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Elsevier Acts to Safeguard E-Journals


Amsterdam, December 20 2005 - Elsevier has announced that Portico, a nonprofit electronic archiving service, will be an official e-journal archive for the company. The partnership with Portico will ensure that the over 2,100 current and formerly published journals on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect service are preserved in a permanent archive for posterity.

Elsevier has long been a leader in the area of permanent e-journal preservation and an advocate of publisher responsibility for digital archiving. In 1996 Elsevier began depositing e-copies of its Dutch imprint journals with the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), the National Library of the Netherlands. Discussions with the KB continued in 2000 for it to become Elsevier’s first official archive, leading to the current agreement to archive all Elsevier ScienceDirect journals. Since that time, Elsevier has been seeking additional trusted third parties around the world to be official archives and the new agreement with Portico is a major step in this global plan.

“Partnering with Portico was a natural choice in continuing our goal of permanent archiving. Portico’s mission and guiding principles are in line with Elsevier’s own commitment to preserving the integrity of the scholarly and scientific record,” said Karen Hunter, Senior Vice President at Elsevier. “Researchers, librarians and publishers alike recognize the need for digital archives to be protected and preserved for future generations of scholars and researchers. In partnering with Portico, Elsevier is assuring that Elsevier journal titles will be available in perpetuity.”

Elsevier’s collaboration with Portico coincides with a recent matching grant from the Library of Congress made to Portico. The three million dollar award from the Library of Congress’ National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) will assist Portico in their economic model and technical infrastructure building efforts. The grant from the NDIIPP is part of Library of Congress’ efforts to achieve permanent archives of digital materials.

Digital archiving is particularly critical now with the steady increase in electronic scholarly journals and conversion of library subscriptions to electronic-only, which has sparked concern from academics, librarians and publishers about their long-term availability.

“We live in an electronic age that has seen rapid transition to reliance on electronic formats for scholarly works. It is both urgent and important that the community take steps to preserve the scholarship of the past, present and future,” said Kevin Guthrie, president of Ithaka and chairman of the JSTOR Board of Trustees. “In supporting and launching Portico, Ithaka and JSTOR are offering the community a concrete way for publishers to secure their content and for libraries to act on their preservation mandate. Our partnership with Elsevier ensures that a substantial and essential core of scientific literature will be preserved.”

Permanent preservation of journals is a common goal for both libraries and publishers. It is essential to preserve scholarly works.

“Successful preservation of electronic journals depends upon cooperation and collaboration between libraries and publishers,” said William Bowen, chairman of the Ithaka Board of Trustees and president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “The long-term success of Portico depends on the willingness of publishers like Elsevier to commit to preserving content as well as the willingness of libraries to support the archive’s ongoing work. Elsevier’s commitment to Portico is a critical step forward in helping to establish a reliable preservation infrastructure for the community.”

Portico has been in development for more than three years and is now moving into implementation. The more than 7 million Elsevier articles will be loaded into Portico beginning in 2006. Portico is working to build a group of contributing publishers and libraries who will be participating in supporting the Portico archive.


About Portico
Portico’s mission is to preserve scholarly literature published in electronic form and to ensure that these materials remain accessible to future generations of scholars, researchers and students ( Portico was initiated by JSTOR (, a not-for-profit organization, whose activities include responsibility for digitizing, preserving, and providing access to an extensive archive of research literature. Portico continues to be developed with support from JSTOR and Ithaka. Additional support for Portico has been approved by the Trustees of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (

About Ithaka
Supported by the Mellon, Hewlett and Niarchos Foundations, Ithaka is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping accelerate the adoption of productive and efficient uses of information technology for the benefit of the worldwide higher education community. Ithaka’s initial focus is on helping promising not-for-profit projects develop sustainable organizational and economic models.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which is headquartered in New York City, makes grants principally in five core program areas: higher education and scholarship, libraries and scholarly communications, conservation and the environment, museums and art conservation, and performing arts. Additionally, Mellon has been instrumental in the development of ARTstor, JSTOR, and Ithaka, non-profit organizations engaged in various activities to further the use of information technology to benefit higher education around the world.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier’s 7,000 employees in over 70 offices worldwide publish more than 2,000 journals and 1,900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as ScienceDirect, MD Consult, Scopus, bibliographic databases, and online reference works.

Elsevier is a global business headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has offices worldwide. Elsevier is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher and information provider. Operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high-quality and flexible information solutions to users, with increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of delivery. Reed Elsevier’s ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).


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