A Request for Comment: Automatic Digital Preservation and Self-Healing DOIs - Crossref

Digital preservation is crucial to the “persistence” of persistent identifiers. Without a reliable archival solution, if a Crossref member ceases operations or there is a technical disaster, the identifier will no longer resolve. This is why the Crossref member terms insist that publishers make best efforts to ensure deposit in a reputable archive service. This means that, if there is a system failure, the DOI will continue to resolve and the content will remain accessible. This is how we protect the integrity of the scholarly record.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://0-www-crossref-org.pugwash.lib.warwick.ac.uk/blog/a-request-for-comment-automatic-digital-preservation-and-self-healing-dois
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I am commenting here as someone who runs open access journals using OJS with CrossRef DOIs.

I think this sounds like a good project. I would support the use of the Internet Archive for these purposes. This is partly reflecting on our use of the Public Knowledge Project’s digital preservation service. As I understand it, having a DOI resolve to an archive copy in that service wouldn’t get the user very far, as it is not an open service (for good reasons). It would be the equivalent of a reference to a document in a physical archive (less useful than that, in fact).

This did make me reflect that publishers like us might end having two digital preservation copies: one in their closed service and one in the CrossRef/Internet Archive service. Not a bad thing necessarily, but worth thinking about the implications.

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Facilitating preservation is a great idea and something that definitely needs to be accelerated as a service to journals.

For exactly this reason, JASPER (doaj dot org slash preservation) was born, although we are focussing on Diamond, OA journals. At JASPER, we have created a pipeline via DOAJ that matches your Figure 1. IA act as the holding pen for JASPER publishers, which is a central location where they deliver the content to and preservation services collect the content from. So far, only CLOCKSS is connected to the service.

In conversations with CLOCKSS, we have created a “pipeline” which is a common approach by them when they take large amounts of content from a single source. That IA are the intermediaries here is helpful because they, too, can take a copy of the content is they wanted to. (They aren’t doing this just now.)

We also work with Keepers Registry (of which CLOCKSS, PKP-PN, and IA are all members) to monitor which journals are already archived in a similar system. We have found that many journals using OJS indicate that they are already archived in the PKP Preservation Network but in fact, the content stream isn’t active. Having content archived in more than one place is a Good Thing and is actively encouraged by the Keepers.

From setting JASPER up, our experience has shown that knowledge about why preservation is necessary is often lacking and even if you give content providers a solution on a plate, there are many competing factors as to why preservation isn’t high on their list of priorities.

Would be very happy to have further discussion with you on this.

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