Archived page: This page relates to Phase One of PEPRS which ran from August 2008 to July 2010.
The purpose of this project, jointly conducted by EDINA and the ISSN International Centre, Paris, is to scope, build and test a pilot for an E-journals Preservation Registry Service [PEPRS]. The project draws upon the findings of a report commissioned by JISC: "Scoping study for a registry of electronic journals that indicates where they are archived" 1. The authors of that study interviewed a range of stakeholders including representatives from national and university libraries, publishers and archiving organizations.
The overall aim is to provide librarians and policy makers with information on provision for continuing access all scholarly work published in e-journals. The project will pilot an online facility that would let a range of stakeholders check the archival provision for e-journals and to identify the gaps in such provision.
The project objectives for this network-level facility are to investigate, build and test an authoritative, low-cost and up-to-date reference source on the preservation status of e-journals.
Key features in the methodology are leverage from an authority register of over 60,000 e-journals, sourced directly from the ISSN Register and network interoperability with systematic statement by preservation agencies on policies and coverage. The Project Board, comprising staff from EDINA and the ISSN IC, will meet quarterly to ensure that timescales for all project deliverables are met.
E-journals are playing an increasingly important role in scholarly communication as more and more journals are published as e-journals, some previously print-only journals are now only e-journal and new journals are often only published as e-journals. Preserving journals to provide access over time has thus become a critically important activity. Equally important, though, is knowing which journals are being preserved, by which organisation(s) and what access arrangements prevail. This Project will define ways of providing this vital preservation information.
The outputs will be:
The main strands in the evolution of the project have been the following:
The approach taken to the identification of user needs was firstly to identify requirements as detailed in the background reports written before this project started. This analysis was supported by primary investigations carried out during the project. A series of interviews were held with staff from the preservation agencies involved in PEPRS as well as selected library staff. From all of this information a listing of user requirements was prepared and used for the design of the demonstrator described below.
Since the envisaged register was something which was required to use information obtained from third parties establishing good working relationships with the third parties was deemed a key component part of the first phase of the project. Contact with the involved agencies was made at an early stage and all agencies contacted expressed a willingness to collaborate in the project. Once the agencies had agreed to collaborate they were asked to supply metadata for the journals in their respective preservation programmes. All the agencies, except one, supplied metadata although in a number of cases what has been supplied is a subset of the data held rather than a complete dataset.
EDINA's project partner, the ISSN International Centre, based in Paris, supplied the ISSN Register which provides metadata on all journal (including over 60,000 e-journals) which have been allocated an ISSN.
A Demonstrator system utilising the metadata received from the agencies and matched against the authoritative data in the ISSN Register was created during the project. The system was developed as a proof of concept using Ruby on Rails, an open source web framework. Essentially, the system allows users to search for journals and find out which, if any, of the agencies have the journal or journal in their preservation programme. The system lists the actual volumes of journals as supplied by the agency. Screenshots of the demonstrator are provided below.
Details of the meetings and presentations are provided under the Links section of the project website.
Details of the publications about the project are provided under the Links section of the project website.
A external evaluation of the project was carried out in February 2010. The evaluators made a series of recommendations on the project. A number of the recommendations applied to the period remaining for the project (to July 2010) and were dealt with in this period. The remaining recommendations applied to a future phase of the project and were incorporated into a proposal for further funding for the period until December 2012. This proposal was submitted to the JISC in May 2010 and funding has been allocated to July 2012.
Below are screenshots from the PEPRS prototype to demonstrate proposed functionality. Note that this prototype has been built using sample data from preservation agencies and does not yet reflect their complete holdings. Not all system functions have yet been implemented, and presentation views will evolve as we receive feedback from librarians and preservation agency staff.
PEPRS provides a basic user interface that allows a user to search for preservation information on a specific e-journal journal title by providing an ISSN (either Online or Print), or by searching for title key words.
It is also possible to browse through filtered title lists. This will allow the user:
If a title is searched for (either by ISSN or key words), PEPRS provides an intermediate results page. This is intended to show the minimum information required to identify unambiguously the title, namely Journal Title, ISSN, and Publisher. This also makes available an at-a-glance short summary of preservation coverage.
PEPRS aggregates information from multiple sources, and this can lead to inconsistencies with information. For example, publisher information can vary over time, and so we currently list the publisher as supplied by each preservation agency.
When browsing, a similar view is presented. In this instance, titles published by 'Oxford University Press' are presented, ordered alphabetically. This allows the user to see the agencies that have preserved content, and the extent of coverage.
Currently, only titles being preserved by an agency are displayed in these browse results - so PEPRS does not currently show missing titles (i.e. gaps in coverage).
Inspecting individual titles yields more detailed information. A richer bibliographic record from the ISSN Register is displayed, and all available information from the preservation agencies is displayed.
Finally, it is possible to click through to a summary page for each preservation agency, which describes the access and preservation policies in place.
The user interface allows a user to inspect summary information, or a per-title basis. We expect many librarians will also be interested in comparing the full set of titles to which they subscribe (a list generated from their library catalogues) with the set of content preserved by agencies.
PEPRS implements a comparison of holdings to enable this. This page contains a form that allows the user to upload a text file containing a list of ISSNs, and responds with a tab-separated file containing a report of the coverage in participating preservation agencies. The tab-separated report can be viewed in Microsoft Excel, and will contain similar information to that displayed via the User Interface.
Finally, we plan to implement further mechanisms of automated linking, such as via OpenURL resolution. The extent of this functionality is currently under assessment.