Addressing the uncertain future of preserving the past

Towards a robust strategy for digital archiving and preservation

by Stijn Hoorens, Jeff Rothenberg, Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau, Martin van der Mandele, Ruth Levitt

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Storing and curating authentic academic literature and making it accessible for the long term has been a time-honoured task of national libraries. By guarding existing knowledge and facilitating its use to produce new insights, national and university libraries have formed an integral part of the research environment, complementing the roles of other stakeholders such as researchers, publishers and funders. However, recently the digital revolution has modified fundamentally the way that research results are circulated, reviewed, accessed and preserved. Hitherto established models of market dynamics and stewardship need to be rethought and part of the responsibilities of national libraries redefined. This document examines key determinants of the sustainable digital preservation of scholarly records, with specific reference to developing a robust approach to the archiving of such records at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Netherlands.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    A brief history of preserving the digital past

  • Chapter Three

    Scholarly dissemination and publishing: a complex and dynamic environment

  • Chapter Four

    Digital archiving and preservation: an area under construction

  • Chapter Five

    The uncertain future of preserving the past

  • Chapter Six

    Strategy implications for KB

  • Appendix A

    Summary of key assumptions underpinning the e-Depot strategy

  • Appendix B

    List of interviewees

  • Appendix C

    The technological basis for digital preservation

  • Appendix D

    12 e-journal archives compared

  • Appendix E

    Stakeholders’ views and positions on scholarly communication and publishing

  • Appendix F

    Stakeholders’ views and positions on preservation

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and was conducted by RAND Europe.

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