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Long-term digital preservation and archiving

The archiving and preservation of digital scholarly material – final published articles, manuscripts, supplementary data, code, statistics etc. – is a vital part of the scholarly publishing process. Digital archiving and preservation developed from analogue services traditionally carried out by libraries.

Archiving is a way of ensuring that that digital materials are stored safely so that they can be:

  • accessed in perpetuity regardless of what happens to the original publication;
  • always found using a permanent identifier;
  • used to restore another version which may have disappeared.

We recommend that journals are archived in preservation and archiving services. You can check what content is being actively preserved in some archives by looking in the Keepers Registry.

Preservation is a way of storing digital materials to ensure that their quality and integrity do not deteriorate and ensure that they may be accessed and used in the future.

Some of the better-known examples of dedicated archiving services which offer both archiving and long-term preservation are listed by the Keepers Registry. There are many others which often serve a particular country, institution or academic community.

Submitting published digital content to an archiving service may be offered by the publisher and benefit the author.

Digital legal deposit may be in force in certain countries. It may be implemented by the national library and other national cultural organisations. It is also considered as a viable archiving and preservation option.