Tales from The Keepers Registry: Serial Issues About Archiving & the Web
A key task for libraries is to ensure access for their patrons to the scholarly statements now found across the Internet. Three stories reveal progress towards success in that task. The context of these stories is the shift from print to digital format for all types of continuing resources, particularly journals, and the need to archive not just serials but also ongoing ‘integrating resources’ such as databases and Web sites. The first story is about The Keepers Registry, an international initiative to monitor the extent of e-journal archiving. The second story is about the variety of ‘serial issues’ that have had to be addressed during the PEPRS (Piloting an E-journals Preservation Registry Service) project which was commissioned in the UK by JISC. These include identification, naming and identification of publishers, and the continuing need for a universal holdings statement. The role of the ISSN, and of the ISSN-L, has been a key. The third story looks beyond e-journals to new research objects and the dynamics of the Web, to the role of citation and fixity, and to broader matters of digital preservation. This story reflects upon seriality, as the Web becomes the principal arena and medium for scholarly discourse. Scientific discourse is now resident on the Web. Much that is issued on the Web is issued nowhere else: it is a digital native. Statistics that indicate the extent of archiving for e-journals to which major university libraries subscribe are also included in the article.