Eileen Gifford Fenton
Executive Director, Electronic-Archiving Initiative
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Recently there has been discussion on LibLicense and other e-mail lists about the economics of archiving electronic scholarly resources. Several criteria have been identified as necessary for a trusted archive, but there remains significant concern and uncertainty about how the community can fund a robust archiving solution that includes an appropriate level of redundancy. Developing such a solution is a matter of increasing urgency, as most academic libraries are undergoing a transition in their choice of format for the scholarly journals to which they subscribe. Libraries are in increasing numbers licensing electronic versions. To better understand the economic context, JSTOR’s Electronic-Archiving Initiative launched a study to examine whether non-subscription expenditures for periodicals are higher or lower in the electronic format. (Non-subscription expenditures include everything from collection development and subscription processing to cataloging, storage, and ongoing access). We collected new data on these expenditures from eleven U.S. academic libraries and utilized a life-cycle analysis to study the longer-term cost implications. This briefing reviews our methodology and findings and considers the implications for developing a sustainable solution for the archiving of electronic scholarly resources.
Digital Preservation and Library Periodicals Expenses