keepers logoThe PARS Forum held in Seattle during the 2013 ALA Midwinter meeting focused on e-journal preservation and in particular the Keepers Registry which is a database of e-journals and the entities that are caring for their long-term access.  Ann Marie Willer from MIT hosted the session, appropriately so since last year, she presented on a project that identified e-journal stewards for MIT’s holdings before this database was available. Winston Atkins from Duke University and Robert Wolven from Columbia University presented some of their findings when they ran their journal holdings against the Keepers Registry.

bl_logo_100CLOCKSSporticoThe Keepers Registry is currently in Beta and was developed by EDINA, a national data center at the University of Edinburgh with the assistance of the ISSN International Center. Bibliographic information is provided by the ISSN Register. The Keepers Registry basically keeps track of  e-journals that are being archived by at least one of the following repositories:  British Library, CLOCKSS Archive, e-Depot, Global LOCKSS Network, HathiTrust, National Science Library (Chinese Academy of Sciences), and Portico.



Some of the current limitations of the database were touched on by the presenters. Because the Keepers Registry is based on the ISSN Register, only journals with well formed ISSNs are included in the database. Wolven reported that half of the Cornell & Columbia project titles did not have ISSNs and for those titles that did have ISSNs, roughly 25% were included in the registry. Atkins also experienced roughly a 22% hit rate with the 61,682 serial titles at Duke. It was also reported that among the titles archived by these agencies there was a lot of overlap or redundancy among the agencies especially for major titles. Some titles do not have complete runs within a single repository and some of these segments are scattered across multiple repositories. This creates a reliance on multiple archiving agencies to guarantee preservation of complete runs of e-journal titles. To address these gaps, the identification of other archiving agencies is underway.

Participating agencies are required to share their metadata with the Registry. This information is linked to the authoritative bibliographic information obtained from the ISSN Register. These agencies also provide Keepers with a description of their organization and their approach to the preservation of and access to their digital content. Keepers is still finalizing the requirements for agency participation.

Keepers is a step toward global collaboration in preserving e-journals. It also provides the tool to identify titles that are not being preserved by trusted agencies and most at risk.