Re: Priorities: OA Content Provision vs. OA Content Preservation

From: Steve Hitchcock <>
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2004 22:07:32 +0000

At 21:28 05/12/04 +0000, Michael Fraser wrote:
>Presumably, something like LOCKSS applies equally to open access materials
>as it does to other forms (and preferably across national boundaries):

At a service level this is broadly correct. As part of its programme for
Supporting Digital Preservation and Asset Management in Institutions, JISC
recently announced funding for two projects to investigate preservation
services for institutional archives
- PRESERV (PReservation Eprint SERVices)
- SHERPA Digital Preservation: Creating a Persistent Preservation
Environment for Institutional Repositories

What both projects have in common is an emphasis on exploring third-party
preservation services that are independent of the archives, i.e. letting
the archives concentrate on providing access to content, as now. This is
something like LOCKSS, in terms of distributing services, and we may see
some direct collaboration between the projects and LOCKSS, although at
present LOCKSS is focussed on journals and the projects on archives.

>"LOCKSS (for "Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe") is open source software
>that provides librarians with an easy and inexpensive way to collect,
>store, preserve, and provide access to their own, local copy of authorized
>content they purchase. Running on standard desktop hardware and requiring
>almost no technical administration, LOCKSS converts a personal computer
>into a digital preservation appliance, creating low-cost, persistent,
>accessible copies of e-journal content as it is published. Since pages in
>these appliances are never flushed, the local community's access to that
>content is safeguarded. Accuracy and completeness of LOCKSS appliances is
>assured through a robust and secure, peer-to-peer polling and reputation
>It is increasingly possible to make a distinction between a preferred
>preservation repository (e.g. some form of institutional repository) and a
>preferred dissemination repository (e.g. a subject-based repository).

Since our PRESERV project is at an early stage perhaps I should keep an
open mind, but I'm not sure these distinctions are correct. What we
envisage, based on the OAI model, is content-based archives, and
cooperating services for resource discovery, preservation, and other
services as well. In other words, we are concerned with enabling
preservation services for OAI content wherever it is archived, not on a
particular type of archive. One could argue that dissemination will be down
to service providers rather than individual archives, as least as far as
institutional archives are concerned; ArXiv could perhaps claim to be the
exception, as a single archive offering content and dissemination services.
Certainly we expect to see subject-based discovery/dissemination services
predominate, e.g. RePEc, rather than subject-based 'dissemination' archives.

Steve Hitchcock
IAM Group, School of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 3256 Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 2865
Received on Sun Dec 05 2004 - 22:07:32 GMT

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