SPEC Kit 337: Print Retention Decision Making · 155
WEST: Collections Model
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WEST Silver and Gold archives, which include some minimal level of validation, are eligible for
contribution to broader efforts to secure optimal copies across the network of research libraries.
WEST Bronze archives are not considered appropriate for contribution to a network of optimal copies,
as they are not validated.
Quality of Digital Surrogates, Incorporating What to Withdraw framework
Ithaka S+R’s “What to Withdraw framework recommends that the quality of digitization and image
density be considered as part of the risk profile for a print backfile. A title that has been poorly digitized
might be considered for validation, while a title that has been digitized well may not require validation.
Implications for WEST: At present, the WEST title categories do not take the quality of digitization into
consideration. Backfiles that are available electronically are considered low to moderate risk and
consequently, they are currently aligned with a Bronze or Silver Archive Type (i.e. no validation or
volume level validation). The WEST Collections Council may consider whether to refine the criteria for
the relevant title categories and recommend validation (i.e., a different Archive Type) in the future.
At present, information about the quality of digitization or image density is not routinely captured for
decision-­‐support purposes. The title categories may be refined to incorporate this aspect in the future.
If a volume in a WEST print archive should be found to be unusable, efforts will not be made to find
replacements. WEST members can gain access to volumes in other built archives in North America, in
keeping with the concept of optimal copies across the network.
Titles move between categories
Over time, titles may move from one category to another: a title currently available in print may become
available electronically from the publisher, or a title currently available electronically may join a third
party digital preservation service. It is generally assumed that a title will move from a higher risk
category to a lower one. When this occurs, the nature of the WEST archive and level of effort placed on
it could change from the next year forward. The Collections Council may want to review these
movements periodically.
Designated End Year for an Archive (-­‐2005), Scoping our Work
To better plan our work and scope efforts, print “backfiles” are defined as a set of holdings from volume
1 to the year 2005. The year 2005 is recommended as a pivotal year for the conversion of print to
electronic for journals and for many libraries’ cancelations of print subscriptions.
The designated end year also provides scope for the validation work effort. It serves as a milestone for
Archive Providers. Once reached, completion of the archive can be communicated to the partnership,
allowing members to make collection management decisions about remaining copies. If additional
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