Possible delay, due to COVID-19, to publishers’ ISSN requests via national ISSN centres

An important note from this month’s ISSN newsletter. I would urge publishers to sign up to the newsletter if you haven’t already done so.

DOAJ is taking the information below into account when reviewing applications. In particular, we know that applications from Argentina, Colombia, United Kingdom, Luxemburg, Nigeria, Philippines, Senegal, Slovakia might be affected. Applications from this country which contain ISSNs which are not confirmed or registered will be placed on hold instead of being rejected.

Note to publishers requesting ISSN assignments from the ISSN Network
Due to the COVID-19 global outbreak and health and social measures imposed by several national authorities, ISSN National Centres and their hosting institutions may encounter technical and operational issues. This particular situation may have an impact on the timely management of publishers’ ISSN requests and ISSN assignments. Unfortunately, the ISSN International Centre cannot currently replace impacted ISSN National Centres and manage all ISSN requests and assignments. If ISSN National Centres and their hosting institutions are temporarily closed due to this crisis, the ISSN International Centre invites publishers to be patient and renew their requests regularly. We thank you for your understanding.

The Keepers Registry is now available on the ISSN portal

This is a guest post by Gaëlle Bequet, Director of the ISSN International Centre. ISSN is a partner of DOAJ.


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As of December 2019, the ISSN International Centre is the sole operator of the Keepers Registry. This service aggregates preservation metadata and ISSN descriptive metadata to report the archival status of digital journals. The Keepers Registry is now fully integrated with the ISSN Portal. The latter provides a complete and accurate overview of a serial title’s journey from initial publication to transfer of responsibility and to long-term preservation by archiving agencies. The ISSN Portal is indeed the authoritative database for serial title identification and tracking.

Both libraries and publishers want easy and persistent access to scholarly materials across the Internet. The shift from print to digital format for all types of continuing resources, particularly journals, and the need to archive not just digital serials but also ongoing ‘integrating resources’ is a challenge. Archiving agencies are addressing this challenge and supporting the Keepers Registry as a tool to monitor the archival status of digital content.

Craig Van Dyck, Executive Director of CLOCKSS, USA, posits that “The Keepers Registry performs several critical functions: exposing information about which scholarly journals are preserved, and which volumes, and by which preservation archives; providing a normalized platform for users to find the information, and for archives to integrate with; and a social structure for archives to come together to collaborate. Digital preservation is an evolving field, and collaboration is key to moving forward. The ISSN International Centre makes a lot of sense as a home for the Keepers Registry.”

The Keepers Registry collects preservation metadata, supplied on a regular basis by 13 archiving agencies globally. National libraries, non-profit organisations, academic consortia cooperate with the ISSN International Centre to disseminate up-to-date information about archived serial titles and titles at risk.

Jeffrey van der Hoeven, Head of the Digital Preservation department at the Nationale Bibliotheek van Nederland (KB), Netherlands, explains that “From the perspective of long-term preservation, the Keepers Registry fulfills an important role for KB in determining the integrity of its collection”.

Grant Hurley, Digital Preservation Librarian at Scholars Portal, Canada, states that “The Keepers Registry is a crucial component of our collective preservation ecosystem. Keepers Registry gives its stakeholders the ability to evaluate what materials are being preserved and by whom, and therefore, what materials may still be at risk. As a preservation service provider, Scholars Portal benefits from exposing its holdings data in a consistent and reliable way, which ensures its preservation practices are transparent and supports the trust of its user communities.”

Our partner archiving agencies are: Archaeology Data Service, British Library, Cariniana Network, CLOCKSS Archive, Global LOCKSS Network, HathiTrust, Library of Congress, National Digital Reservation Program China, National Library of the Netherlands, PKP Preservation Network, Portico, Scholars Portal, Swiss National Library.

Keepers Registry is available for free through the ISSN Portal.

For information about specific professional services or to join the Keepers Registry as an archiving agency, please contact the ISSN International Centre (Email: sales@issn.org)

ISSN and DOAJ: a renewed partnership

DOAJ is delighted to announce the renewal of its partnership with ISSN. DOAJ is heavily reliant on issn.org (the ISSN database) as having a fully registered and confirmed ISSN is one of the first checks that the Editorial Team undertakes when considering applications. For DOAJ, obtaining an ISSN for a journal is the first of many steps that a publisher can take to show that a journal intends to adhere to Best Practice.

As well as using the ISSN database as a reference point, DOAJ and ISSN are committed to assist each other in improving the quality of each database. DOAJ will send corrections to ISSN; ISSN will help ensure that DOAJ always has correct and up-to-date ISSNs. Furthermore, DOAJ metadata is used to enrich the ISSN’s daughter service, ROAD.

Launched in 2013, ROAD, Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources, is a service which provides:

“free access to those ISSN bibliographic records which describe scholarly resources in Open Access: journals, monographic series, conference proceedings, academic repositories and scholarly blogs. These records, created by the ISSN Network (89 National Centres worldwide + the International Centre), are enriched by information extracted from indexing and abstracting databases, directories (DOAJ, Latindex, The Keepers registry) and journals indicators (Scopus).”

DOAJ is delighted to work in partnership with ISSN and is looking forward to a continued fruitful collaboration.