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Digital Preservation


Digital preservation refers to the management of digital resources over time. Unlike paper and other long-term storage media, digital information is dependent on both a source (which may be a server located anywhere on the Internet or a portable CD or DVD) and on a format that must be read by appropriate software. A digital preservation strategy, therefore, must address both backup and recovery of data and the migration of data into new formats as old ones become obsolete.
Pepperdine Libraries subscribe to several services listed below that help address digital preservation concerns. We continue to monitor this field closely and look for opportunities to add to our portfolio of digital preservation tools and practices.


Pepperdine Libraries became a member of Portico in December, 2007. Portico is currently (June 2017) archiving 27,045 e-journal titles for 361 e-journal publishers; it also archives materials for 136 e-book publishers. More than 1,010 libraries around the world participate. Contracts with publishers should include Portico support. Our policy should be to push strongly for this, including post-cancellation content. Currently about 2/3 of publishers in Portico include post-cancellation content as a contract rider (about 75% of titles).


Pepperdine Libraries subscribe to JSTOR, an extensive archive of journals in 30 subject disciplines in the Arts and Sciences. Originally conceived as a project at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, JSTOR began as an effort to ease the increasing problems faced by libraries seeking to provide adequate shelf space for the long runs of backfiles of scholarly journals. JSTOR is not a current issues database, although current issues of some journals are available on this platform providing a separate subscription is maintained.

JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization with a dual mission to create and maintain a trusted archive of important scholarly journals, and to provide access to these journals as widely as possible. JSTOR offers researchers the ability to retrieve high-resolution, scanned images of journal issues and pages as they were originally designed, printed, and illustrated. The journals archived in JSTOR span many disciplines.

JSTOR's digitized print archiving strategy includes:

  • Preservation of original source (print)
  • Maintenance of digital files
  • Third-party stewardship

Project Muse

Archiving and Preservation

Pepperdine Libraries are subscribers to Project Muse, a non-profit collaborative digital publishing venture between libraries and publishers that provides full-text access to humanities and social sciences journals from over 120 scholarly publishers. Institutions may download and save the materials to which they subscribe on a local domain web server in order to provide online access to their local community. However, access to the files on the library's server must be restricted to authorized users, which include faculty, staff, students, alumni and library patrons of the subscribed institution. In addition, at the conclusion of each subscription year a subscribing institution may request at no charge an archival (non-searchable) file copy (provided on CD-ROM or an alternative medium at MUSE's discretion) containing all of the articles published online during that subscription year. Even if an electronic subscription to a journal is canceled, an institution may continue to store articles from the journals which were published online during the time the institution was a paid subscriber. Libraries, therefore, own the material from the electronic files to which they subscribe.

Further, Project MUSE is committed to providing permanent maintenance and preservation of all the digital files in the MUSE database. No journal content published online in MUSE will be removed or made inaccessible to current, paid subscribers. All MUSE partner publishers are contractually bound to allow any journal content published in MUSE to remain permanently in the database, even if they should choose to discontinue their relationship with MUSE.

Project MUSE maintains both local back-up servers and a mirror server offsite, in Australia. Further, Project MUSE works with other providers to arrange storage of backup copies of all digital files at their sites to ensure future availability.


Although not digital preservation, the fact that a journal is archived in WEST (Western Regional Storage Trust) may allow the library to rely on subscribed digital access. The Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) is a distributed retrospective print journal repository program serving research libraries, college and university libraries, and library consortia in the Western Region of the United States. Under the WEST program, participating libraries consolidate and validate print journal backfiles at major library storage facilities and at selected campus locations. The resulting shared print archives ensure access to the scholarly print record and allow member institutions to optimize campus library space. This collaborative regional approach to managing library collections represents an important step, when joined with other initiatives, toward development of a network-level shared print archive. Pepperdine Libraries are a participant in WEST.