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?
Example 1: Link to a specific article
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.
Example 2: Journal and year
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.
Where the request is just to see if a journal has been archived, and not for a specific issue or article, LOCKSS presents a menu page listing the possible relevant volumes (or ‘Archival Units’ in its terms) from that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.
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.
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.