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Guide to Best Practices Section 3

A Guide to Best Practices for Editors of Library and Information Science Journals

July 2009
Revised September 2010

Section 3: Preservation

  • Editors of library and information science journals should ensure that their publications, in both print and digital formats, are properly preserved.

Commentary: This is essential for the future use of journal literature, and it is also very important for setting a model for other professions. According to the American Library Association’s 2008 Preservation Policy, “the preservation of information content and information resources are central to libraries and librarianship.”

  • Best practices and international standards for the proper preservation of the scholarly journal literature, particularly in digital form, are evolving. Editors should keep themselves up-to-date on current preservation guidelines, and they should monitor and actively influence their publisher’s and publication’s preservation compliance.

  • LIS editors should insist that their publications be produced to the highest level of usability, durability, and longevity in whatever medium is used, be it paper, film, magnetic tape, or optical disk that ensure the persistence of these products.

3–1: Print Journal Preservation

  • In print format, journals should be produced and bound using paper and binding that meet the current standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Standards Organization (ISO). ANSI NISO Standard Z39.48-1984 - Permanence of Paper for Publications and Documents in Libraries, adopted in 1984, is that current standard for paper quality. A compliance statement to this standard should be attached to the masthead or copyright area of the journal.

  • At least two complete runs of a print journal—that is, every print issue from volume 1, number 1, to the latest print issue—should be stored in a reliable print archive. Such an archive could be managed by a publisher, agency such as the Center for Research Libraries, or an individual library or library consortium that can demonstrate its commitment to long-term preservation of the print material under its care. A reliable print archive should comply with NISO’s guideline for the storage of paper records, and express the intention to provide long-term storage and preservation of the journal’s print run. OCLC is currently organizing libraries and their print repository programs to create information about trusted print archives.

3–2: Digital Journal Preservation

  • Increasing, journal literature is created and stored in digital formats. Digital preservation involves the conditions of the physical media, as well as the software used to organize and retrieve data in a meaningful way. It is essential that preservation metadata be provided for digital formats so that they can be read, processed, and actively managed for long-term use.

  • For preservation purposes, digital content must be carefully prepared, stored, and maintained in a secure and actively managed information technology infrastructure. Editors should encourage their publishers to place copies of their digital journal content in the care of a trusted digital repository. A good overview of the attributes and responsibilities of this type of trusted digital repository can be found in an RLG-OCLC Report of 2002 (). A 2005 survey of e-journal archiving initiatives, such as Portico, LOCKSS Alliance/CLOCKSS, and OhioLink’s and the National Library of Australia’s e-journal archives, prepared by Anne Kenney, provides an overview of options for e-journal preservation storage ().

3–3: Record Retention for Editorial Working Papers and Correspondence

  • Editors should ensure that their publishers and their journals have a record retention policy and program that will guide the enterprise on responsible and legal record retention.

Commentary: In the course of editorial work much documentation is accumulated, including various drafts of manuscripts, correspondence with authors and referees, referee and editorial staff reviews, and business correspondence

  • Record retention needs to be established and followed regardless of the format of material or business/editorial system used by the journal and its publisher. As more journals move online and employ editorial management software, it is incumbent on editors to insure these systems have adequate record retention capabilities.

  • In general, a records retention program should include a retention schedule that identifies types of records to be retained, for how long, and under what conditions, as well as guidance on privacy and ownership of these records.

Commentary: For example, a journal and its publisher might identify types of records as follows: drafts of manuscripts, final manuscript, referee reviews, editorial reviews, author correspondence, editor correspondence, and business reports. Each type of record would have a retention schedule, such as destroy immediately, retain for two years, retain permanently. Record could be stored locally or in a designated archive, and the records would be “closed” or “open” at a specified time.

Section 4: Standards and Standards Organizations of Interest to Editors

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