Libraries Publisher relations

Roundtable discussions on the future of digital archival collections

Across the end of 2020 and early 2021 Jisc organised a series of roundtable conversations between members or our Digital Archival Collections (DAC) Advisory Group and invited representatives of publishers with experience of developing and delivering such collections. These discussions were sparked by ongoing feedback from our members, regarding concerns about DACs, provided to us over a period of time and via a number of channels.

An initial meeting of the Advisory Group allowed for the development of a framework for the discussions, focussed on four key themes:

  • Issues of finance, such as purchasing and affordability of Digital Archival Collections
  • The ways in which Digital Archival Collections are developed
  • How publishers work with libraries
  • Integration of content into institutional systems and teaching

Between December 2020 and February 2021, four roundtable meetings were held, each with a different DAC publisher, and with Jisc taking a back seat to the members of the Advisory Group, who led the sessions. These discussions were open and collaborative – encouraging frank but constructive commentary and questioning, and fostering better understanding of the differing goals and concerns of the various parties.

A report – New approaches to digital archival collections – will be published soon to summarise the findings of these conversations, including a number of recommendations about how different stakeholders in the process can positively respond to the issues raised. Topics from these roundtables and the report, including its recommendations, will also feature in a session presented by myself and Paola Marchionni at the 44th UKSG Conference, entitled “There are three people in this marriage”: Libraries, Researchers, Publishers, and the development of sustainable digital collections. Details of this session can be found on the UKSG programme, at under ‘Breakout Speakers: Group B’.

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