May 18, 2022

IFLA WLIC 2013 Paper: “Who is Looking After Your e-Journals? Telling Tales About The Keepers Registry & Your Digital Shelves”

We’re continuing to share a selection of papers to be presented at the upcoming IFLA World Library and Information Congress taking place next month in Singapore.

The following paper is our third selection. Our first two selected WLIC 2013 papers are linked at the bottom of this post.

Today’s Selection


Who is looking after your e-journals? Telling Tales About The Keepers Registry & Your Digital Shelves


Peter Burnhill
EDINA, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Françoise Pelle
ISSN International Centre
Paris, France 


IFLA Library


The key task for research libraries is to ensure access to the scholarly and cultural record.

A significant and growing proportion of that is in digital format and much is found on the Web – and not on the shelves of libraries. This raises important questions about the archival responsibility of  libraries and publishers. Our purpose is to report on the current situation of e-journal preservation,  on what is being archived and what is at risk of loss. We also indicate strategies that can be  considered to meet an international challenge that requires recognition of mutual inter-dependence  across the globe. The literature that is consulted and required by researchers in one country will  often have been written and published in another country.

The first (and easiest) priority for research libraries is to focus on e-journals and take prompt and strategic action, both to avoid loss in the short term and to establish means to assess progress towards the (achievable) goal of ensuring that there is complete and effective e-preservation plans for all of our e-journal content. This is assisted by The Keepers Registry,, which provides a lens onto the extent of e-journal archiving as the leading archiving agencies report what  they have ingested. The sustainability of archiving activity, and the means to monitor that activity, is of major strategic importance.

A related priority is to tackle the variety of ‘serial issues’ that can improve the effectiveness of archiving and monitoring. These include identification (e.g. ISSN and ISSN-L) of all types of continuing resources, particularly journals but also ongoing ‘integrating resources’ such as databases and Web sites; the consistent naming and identification of publishers (e.g. ISNI); and the continuing need for a universal holdings statement for assurance that each and every volume and issue has been successfully archived.

Direct to Full Text Paper (12 pages; PDF)

Direct to The Keepers Registry

Previous WLIC 2013 Conference Paper Selections

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.