In September 2005, library directors from 17 universities and colleges met to discuss the current state of electronic journal preservation and endorsed a statement calling for 'Urgent Action' to preserve scholarly e-journals. Over two years later in January 2008, Portico and Ithaka invited 1,371 library directors of four-year colleges and universities in the US to respond to a survey examining current perspectives on the preservation of e-journals. Both parties have now released the results of the Digital Preservation Survey of US library directors.
The survey finds widespread agreement that the potential loss of e-journals is unacceptable. A significant majority of library directors believe their own institution has a responsibility to take action to prevent intolerable loss of scholarly records. It was found that while larger libraries support one or more e-journal preservation initiatives, the majority of respondents from smaller libraries are yet to support any preservation effort and secure permanent access to e-journals for their institutions.
The survey findings raise a range of important questions about how the responsibility for preservation of critical electronic resources should be supported by the community, even as electronic resources expenditures expand substantially at libraries across the spectrum. The full report is available for download online at http://www.portico.org/comment/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/porticosurveyondigitalpreservation.pdf. Readers are also invited to share comments and reactions in the provided discussion space.