Preserving Open Access and other at-risk scholarly content
Recent research has demonstrated that dozens of online-only Open Access journals are no longer available, while hundreds of others are inactive and at risk of being lost. Important scholarship may be lost to future generations of researchers if there is no preservation plan in place.
At Portico, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to preserve the scholarly record, we work with publishers and libraries to ensure that academic content remains accessible and usable for the long term. Currently, we are preserving more than 5,000 Open Access journals from 309 publishers. We have triggered and provide public access to 114 OA journals that are no longer available through other digital platforms. This content remains available to everyone on an Open Access basis after being triggered on Portico.
It is not only Open Access content that is vulnerable. We have also focused efforts on the “long tail” of publishers that publish ten or fewer titles, and we are currently preserving content from more than 400 small publishers. In addition, we have broad international coverage; Portico is preserving scholarship from publishers in 74 countries. Search our full list of 800+ participating publishers.
Complex new forms of scholarship, such as enhanced digital monographs, are also at risk. As the ebook format has matured, authors and publishers have experimented with advanced features afforded by the digital medium, and these works pose different preservation challenges than standard monographs. Portico is part of a collaborative effort, led by NYU Libraries and supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to develop best practices for publishers to guide them on how to apply enhancements to publications in a way that can be preserved at scale, or otherwise be aware of the preservation risks of implementing various enhanced features. We look forward to sharing our final report by early next year.
At Portico, we believe that it is important for all of us, as a community, to explore methods for preserving more of the most vulnerable content. We are planning further discussions on this topic with librarians and publishers; if you are interested in joining us and sharing your perspective, please reach out to Stephanie Orphan, Portico’s Director of Content Preservation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.