The Digital Divide. Assessing Organisati…

The Digital Divide. Assessing Organisations’ Preparations for Digital Preservation :
Historically, information was recorded on paper, parchment and papyrus. Despite the apparent vulnerability of these materials, we can still read Egyptian scrolls, illuminated mediaeval manuscripts and early printed books today, hundreds or even thousands of years later. Nowadays, information is recorded digitally on hard drives, CDs and memory sticks. It has become much easier to produce, distribute and store information, and so there is more of it than ever before. It is ironic, though, that the more
information we produce, and the more we can hold in a given space, the shorter the time we seem to be able to keep hold of it for. Given that within decades storage media decay and computer hardware and software become obsolete, a word-processed document written twenty years ago may turn out to be more ephemeral than a text created in ancient Egypt more than 5,000 years ago.
This white paper is based on the findings of a Planets survey of two hundred organisations, mainly European archives and libraries, to investigate their digital preservation activities and
needs. It summarises the survey results, discusses key digital preservation topics, and highlights the steps needed to tackle the challenges of retaining access to our digital information in the medium and long term.


Open Access and Institutional Repositori…

Open Access and Institutional Repositories in Agricultural Sciences. The Case of Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA) :
The Internet hasmade it easy to create digital collections and make them readily accessible. Academic and research institutions in developing countries generate an enormous amount of information. Most of the information exists as grey literature and is often difficult to collect, store, preserve and make accessible to users. In addition, developing countries are facing barriers in access to scholarly information due to financial constraints. One way of overcoming these problems is to promote open access (OA) and institutional repositories (IR). OA and IRs are indispensable for academic and research institutions in developing countries because access to adequate, timely and relevant information is imperative to improve research and development in the agricultural sector. This paper explores OA and IRs from practical perspectives. It describes the Botswana College of Agriculture Library’s IR as a case study, including lessons learned in establishing and running the IR.

Preserving Open Access Journals: A Liter…

Preserving Open Access Journals: A Literature Review :
This literature review addresses certain questions concerning the preservation of free, born-digital scholarly materials. It covers recent thinking on the current state of preservation efforts of born-digital materials; the range of actors involved in significant preservation initiatives of these artefacts; the perceived barriers preventing open access materials from benefiting from existing preservation efforts; initiatives that may enable local, small-scale preservation efforts to be undertaken; the challenges and opportunities posed to preservation by new models of scholarship such as open access datasets, reference sharing and annotation, collaborative authoring and community peer review. The review identifies representative international collaborative preservation initiatives, describes their goals and results, their specific preservation strategie, and their applicability to the preservation of born digital open access materials.


Since the mid1990s the Internet’s Worldwide Web has provided the necessary technical platform to enable free access to computerised legal information. Prior to the web there were many online legal information systems and numerous legal information products distributed on CD-ROM, but there was no significant provision of free access to legal information anywhere in the world. Both government and private sector online legal publishers charged for access. The web provided the key element required for free public access – a low cost distribution mechanism. For publishers it was close to a ‘no cost’ distribution mechanism if they were not required to pay for outgoing bandwidth. The ease of use of graphical browsers from around 1994, and the web’s use of hypertext as its principal access mechanism (at that time) meant that, the web provided a simple and relatively consistent means by which legal information could be both provided and accessed. This was an attractive alternative to the proprietary, expensive and training intensive search engines on which commercial online services largely relied. The development of free access Internet law services was based on these factors.

Free and open scholarship in the interne…

Free and open scholarship in the internet age :
Describes an action research project on scholarly communication in early stages. Research sites include the Open Access Journal Supports in Canada research team, E-LIS, the Open Archive for Library and Information, Scholarly and Research Communication (a new open access journal), and Stream, the SFU School of Communication graduate student open access journal. Methods include action research, economic and discourse analysis.

Comparing Repository Types – Challenges …

Comparing Repository Types – Challenges and barriers for subject-based repositories, research repositories, national repository systems and institutional repositories in serving scholarly communication :
After two decades of repository development, some conclusions may be drawn as to which type of repository and what kind of service best supports digital scholarly communication, and thus the production of new knowledge. Four types of publication repository may be distinguished, namely the subject-based repository, research repository, national repository system and institutional repository. Two important shifts in the role of repositories may be noted. With regard to content, a well-defined and high quality corpus is essential. This implies that repository services are likely to be most successful when constructed with the user and reader uppermost in mind. With regard to service, high value to specific scholarly communities is essential. This implies that repositories are likely to be most useful to scholars when they offer dedicated services supporting the production of new knowledge. Along these lines, challenges and barriers to repository development may be identified in three key dimensions: a) identification and deposit of content; b) access and use of services; and c) preservation of content and sustainability of service. An indicative comparison of challenges and barriers in some major world regions such as Europe, North America and East Asia plus Australia is offered in conclusion.