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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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.