Portico as a trustworthy digital repository

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I am happy to report the completion of CRL's audit of the Portico digital repository (www.portico.org <http://www.portico.org/> ). We at CRL recognize the need for libraries be able to safely rely on digital repositories like Portico as a preservation solution for content in which they invest. In the current environment there are a growing number of reasons for relying upon e-only access to journals and other scholarly content. Consequently reliable information about e-journals archiving is essential to enable for libraries to transition with confidence from print to digital. 

CRL's Portico audit was conducted in order to obtain reasonable assurance that the service Portico provides is adequate to the needs of CRL member libraries without material flaws or defects and as described in Portico public disclosures.

Based on the work of the CRL Certification Advisory Panel, Portico is now certified as a reliable digital preservation solution.  Specifically, this means we believe that the practices and services described in Portico public communications and published documentation are generally sound and appropriate to the content being archived and to the needs of the CRL community. Moreover, based on Portico practices and track-record, the CRL Certification Advisory Panel expects that Portico will continue to be able to deliver preserved content that is understandable and usable by its designated user community in the future.

Certification of Portico will remain in place subject to periodic reviews by CRL and efforts undertaken by Portico to improve the CRL-assigned ratings against certain defined TRAC criteria. We also expect Portico to make other improvements identified by the CRL Certification Advisory Panel to enhance its service to the CRL community more generally. 

The complete audit report, including TRAC scores and areas identified for improvement, is attached to this message and will be posted to CRL's web site tomorrow.  Further information and documentation will be available to interested representatives of CRL libraries.  This material will be augmented by information and documentation gathered in our ongoing analysis of the HathiTrust Shared Digital Repository and other digital preservation efforts such as CLOCKSS and Scholars Portal. The repositories will be the subject of CRL's annual council meeting on April 23.

The Portico certification reflects the expertise, knowledge and sustained, intensive effort of members of the Certification Advisory Panel.  The panel was ably and energetically chaired by Martha Brogan of the University of Pennsylvania, and supported by Marie Waltz at CRL.

The process would not have been possible without the cooperation and support of Portico Executive Director Eileen Fenton and other Portico staff, who provided CRL an immense amount of documentation and gave generously of their time and expertise throughout the nine month assessment process.


Bernard F. Reilly
Center for Research Libraries