Academic journal article Journal of the Medical Library Association

Seize the E-Journal: Models for Archiving Symposium: Report

Academic journal article Journal of the Medical Library Association

Seize the E-Journal: Models for Archiving Symposium: Report

Article excerpt


A half-day symposium, "Seize the E-Journal: Models for Archiving," was held, May 26, 2004, after the conclusion of MLA '04, the 104th Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association (MLA), in Washington, DC. The symposium was sponsored by the Collection Development Section.

The objectives of the symposium were for the 100 participants to become familiar with current electronic journal archiving models, to discuss future-oriented priorities for collection development, and to suggest electronic archival strategies for individual, organizational, consortial, and national libraries. The program included presentations by four experts on their archiving models, input from reaction panel members on the various models presented, a question-and-answer session, and, finally, a breakout discussion session that allowed participants to brainstorm on future archiving priorities and standards. Presentations from the session, along with a Web bibliography of related resources, are maintained on the Collection Development section Website .


Every few years, the Collection Development Section sponsors a symposium on a collections topic before or after an MLA annual meeting. As the section considered "hot" topics for a symposium, it was clear that librarians' role as preservationists of biomedical information is being challenged. In many cases, information acquired by the library is housed on a host site such as a publisher's site or an aggregator's site. New models for preserving electronic information are being developed and tested, so that biomedical information access will continue into the future. As more and more medical libraries cancel their print subscriptions, the various electronic preservation options need to be understood, so that informed decisions are made as they relate to perpetual access to licensed information. Some of the issues being considered are:

* Who is responsible for preserving this information?

* What technology is being used to manage this information?

* Who is making the decisions on what is to be preserved?

Once the symposium proposal was accepted by the MLA Continuing Education Committee, a planning committee made up of section members was formed. Research was conducted to identify current and planned models for preservation and archiving of on-line resources. Four models were selected to represent current trends in online preservation. A reaction panel was formed that included a hospital librarian, an academic librarian, and a publisher. A Web bibliography was produced that included general articles on archiving as well as the presentations given by the speakers. Publicity was targeted not only to MLA members, but also to sister societies and health sciences library groups in the Washington, DC, area.


Betsy L. Humphreys, US National Library of Medicine (NLM), was the moderator. The panelists were Erik Oltmans, e-Depot, National Library of the Netherlands; Victoria Reich, LOCKSS Program, Stanford University Library; Edwin Sequeira, PubMed Central, NLM; and Eileen Gifford Fenton, Electronic-Archiving Initiative, JSTOR. The reaction panel consisted of Britain Roth, Academic Information, Geisinger Health System; Mark Danderson, Sales and Business Development, New England Journal of Medicine; and T. Scott Plutchak, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Journal of the Medical Library Association.


The archiving models represented a spectrum: two nationally supported initiatives, a distributed initiative started by a university, and a third-party archive organization. After the symposium, the presentations and materials were linked on an area of the Collection Development section Website devoted to the symposium. The Web bibliography remained there as well.

Erik Oltmans provided an overview titled, "Permanent Access to the Records of Science: The e-Depot at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Current Status & Developments. …

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