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ACM Announces Initiative for Long-Term Preservation of Content in Its Digital Library

Partnerships with Expert Organizations Aimed at Supporting Academic and Corporate Library Partners in Safeguarding Scholarly Records

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

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NEW YORKNOVEMBER 5, 2009 –ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) announced today that it is providing its institutional library customers with advanced electronic archiving services to preserve their valuable electronic resources.  These services, provided by Portico and CLOCKSS, address the scholarly community’s critical need for long-term solutions that assure reliable, secure, deliverable access to their burgeoning digital collection of scholarly works.  ACM is offering these services to protect the vast online collection of resources in its Digital Library (DL), which are used by over 1 million computing professionals and students worldwide. 

            ​"By partnering with Portico and CLOCKSS, we are able to meet a growing demand in the library community for a trusted, reliable third-party archive, and to ensure that digital collections remain accessible to future scholars, researchers, and students," said Scott Delman, ACM Group Publisher.  “Scientific discovery and the educational process are not possible without reliable access to the accumulated scholarship of the past and secure preservation of the scholarly record, and these agreements are a clear step forward with the relationship between the ACM and the library community." 

            This initiative is part of ACM’s ongoing investment in content, features, performance, and the worldwide reach of its Digital Library (DL). By investing in long-term digital preservation of content, ACM’s aim is to make it easier for libraries to accelerate their transition away from print and free up resources invested in print collections in favor of new and innovative electronic products and services.  

            Portico’s primary preservation methodology is migration, which involves transitioning content from one file format to another as technology changes and as file formats become obsolete.  Their archival approach begins with receipt of source files, which comprise the intellectual content of electronic scholarly journals, directly from publishers, and features transformation or "normalization" of these diverse files to a standard archival format which can be reliably managed over the long term.        

           “ACM’s investment in Portico to secure the long-term preservation of their vast digital collections is a tremendously positive development for libraries,” said Eileen Fenton, Portico Managing Director.  “The hundreds of libraries around the world that participate in Portico can focus on building their digital collections and re-purposing monies related to print-based expenses knowing that ACM digital content is safe-guarded and will be accessible to them in the future if needed.”           

            CLOCKSS uses Archive Nodes, which are housed at libraries selected to be the custodians of the archived content, and at institutions that have existed for decades, if not centuries.  Archive nodes are located in geographically, politically, and geologically disparate locations in North America, Europe, and Asia.  The CLOCKSS archive is governed by the participating publishers and libraries, and supports the library's role in society as a "custodian of culture."           

            "Society publishers increasingly see the value of working with libraries to ensure that their materials remain as useful and available as possible over the very long term," said Gordon Tibbits, CLOCKSS Co-Chair.  "We are delighted to welcome ACM as the newest member of CLOCKSS, joining other world leading publishers and librarians who together set the strategy for long-term archiving in the best interest of the entire scholarly community." 

            The ACM Digital Library comprises an online collection of more than two million pages of full-text articles from ACM publications as well as one of the most comprehensive bibliographic databases in the computing field.  The ACM DL includes an index of more than 7 million references, 1.25 million citations, and over 500,000 journal articles. ACM’s full-text database consists of many of the highest impact titles in the computing field dating back to 1954, and includes content from ACM’s wide range of journals, magazines, conference proceedings, ACM Special Interest Group (SIG) newsletters, technical reports, and multimedia files. 


About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.   

About Portico

Portico , a not-for-profit archive, preserves scholarly literature published in electronic form and ensures that these materials remain accessible to future scholars, researchers, and students. Nearly 40,000 e-journal titles and e-books have been promised to the Portico archive, which is supported by nearly 650 libraries worldwide and 84 publishers representing over 2000 scholarly societies and associations. Portico is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance scholarship and teaching in sustainable ways.   


CLOCKSS (Controlled LOCKSS)  is a not for profit joint venture between the world’s leading scholarly publishers and research libraries whose mission is to build a sustainable, geographically distributed dark archive with which to ensure the long-term survival of Web-based scholarly publications for the benefit of the greater global research community.  CLOCKSS, or Controlled LOCKSS (for Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe), runs on LOCKSS technology, which received an ACM Research Award in 2004.


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