Today: McKeldin 01:00PM - 05:00PM

Guidelines for Selection of Electronic Publications: Archiving

Wherever possible, selectors should seek publishers and vendors who commit to maintaining the intellectual content of the material in some form on a permanent basis. To assess a publisher's archiving commitment, the selector should consider the following issues:

Archival Responsibility

A selector should determine who bears the ultimate responsibility (whether vendor, publisher, or library) to maintain the electronic publications on a permanent basis.

Vendor or Publisher Archive

If the vendor or publisher will maintain the archive, the selector should pinpoint the specific contents that the vendor or publisher promises to archive, the form in which the vendor or publisher will keep the archive and whether the vendor or publisher will migrate the archive from one generation of technology to the next.

Fees and Restrictions

The selector should note any separate one-time or ongoing archiving fees or restrictions on archiving, monitoring and copying files as needed.

Cancellation or Termination

The selector should determine what happens to the archive if the Libraries cancel the subscription or access to the electronic publication at a future date or if the vendor or publisher ceases doing business.


The selector should also examine measures to ensure uninterrupted access to the site. Examples of such measures include the maintenance of identical copies on a variety of servers in different geographical locations and backup copies of data.

Consistency with License or Other Contract

A publisher should be willing to have its commitment to maintain an archive reflected in the license or any other contract that controls the Libraries' access to the electronic publication.


Selectors are encouraged to investigate the variety of archiving models currently proposed by publishers and vendors. Examples include: