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NASIGuide: Talking Points and Questions
to ask Publishers about Digital Preservation

Prepared by the Digital Preservation Committee

Updated January 2020


This information is intended to be a helpful guide for librarians when they subscribe or renew access to publications.

Publishers should include information on preservation services in their licenses, but please check with them if the language is absent or unclear. Talking points and questions to consider asking include:

  1. Are you familiar with digital preservation?

    1. If no, please consult our Digital Preservation 101.

    2. If yes, does your organization have a specific contact person for any digital preservation concerns?

  2. Which digital preservation services do you use? These include CLOCKSS, LOCKSS, Portico, and the various national library projects such as the British Library, and the Library of Congress.

  3. Have you checked the Keepers Registry to see what percentage of your content is covered by digital preservation services? Here is a link to our Guide to the Keeper’s Registry.

  4. How frequently do you deposit content with these services?

  5. Do your journal contracts (and contracts to publish journals on behalf of societies or other third parties) include clauses that allow you to deposit content with such services for digital preservation purposes?
    If no, would you be willing to add language to contracts that enables this?

  6. Do you have a preservation policy? 

    1. Is your policy openly available online? If no, please provide a copy.

    2. Does your policy and/or the policy of your digital preservation service(s) provide for the following features? If no, have you had discussions about how to ensure that these are addressed?:

      1. Storing content in formats that comply with the LOC Recommended Formats Statement 

      2. Preserving the content submitted indefinitely

      3. Storing standard preservation metadata

      4. Maintaining multiple distributed copies

      5. Periodically auditing content to ensure that it remains secure and uncorrupted

      6. Replacing/Repairing corrupted content

      7. Performing format migrations, emulation, and similar activities as needed

      8. A means for access to content if a trigger event occurs

    3. Are you aware of the circumstances that might result in a trigger event for specific content?

      1. Portico: Trigger Events

      2. CLOCKSS: Trigger Events

  7. Do you deposit ebooks as well as journals? What other types of content do you deposit? If you have content that you do not currently deposit, have you had discussions about how that content might be preserved?

  8. Have you deposited digital backfiles? If no, when did you first start depositing content for frontlist titles?

  9. Are errata and corrected versions of record preserved?

  10. Do your deposits include supplementary materials, including datasets and any code needed to support reproducibility?

    1. Have you heard of Code Ocean? (See their announcement on preserving reproducible code with CLOCKSS.)

    2. If your deposits do not include supplementary materials, do you require authors to host supplemental materials in a repository that: 

      1. Complies with the LOC Recommended Formats Statement 

      2. Commits to preserve the originally submitted content indefinitely

      3. Stores standard preservation metadata

      4. Keeps multiple distributed copies

      5. Periodically audits content to ensure that it remains secure and uncorrupted

      6. Has the ability to replace/repair corrupted content

      7. Has the ability to perform format migrations, emulation, and similar activities as needed

      8. Provides a means for access to content if a trigger event occurs, and clearly specifies what circumstances amount to a trigger event.

    3. Do you promote the use of services such as Dryad (see their FAQ on data preservation) and/or FigShare (see their preservation policy) for supplementary materials?

  11. Are you active in industry groups that explore how digital preservation might evolve to best meet library needs? (For example, the ALA ALCTS Digital Preservation Interest Group.)

Further Information:


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