As the media of scientific communication has changed from paper to electronic, concern has been raised about the availability of materials published previously in print only. Related to issues over archiving and preservation, the costs and legal implications of digitization have been widely debated, and different initiatives established to capture print information in the new media.

See also the Hot Topic: Archiving and Preservation, and E-Books

Except for links to ALPSP resources on this website, the links below are to external websites and will open a new window in the browser.

Articles & Reports

CLIR 2010 report: The Idea of Order: Transforming Research Collections for 21st Century Scholarship

The report looks at how library holdings have (and are being) increasingly digitised, and questions the degree to which a new research library can be entirely digital. It considers the cost of retaining print, and how the large digitised databases (including the large digitisation projects) are meeting the needs of scholars.

Legal Issues in Mass Digitization: A Preliminary Analysis and Discussion Document (2011)

Published by The US Copyright Office this document looks at copyright (and related) laws and how these are being affected by digitisation projects. It also raises questions to consider in determining an appropriate policy for the mass digitisation of books.


JISC "Risk Management Calculator"

Aimed at librarians planning digitisation projects, but providing useful guidance for anyone digitising content, the guide asks a few simple questions and provides a level of risk that can be used to decide on the best way forward.


EU Digital Libraries Initiative

The Digital Libraries Initiative is a project of the European Commission and part of its overall strategy to boost the digital economy. It includes Europeana and focuses on two areas: cultural and scientific heritage.

JISC digitisation projects

Started in 2004 and continuing through to 2013, JISC supported a variety of digitisation projects, including film, artworks, news and journals.

PubMedCentral Back Issue Digitization Project

Digitisation service from PMC to capture content that is not currently in e-form – however it appears that the service has been discontinued.

Royal Society archive digitised

In 2011 the Royal Society announced that its complete journal archive, back to the first issue of Philosophical Transactions in 1665, has been digitised, and all articles older than 70 are available free.



This a partnership of major research institutions and libraries to digitise and enable access to titles held in the partner libraries.

Publisher Digitisation Service from the British Library

British Library support for publishers digitising content launched in 2007.

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