Overall, the Legal Deposit Libraries aim to ensure that the nation’s published output is collected systematically, and as comprehensively as possible but, for practical purposes, the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013 will be implemented gradually and progressively over several years. Collection development plans for the first 2 years after Regulations come into effect, in April 2013, cover:
- Publications on handheld media such as CD-ROM and microfilm
- Websites and web pages
- Electronically published news and magazines
- Other electronic publications
Publications on handheld media such as CD-ROM and microfilm
In practice, most publishers of such works have already been depositing them under a long-established voluntary code of practice, the provisions of which are similar to those in the 2013 Regulations. Therefore no significant practical change or impact is anticipated, except changing from a voluntary to a statutory basis for depositing.
Websites and web pages
On behalf of the Legal Deposit Libraries, the British Library will archive copies of freely accessible UK websites and web pages from the open web, using an automated crawling or harvesting process.
- A ‘snapshot’ of every website within scope, currently estimated at circa 4.8 million active sites, will be archived at least once a year.
- Some 200 to 500 websites within scope will be archived on a more frequent basis such as quarterly, monthly, weekly or even daily, in order to ensure that rapidly changing or updated content is archived adequately. Such websites will be selected by the Legal Deposit Libraries for their importance and research value, with the crawl frequency being adapted to the circumstances and nature of the content.
- In addition, the Legal Deposit Libraries envisage crawling other selected websites in order to develop ‘special collections’. Perhaps four or five new collections will be developed each year for important events (which may involve crawling specific websites relatively frequently for a limited period) or important themes (which may involve crawling selected websites regularly over a longer period).
The 2013 Regulations presume library harvesting as the default means of delivery, but also cover mutual agreements between individual publishers and libraries for alternative means of delivery:
- A secure deposit portal will be available for any e-journal publisher wishing to deliver their material for deposit.
- In 2013-14, on behalf of the Legal Deposit Libraries the British Library anticipates approaching 200-300 UK publishers of e-journals in PDF, RTF, Microsoft Word and other non-XML formats.
- Similarly, the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales anticipate approaching some Scottish and Welsh publishers of titles in non-XML formats.
- The British Library has contracted Portico to provide a receipt and delivery service for any publisher agreeing to deposit scholarly e-journals in XML or SGML formats. On behalf of the Legal Deposit Libraries, the British Library will seek to make deposit agreements in 2013 with approximately 10-15 publishers for 2,500-2,600 journal titles overall in 2014.
The Regulations presume library harvesting as the default means of delivery, but also cover mutual agreements between individual publishers and libraries for alternative means of delivery.
The British Library has developed a pilot process for taking deposit of books published in ePub format; it plans to scale this up for greater volumes during 2013-14. Publishers may agree to deliver titles directly to the British Library, for all the Legal Deposit Libraries, via the secure deposit portal. Or they may authorise their distributor, wholesaler, retailer or another third party to deposit on their behalf.
- Publishers may deposit books, documents and other monographs with the British Library in PDF, Microsoft Word, RTF, ePub or other generic formats using the secure deposit portal.
- In 2013-14, on behalf of the Legal Deposit Libraries, the British Library anticipates approaching approximately 25 large UK book publishers, focusing mainly on scholarly research-level titles, with a view to agreeing arrangements and implementing a deposit process for all new titles published in the ePub format. These arrangements may either be direct with the publisher or the publisher may authorise their distributor, retailer or other third party to deposit on their behalf.
- Similarly, the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales anticipate approaching some Scottish and Welsh publishers of e-book titles in ePub or other formats.
Electronically published news and magazines
Websites with rapidly changing or updated content must be crawled on a more regular and frequent basis, up to daily, if they are to be collected through a harvesting process. As stated above, the British Library anticipates selecting initially about 200-500 such websites in 2013-14, for focused crawling at a frequency appropriate to the rate at which content is updated.
Separately, the British Library and representatives of the newspaper publishing industry are discussing potential joint initiatives that could involve depositing and archiving digitally published news and copies of the ‘pre-print PDF’ files used to print newspapers.
Other electronic publications
Other types of publication will be collected on an experimental basis, from individual publishers who are prepared to support development work on new or improved automated intake capabilities. However it is not planned to approach publishers for such publications at any scale during 2013-14.
The Legal Deposit Libraries will always try to accommodate individual publishers who approach them for agreement to begin depositing electronic publications, provided that the content is of a type and format that they can process and provided that any transition from print deposit to electronic deposit (if relevant) is agreed and properly coordinated. However it may sometimes be necessary to postpone individual publisher requests if the libraries are not yet able to deal with their content because of technical constraints, operational (processing) difficulties or financial and resourcing considerations.