Charleston Conference – eBook Archiving

Yesterday, I joined a panel of publishers, aggregators, and archiving agencies to discuss the issue of eBook archiving.  I had to set the stage for libraries, which was quite easy – we are in fear of losing our content to which we no longer have control of since it is housed on someone else’s server in another part of the country/world.  How do we guarantee that the content we purchased will remain accessible to us and our end users? We need to work on a solution….and fast.

Rebecca Seger from Oxford University Press presented the publishers perspective, highlighting things OUP has done, and challenges facing publishers.

  • OUP has journals archiving in place with portico, CLOCKSS, and LOCKSS.  OUP’s first trigger event happened in 2009.  Their policy is publicly available on the OUP site.
  • Ebook archiving at OUP is done via publisher archiving and a dark archive.  They keep a repository in PDF format.  But, OUP cannot archive the proprietary versions created by the aggregator partners like ebrary, EBL, Ingram, EBSCO.
  • OUP feels the obligation to preserve the Oxford Scholarship Online version for library customers.  They also offer the option of providing XML data to purchaser for local archiving (as she described was being done at OhioLINK.)
  • Some challenges:  Archiving options are limited for ebooks as not everything available for journals is available for ebooks, yet.  Additionally, defining the trigger events has proven to be much more difficult.

Toni Tracy, Director of  Publisher Relations at Portico offered her perspective, providing details on what their program already offers for eBook archiving.

  • Portico preserves ejournals, ebooks, other scholarly content
  • They are the largest community supported archives, and certified as a trusted digital repository.
  • They currently serve 120 publishers with over 12K ejournals, 70K ebooks, and 39 digitized collections (Quite impressive for only 5 years old)
  • 15 million journal articles
  • At the end of the year their collection should be over 10 terabytes of digitized collection material available, and over 22 million terabytes for the entire collections
  • They offer 3 different archiving services, which are treated differently
  • ejournals – started in 2005, community supported, publishers deposit source files, libraries pay an archive support fee
  • ebooks – got requests very early on, but weren’t ready, had to come up with a model,  2008 launched, model similar to ejournals with addition of a one-time setup fee
  • digital collections – 2009, supported by publishers, fees based on custom quotes
  • Beginning in 2011, Portico will offer separate ebook model
  • ebooks – 8 publishers participating, over 70K ebooks
  • Any content committed/deposited stays in the archive, even if publisher cancels agreement
  • Sometimes rights revert back to the author.  At this point the publisher gives Portico the right to establish rights directly with the author, so long as they are willing.
  • Trigger events meant to provide a belt/suspenders until another solution is determined.

Rich Rosy from Ingram Digital provided an aggregators view, stating:

  • When a publisher loses rights, they have lost the ability to sell the book forward, but very rarely do they have to give back what they have already sold.
  • Aggregators add more confusion.  If MyiLibrary has a trigger event, it doesn’t necessarily trigger an event for the publisher who has the rights.
  • Archiving is not a US only solution.  Everyone wants an archiving solution for their country, we need to consistent solution.
  • Who pays for it?
  • Are we looking for continued access or true archiving/perpetual access?
  • Myriad solutions, libraries will have to choose which one works for us.

Finally, Kari Paulson from EBL offered a possible solution.  They’ve been brainstorming with Ingram for a practical interim solution to answer the question, what would happen if you (aggregator) were no longer here?

Kari proposed an alliance between aggregators, libraries, and publisher.  Should a trigger event happen, libraries could turn that content on using a recognized platform.   Kari had some fun slides to visualize this model and once she gets them updated I will post them here.  Proposed Archival Solution_animated