SafeNet gets underway

SafeNet is a Jisc ‘Service in Development’ to improve assured continuity of access for UK HE  institutions to the electronic journal articles for which they have paid.  The project started on 1st August 2014 and runs until July 2016.

We are now approaching the Christmas break and have had a productive four months. We have been appraising options for the technical components and securing the input of key stakeholders in designing a valuable service.  We’ve been looking at what exists in the global community, learning from initiatives such as Scholars Portal and LOCKSS and considering how the components of SafeNet will fit within the broader Jisc suite of services for managing e-journals.

There are two key components to SafeNet: the entitlement registry and the infrastructure for storing local copies of journals to be accessed post cancellation.  The challenges associated with building a registry of actionable entitlement data have been explored by the PECAN project.  Recommendations from PECAN and conversations with the Scholars Portal have given us some intelligence about how we will tackle those.  It’s essential that the service is accepted by all stakeholders involved in the relevant transactions and workflow processes.  Accordingly, we have been preparing Terms of Reference for an Entitlement Registry Development Group to bring expertise on the workflows and systems used by UK HE libraries as well as by international and UK-based publishers.

Jisc have adopted a co-design approach towards service development, and we are keen to embrace that here.  We have drafted Terms of Reference for a Community Advisory Group to provide guidance on community priorities and workflows, to develop a process for identifying content priorities, bring awareness of related initiatives, and to champion SafeNet within the UK HE community. In short, this group will be both outward and inward focused.

Finally, the project must also establish effective governance and ensure the sustainability of the Jisc shared service to be developed by the SafeNet project.  In this, we are grateful for the advice and guidance of the Jisc Electronic Information Resources Working Group (EIRWG).  In the immediate future, the project team will seek to define access triggers with reference to the scenarios in which PCA is needed.  These will inform negotiation with publishers throughout the rest of 2015.