Joint Statement on Long-term Preservation of Digital Publication Resources
Digital publications are already one of the main forms of knowledge creation, publishing, and dissemination, part of the mainstream resources to support the innovation-driven development strategy, and an indispensable strategic basis for the national research, education and innovation system. However, the current major mechanism for their use is through networked access. This poses a grave and imminent risk to Chinese users’ reliable access to those resources. In order to reliably and effectively support research, education and innovation, it is essential to ensure the local long-term preservation of important digital publication resources inside China and access by authorized users to the preserved resources under certain conditions.
To this end, we jointly released the following statement:
1. Purchasing libraries have the right to locally preserve the purchased digital publication resources. The purpose and nature of purchasing these resources are to acquire the content and ensure their users’ access at present and in the future. Thus, long-term and reliable availability of these resources is the essence and rationale of the procurement.
However, various intrinsic threats and their unpredictability, including technical failures, natural disasters, economic turmoil, market changes, and management faults, all may at any time cut off the internet access to these resources, making the resources actually on the brink of destruction. Without local long-term preservation, libraries and their users’ right to use the purchased content is simply incomplete and unreliable.
Therefore, the right to long-term preservation is an integral part of libraries’ rights with regard to subscription to resources, and the prerequisite for library users to use the resources reliably. Furthermore, local long-term preservation is one of the important supporting measures by libraries to promote digital publication resources, thus constituting an inseparable basis for continuing purchase of the resources by libraries.
2. To safeguard the long-term preservation right for the purchased content, libraries have the right to archive, process, and provide services to these resources. The archiving right refers to libraries’ right to obtain and archive the purchased data completely, timely, and reliably. The processing right is libraries’ right to data verification, format transformation, metadata extraction, and data migration of the resources for the purpose of long-term preservation. The service right ensures libraries’ ability to provide access of the preserved resources to authorized users under necessary conditions. For effective fulfillment of the above rights, libraries also have the right to circumvent the technical protection measures for the purpose of long-term preservation.
For the purpose of improving the efficiency of long-term preservation, libraries have the right to entrust a third party or to cooperate among themselves to implement long-term preservation, as long as the third party or the cooperative institutes fulfill the obligations of protecting the legal rights of the stakeholders.
3. All libraries that purchase digital publication resources using public funds are obliged to promote local long-term preservation of the resources in China, and to make the local long-term preservation as a key requirement of their procurement. All libraries should assert and safeguard the right of local long-term local preservation during subscription negotiations, and require the resource providers to explicitly acknowledge and support the library’s local long-term preservation rights in the purchasing agreements.
4. Libraries fully recognize and duly protect the legitimate rights and interests of publishers in the long-term preservation of digital resources. Libraries fully recognize and fulfill with good faith and due care their obligations to protect publishers’ legitimate rights and interests. Libraries support the efforts to develop trusted legal, administrative, and technical measures to implement the mechanisms with integrity and diligence in safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of all stakeholders in long-term preservation. Libraries will work with the stakeholders to adhere to their respective rights and obligations in the process of long-term preservation.
5. Libraries support the establishment of a national long-term preservation system of digital publication resources that will authorize trusted institutes to collaboratively preserve important resources and to provide public access to authorized users under necessary conditions. Libraries shall entrust the national long-term preservation system to preserve their purchased resources.
Libraries request that the central government ensure strong and stable investment to and effective oversight for the national long-term preservation system as a key national public infrastructure, thus ensuring its reliable operation and sustainable development. Libraries will make joint efforts to create a favorite supporting environment for long-term preservation and reliable utilization of digital publication resources, to maintain positive cooperation with publishers for effective long-term preservation, and to promote efficient, economical, and reliable operation of the national long-term preservation system.