page to be updated. From the website we download the latest batch details as a spreadsheet. For example, in the first week of March we are working on this spreadsheet with 309 New Volumes. It is a list that usually contains journals to which we are anxious to ensure continuing access, and others to which we either have no preservation rights or no such anxiety.

There are plans for adding new features to LOCKSS in the Summer of 2013 to make activating new content easier. For now, our workflow is as follows:

To sort the LOCKSS list we look to our Electronic Journals A-Z and OpenURL Resolver service SFX, from ExLibris, for a list of all our live holdings. We export all this data into Excel and sort it by ISSN number. Large sections of this list can be ‘pruned’ to remove packages where there are no preservation rights, for example: Proquest, EBSCO, etc.

With the SFX list down to a manageable size, we can use the spreadsheet’s VLOOKUP function to merge data from the two files. We create a new column in the LOCKSS list and match in the threshold data from SFX. Where there is no imported threshold we can delete rows in the LOCKSS list as we would have no rights or interest in these. If the list is short enough, it is worth looking over these matches and removing lines where the LOCKSS AU is outside the subscription threshold range.

Now you could use this list to activate AUs in LOCKSS, but at DMU we go for a further stage and involve subject librarians in the selection stage. The amended list is passed on to them for checking. Only when it has been reviewed and returned do we begin activating the new AUs in LOCKSS.

Once a month, at least, we update SFX, using its ‘dataloader’ with the collected LOCKSS journals and thresholds. It is only at this point that all the effort put into preserving electronic journal content is visible to our users.

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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