Clockss: a ‘dark archive’ for backup copies of eJournals

As reported by Vince Kiernan in the Chronicle of Higher Education (account required) a number of publishers of eJournals and a group of university and public libraries are collaborating to ensure the availability of the eJournals. Each library will keep a backup copy of all the eJournals offline. Should the publishers online system fail for any reason, any of the university ‘dark archives’ can come online and the eJournal articles become available again.

This useful mechanism addresses one of the hard questions always asked of e-publications – how can access be guaranteed for decades into the future, even past the demise of the original publishing companies?


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

One Response to Clockss: a ‘dark archive’ for backup copies of eJournals

  1. Peta says:

    You might be interested to read this article on the “long tail” economic theory of the digital age. OCLC has published this article – The long tail and libraries.

    “A revolutionary new economic theory says that the digital future is one of abundance—when the bottlenecks that stand between supply and demand disappear and everything becomes available to everyone. How will libraries fit in?” —

    It seems that with digitisation and storage becoming so cheap there is money to be made even from very old journal issues that only the very few may be interested in reading.
    Some publishers are now going back to digitise their complete backsets. If there is money to be made, then old issues are an asset that may be bought up when companies fold.

    In any case this article suggests that libraries should also be digitising their collections. Especially true of their own institutional publications.

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