Harvard, Publishers to Form E-Journal Archive. (Digital Publishing: E-Books * Online & Digital Publishing * Print-on-Demand)

Article excerpt

The Harvard University Library and three publishers of scholarly journals -- Blackwell Publishing, John Wiley & Sons Inc. and the University of Chicago Press -- are working together to develop an experimental archive for e-journals. The preservation and archiving of e-journals -- which are increasingly created in digital form and for which, in many cases, no paper forms exist -- present unique, long-term challenges to librarians, publishers, and, ultimately, to the scholars and researchers who will seek access to them in the future.

The new joint venture is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which recently made a $145,000 grant to the Harvard University Library specifically for the planning of an e-journal archive. The grant challenges Harvard and its publishing partners to address a fundamental issue in the digital environment.

Until it is clear that e-journals will be accessible far into the future, scholarly communities are hesitant to fully support the electronic medium for communication and publication. Without electronic archives, libraries and publishers face a difficult choice between bearing dual costs of maintaining the electronic version of journals for convenient current access and the paper version for long-term availability, or the potential loss to future generations of scholarly materials published solely in electronic form. …