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What is WEST?

WEST is the Western Regional Storage Trust, a collaborative, distributed, retrospective print journal archiving program supported by academic libraries and library consortia in the Western region of the United States.

What are the goals and benefits of WEST?

The goals for WEST are to

  • Preserve the scholarly print record (for journals in the initial phase)
  • Provide access, when needed, to the scholarly print record
  • Facilitate space reclamation in WEST library and storage facilities

By supporting and relying on the shared WEST print archive, WEST member institutions may optimize campus library space by choosing to retain, donate, or deselect print materials in accordance with local needs.

Who are the members of WEST?

About 100 individual libraries have joined WEST. About half are direct members, while the others are consortial members through the Orbis Cascade Alliance and the Statewide California Electronic Licensing Consortium (SCELC). A full list of members is available here

Where are WEST volumes held?

WEST is a distributed archive. Archived volumes are held at a number of member libraries and library storage facilities. WEST members that have agreed to maintain materials on behalf of WEST are known as Archive Holders.

As of 2011, WEST Archive Holders include:
Arizona State University University of California, Northern Regional Library Facility
University of Arizona University of California, Southern Regional Library Facility
California Institute of Technology University of Oregon
Huntington Library Oregon State University
Stanford University University of Washington
University of California, Berkeley Washington State University
University of California, Los Angeles  
University of California, San Diego  

More Archive Holders are likely to be added in the future.

How are materials selected for the WEST archives?

A key feature of WEST is that materials are identified for archiving based on an annual analysis of member holdings to prioritize titles based on:

  • Degree of overlap among WEST members
  • Risk profile of the titles based on print and electronic availability, digital preservation services, and additional selection criteria.

WEST has identified six Title Categories with varying risk profiles ranging from “print and electronic format with digital preservation in Portico or CLOCKSS” to “print only with no electronic form”. Each Title Category is associated with an Archive Type (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) that describes the level of archiving effort appropriate for the category, i.e. validation for completeness and condition, gap-filling, holdings update, and environmental conditions.

For more detailed information about selection, title categories and archive types, see the  WEST Collections Model

How will libraries know what titles have been archived in WEST?

Part of the WEST archiving process is to record the archived status, location, and other information in OCLC WorldCat and also in the Print Archives Preservation Registry (PAPR) system being developed by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL). In WorldCat, library staff may view the archived status of individual titles and may use a WEST Group Access Capability (GAC) to process resource-sharing requests. Searching in the PAPR system, library staff may display and download a list of materials archived in WEST (and other programs). The PAPR system will also provide a deselection report to WEST members to identify titles from the library collection that are already archived in WEST.

How long are WEST volumes retained?

WEST Archive Holders agree to retain WEST materials for a period of 25 years from the beginning of WEST (through December 31, 2035).

As a WEST member, can my library safely withdraw titles preserved in the distributed archive? Is the intent to preserve WEST content in perpetuity even if an individual repository’s commitment lasts for 25 years?

Given the tremendous changes taking place in library management and scholarly communication, we assume that the issues influencing library collection development and preservation decisions will be substantially different in 2035. WEST creates a window of time during which retention of material is guaranteed, in order to control risks and aid decision-making during a transitional period. WEST is part of a larger set of efforts to develop new models for preservation of the scholarly record; while many of the WEST Archive Holders intend to keep their backfiles for more than 25 years, that obligation is not mandated by the WEST program itself.

What are the policies for accessing WEST volumes?

WEST is an accessible archive. WEST materials may be loaned to WEST members, and to any other libraries to which WEST Archive Holders would normally lend materials. The following delivery methods are preferred and recommended for all Archive Types, in order of precedence:

  1. Provide electronic document delivery (including color scans when appropriate)
  2. Provide photocopies
  3. Loan the physical issue or volume to the borrowing institution for building use only.

See WEST Access Guidelines for more details.

Are any special procedures required in order to obtain a print volume through one of the delivery methods specified in the Access Guidelines?

The intention is for WEST members to request WEST materials using existing ILL procedures. Procedures are being developed in a pilot project with OCLC that will facilitate identifying WEST and other shared print collections using Group Access Catalog features and OCLC Resource-Sharing. Details of these procedures should be available in early 2012.

Will WEST include all the titles represented in the JSTOR collections?  Will my library be able to request and borrow physical volumes of JSTOR journals?

WEST includes the JSTOR I and II titles already archived through the Orbis Cascade Alliance Distributed Print Repository (DPR), and a goal of WEST is to complete the archiving of all JSTOR Arts & Sciences titles during the initial 3-year WEST project.

WEST members will be able to borrow physical volumes of JSTOR journals for in-library use at the borrowing library, as stated in the WEST Access Guidelines.

In addition to JSTOR, what other digitized collections of journals are represented in WEST?

WEST Title Category 2 identifies journals for archiving based on their presence in publisher ejournal packages. During annual archiving cycles, WEST planners select the ejournal packages that are of interest. In the 2011-2012 cycle, WEST plans to archive print volumes corresponding to  1,174 “unique to LOCKSS” titles. These are titles that are digitally archived in LOCKSS but not archived in Portico or CLOCKSS.

What are the environmental conditions for WEST materials?

WEST materials may be kept in campus library shelving locations (Bronze and Silver archive types) or in storage facilities or other library locations with specified environmental conditions (Gold and Platinum).

See WEST Environmental Standards for specifications for the various WEST Archive Types.

How is WEST funded?

WEST is funded through a combination of annual member fees and a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

How is WEST governed?

The WEST Program Statement outlines the agreement and operating principles underlying the WEST collaboration. An Executive Committee composed of representatives from 9 member institutions oversees the operation and development of WEST. An Operations and Collections Council (OCC) provides operational guidance for WEST activities. The California Digital Library (CDL) at the University of California serves as Administrative Host for the WEST program. Primary project staff includes Lizanne Payne (WEST Project Manager) and Emily Stambaugh (CDL Shared Print Manager and WEST Assistant Project Manager).

How does a library join WEST?

Libraries that wish to join WEST should contact Emily Stambaugh, WEST Program Manager.

Last updated: March 12, 2015
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