Key developments in Portico’s work
As we begin a new year, we’re sharing our recent developments to help meet emerging and future preservation needs. At a time when publishers and libraries continue to face uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic, preservation of the scholarly record is more important than ever, and we’re grateful for your continued support. We look forward to working with you in 2022.
Expanding our digital archive
Portico continues to ingest a growing stream of e-journal, e-book, and digital collection content into the archive and the number of items (e.g., journal articles, books, newspaper issues, and documents) being preserved has grown to 124,217,974, with the number of files being preserved in the Portico archive reaching 2,046,565,578 in 2021. With 48 journal publishers, three book publishers, and one digital collections publisher joining this past year, we now have a total of 927 participating publishers from 80 countries supporting the archive, as well as 1,014 libraries from 21 countries.
Preserving libraries’ special collections
JSTOR and Portico collaborated to develop a preservation option for institutions hosting their special collections on JSTOR through its Open Community Collections initiative. We engaged throughout the year with a group of libraries to help inform the development of the service, and welcomed three early adopters in 2021. Trinity College, Vanderbilt University, and Muhlenberg College are now preserving their content in the archive. We plan to expand this program in 2022 and welcome your feedback.
Focusing on content from under-represented groups
Portico has initiated work on a pilot project to include in the archive important content from under-represented groups that may be at risk because it is not preserved. As a first step, we contacted a group of archives to begin a conversation about preserving their content at no cost to them. Through this pilot, we will gain an understanding of the resources required to preserve this content in terms of staff time, storage needs, and rights and privacy issues, and determine whether we can expand the pilot into a sustainable service offering for the community.
Researching preservation methods for complex content
During the last two years, Portico has participated in the project Enhancing Services to Preserve New Forms of Scholarship, which was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and led by the NYU Libraries. The project examined a variety of complex monograph-like publications that contain multimedia, interactive visualizations, annotations, and other dynamic elements to see if they are preservable in their current form. A set of guidelines and best practices that can be used by the publishing community to help make enhanced publications easier to preserve at scale is now available through the NYU Faculty Digital Archive.
In addition, this project led to a grant for a new research project titled Embedding Preservability that will begin in January 2022. For this project, preservation experts will embed with publishers of enhanced publications to implement the preservation guidelines within the publication workflow and test their effectiveness. The goal is to understand the effort and cost involved in ensuring that today’s new forms of scholarship will be available to future scholars.
Developing a text and data analysis service
ITHAKA will soon launch Constellate, a service that enables teaching, learning, and performing of text analysis. Portico and JSTOR have worked together to build this platform, which contains content from 48 Portico publishers, nearly all of JSTOR, and third-party sources—in all, more than 30 million identically formatted journal articles, books, and newspaper issues. Students can learn text analysis skills by taking Constellate classes or classes offered by the library; teachers can introduce text analysis skills using Constellate tutorials or their own; and librarians can establish the library as the text analysis center on campus by offering workshops and data for research. If you are interested in participating in a semester-long trial to evaluate the Constellate pedagogy package, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.