Best Practices for Print to Digital Validation Work for Shared Print Programs

Note: This Best Practice uses the Good, Better, Best, Aspirational terminology

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Best Practices When Not Considering Withdrawing Print 583 Action Notes When Not Withdrawing the Print
Best Practices When Considering Withdrawing Print Examples

There are several reasons a library might compare a print copy to a digital copy. This could include comparing a specific set of print materials to their digital versions in order to better inform future digitization initiatives. Libraries might also consider withdrawing print copies because of condition issues or space needs and might therefore seek a digital surrogate. This best practice is focused on the validation of the digital copy, which is important when making collection decisions, in order to ensure the completeness and factual representation of the digital surrogate and enable more informed local collection decisions that secure the continued availability of a factual version of the print record. It is important to note that each shared print program has different allowances for withdrawing print commitments. Members wanting to follow these best practices should consult with their shared print program before proceeding. 

This best practices document is divided into sections for Shared Print Programs and Member Libraries. It is also divided into sections for when a program or member is weeding a print copy or just comparing print to digital copies

These best practices are intended to assist shared print programs and their members when they are creating policies and practices for validating a digital copy against a committed print title. 

Best Practices When Project Based and Not Considering Withdrawing Print 

These are the best practices for shared print programs when the program is asking members to compare their committed print titles to digital copies because of a project or other reason where weeding is not the main objective, but the goal is to review and compare copies. 

Each level presumes all checks of any/all preceding levels.

Shared Print Program 

Good

  • The Program encourages members to compare their print collections against digital surrogates, when available, in order to guarantee digital surrogate quality, especially with rare books, damaged items, etc. 
  • The Program encourages libraries to catalog digitized copies and make records/metadata available in local and network systems if not already present.
  • The Program suggests members notify the digital copy holder regarding any problems with digital quality.

Better

  • The Program initiates a project to compare print collections against digital surrogates, when available, in order to guarantee digital surrogate quality, especially with rare books, damaged items, etc. 
  • The Program suggests, when comparing a printed commitment to a digital copy, validating against digital copies in trusted repositories (e.g., JSTOR, CLOCKSS, HathiTrust), or a digital copy that has preservation assurances in place for members.
  • The Program encourages members to update their local print record to include validation details by adding a validated digital version to the 583 field in a holdings record. See the section 583 Action Notes When Not Withdrawing Print for the template and instructions for how to do this.  
  • The Program has developed suggested workflows for member libraries when comparing shared print committed items to digital surrogates.
  • The Program provides a decision tree for member libraries regarding how to deal with different problems discovered during local workflows. These could include problems such as the wrong item being digitized, missing content, obstructed text, etc. 
  • When problems in digital copy quality are discovered, the Program requires members to notify the digital copy holder regarding any problems. 
  • Following print to digital validation, the Program also requires members to notify the digital copy holder to request that they augment relevant metadata related to condition assessment for validation for that item, or the program does it on behalf of the member. 

Best 

  • The Program funds a project to compare a print collection to digital surrogates in order to guarantee digital surrogate quality, especially with rare books, damaged items, etc. 
  • The program requires members to update their local print record to include validation details by adding a validated digital version to the 583 field in a holdings record. See the section 583 Action Notes When Not Withdrawing Print for the template and instructions for how to do this.  
  • As part of the print to digital validation process, the Program’s MOU or policies state that when member libraries identify that their copy is of a better quality (i.e., is in better condition) or could enhance the current digital copy, they contact the digital copy holder to request that they make corrections or re-digitize. 
  • The Program also has processes or steps enabled to facilitate the digitization of shared print material or has a partnership with a trusted repository to do so. 
  • The Program has developed clear guidelines and standardized workflows for members when comparing shared print committed items to digital surrogates
  • Using the standardized workflows, the Program offers a decision tree for members regarding how to deal with different problems discovered. These could include problems such as the wrong item being digitized, missing content, obstructed text, etc. 

Aspirational

  • Following being notified regarding digital copy quality, the Program works with the digital copy holder to make sure they update their digital object to include any corrections provided by the shared print program or a program member. Digital copy holders should also, when digital objects cannot be corrected, augment the metadata to include problems identified and that need future corrective actions.
  • If a digital copy holder becomes aware of their copy being validated against a print copy, they should include a note regarding this in the metadata. 

Member Libraries

Good

  • Members assist shared print programs in comparing the print collection to digital surrogates in order to guarantee digital surrogate quality, especially with rare books, damaged items, etc.  

Best 

  • Members participate in projects that compare the print collection to digital surrogates in order to assess digital surrogate quality, especially with rare books, damaged items, etc. 
  • When a member library’s print copy is of better quality (i.e., is in better condition) than the current digital copy, the member contacts the digital copy holder to make corrections or re-digitize, or asks the program to do it on their behalf.

The member should update local metadata to summarize the action and report any identified gaps by including a completeness review to the 583 field in a holdings record. See the section 583 Action Notes When Not Withdrawing Print for the template and instructions for how to do this. 

Best Practice When Project Based and Not Considering Withdrawing Print

These are the best practices for shared print programs when the program is asking members to compare their committed print titles to digital copies because of a project or another reason where weeding is not the main objective, but rather the goal is to review and compare copies.
Shared Print Program
Each level presumes all checks of any/all preceding levels.GoodBetter BestAspirational
The program encourages that surrogate open access digitized copies of print committed items are discoverable in local and network systems. X
When comparing committed print titles to digital copies and issues with quality are discovered, the Program suggests members notify the digital copy holder regarding any issues.X
The Program suggests comparing against digital copies in trusted repositories (e.g., JSTOR, CLOCKSS, HathiTrust) or a digital copy that has preservation assurances in place for members, when comparing a printed commitment to a digital copy.X
The Program has developed suggested workflows for member libraries comparing shared print committed items to digital surrogates when considering withdrawing a print copy that has a shared print commitment on it. X
The Program provides a decision tree for member libraries regarding how to deal with different problems discovered during local workflows. These could include problems such as the wrong item being digitized, missing content, obstructed text, etc. X
Following print to digital validation, the Program requires members to notify the digital copy holder to augment relevant metadata related to condition assessment for validation for that item, or the program does it on behalf of the member. X
As committed titles in print are withdrawn in favor of digital access, the Program asks members to provide access to the digitized version through their local discovery systems. X
The Program requires the validation of only copies in trusted repositories (e.g., JSTOR, CLOCKSS, HathiTrust) for members when comparing a printed commitment to a digital copy. X
As part of the print to digital validation process, the Program’s MOU or policies state that when member libraries identify that their copy is of a better quality (i.e., is in better condition) or could enhance the current digital copy, that they contact the digital copy holder to make corrections or re-digitize. X
The Program also has processes or steps enabled to facilitate the digitization of shared print material or has a partnership with a trusted repository to do so. X
The Program has developed clear guidelines and standardized workflows for members comparing shared print committed items to digital surrogates when considering withdrawing a print commitment. X
Using the standardized workflows, the Program offers a decision tree for members regarding how to deal with different problems discovered. These could include problems such as the wrong item being digitized, missing content, obstructed text, etc. X
The Program requires digital access for all program users if the digital copy replaces a withdrawn print copy that has a shared print commitment.X
As committed titles in print are withdrawn in favor of digital access, the Program requires that withdrawn print titles are now discoverable as electronic resources in members’ local discovery systems.X
The Program tracks the number of items withdrawn in favor of digital copies and makes this information available.X
The Program negotiates digital access for all program users if it replaces a shared print commitment.X
Following being notified regarding digital copy quality, the digital copy holder updates its copy to include any corrections provided by the shared print program or program member. X
Member Library
Each level presumes all checks of any/all preceding levels.GoodBetter BestAspirational
Members assist shared print programs in comparing the print collection to digital surrogates in order to guarantee digital surrogate quality, especially with rare books, damaged items, etc. X
Members participate in projects that compare the print collection to digital surrogates in order to assess digital surrogate quality, especially with rare books, damaged items, etc. X
When a member library’s print copy is of better quality (i.e., is in better condition) than the current digital copy, the member contacts the digital copy holder to make corrections or re-digitize, or asks the program to do it on their behalf.X
The member should update local metadata to summarize the action and report any identified gaps by including a completeness review to the 583 field in a holdings record. See the section 583 Action Notes When Not Withdrawing Print for the template and instructions for how to do this.X

Best Practices When Considering Withdrawing Print  

These are the best practices for shared print programs when the program is asking members to compare their committed print titles to digital copies because of any reason for weeding the committed print title (e.g. poor condition, space reclamation, collection management, etc.).

Each level presumes all checks of any/all preceding levels.

Shared Print Program 

Good

  • The program encourages that surrogate open access digitized copies of print committed items are discoverable in local and network systems. 
  • When comparing committed print titles to digital copies and issues with quality are discovered, the Program suggests members notify the digital copy holder regarding any issues.

Better

  • The Program suggests comparing against digital copies in trusted repositories (e.g., JSTOR, CLOCKSS, HathiTrust) or a digital copy that has preservation assurances in place for members, when comparing a printed commitment to a digital copy.
  • The Program has developed suggested workflows for member libraries comparing shared print committed items to digital surrogates when considering withdrawing a print copy that has a shared print commitment on it. 
  • The Program provides a decision tree for member libraries regarding how to deal with different problems discovered during local workflows. These could include problems such as the wrong item being digitized, missing content, obstructed text, etc. 
  • Following print to digital validation, the Program requires members to notify the digital copy holder to augment relevant metadata related to condition assessment for validation for that item, or the program does it on behalf of the member. 
  • As committed titles in print are withdrawn in favor of digital access, the Program asks members to provide access to the digitized version through their local discovery systems. 

Best 

  • The Program requires the validation of only copies in trusted repositories (e.g., JSTOR, CLOCKSS, HathiTrust) for members when comparing a printed commitment to a digital copy.  
  • As part of the print to digital validation process, the Program’s MOU or policies state that when member libraries identify that their copy is of a better quality (i.e., is in better condition) or could enhance the current digital copy, that they contact the digital copy holder to make corrections or re-digitize. 
  • The Program also has processes or steps enabled to facilitate the digitization of shared print material or has a partnership with a trusted repository to do so. 
  • The Program has developed clear guidelines and standardized workflows for members comparing shared print committed items to digital surrogates when considering withdrawing a print commitment. 
  • Using the standardized workflows, the Program offers a decision tree for members regarding how to deal with different problems discovered. These could include problems such as the wrong item being digitized, missing content, obstructed text, etc. 
  • The Program requires digital access for all program users if the digital copy replaces a withdrawn print copy that has a shared print commitment.
  • As committed titles in print are withdrawn in favor of digital access, the Program requires that withdrawn print titles are now discoverable as electronic resources in members’ local discovery systems.

Aspirational

  • The Program tracks the number of items withdrawn in favor of digital copies and makes this information available.
  • The Program negotiates digital access for all program users if it replaces a shared print commitment.
  • Following being notified regarding digital copy quality, the digital copy holder updates its copy to include any corrections provided by the shared print program or program member. 

Member Libraries

Good

  • Prior to withdrawing a committed title, the member library should check to see if a digital surrogate exists. 

Better

  • If prior to withdrawing a committed title a member discovers there is a digital surrogate in a trusted repository, it validates the digital copy. 
  • When a member library’s print copy is of better quality (i.e., is in better condition) than the current digital copy, the program encourages members to contact the digital copy holder to make corrections or re-digitize. 

Best 

  • If prior to withdrawing a committed title a member discovers there is no digital surrogate, it should digitize the item. 

Aspirational

  • Member libraries digitizing copies to replace a print copy which has a shared print commitment should put the digitized copy in a trusted repository. 
  • Following being notified regarding digital copy quality, the digital copy holder updates its record to include any corrections provided by the shared print program or program member.
Best Practice When Considering Withdrawing Print

These are the best practices for shared print programs when the program is asking members to compare their committed print titles to digital copies because of any reason for weeding the committed print title (e.g. poor condition, space reclamation, collection management, etc.).
Shared Print Program
Each level presumes all checks of any/all preceding levels.GoodBetter BestAspirational
The program encourages that surrogate open access digitized copies of print committed items are discoverable in local and network systems. X
When comparing committed print titles to digital copies and issues with quality are discovered, the Program suggests members notify the digital copy holder regarding any issues.X
The Program suggests comparing against digital copies in trusted repositories (e.g., JSTOR, CLOCKSS, HathiTrust) or a digital copy that has preservation assurances in place for members, when comparing a printed commitment to a digital copy.X
The Program has developed suggested workflows for member libraries comparing shared print committed items to digital surrogates when considering withdrawing a print copy that has a shared print commitment on it. X
The Program provides a decision tree for member libraries regarding how to deal with different problems discovered during local workflows. These could include problems such as the wrong item being digitized, missing content, obstructed text, etc. X
Following print to digital validation, the Program requires members to notify the digital copy holder to augment relevant metadata related to condition assessment for validation for that item, or the program does it on behalf of the member. X
As committed titles in print are withdrawn in favor of digital access, the Program asks members to provide access to the digitized version through their local discovery systems. X
The Program requires the validation of only copies in trusted repositories (e.g., JSTOR, CLOCKSS, HathiTrust) for members when comparing a printed commitment to a digital copy. X
As part of the print to digital validation process, the Program’s MOU or policies state that when member libraries identify that their copy is of a better quality (i.e., is in better condition) or could enhance the current digital copy, that they contact the digital copy holder to make corrections or re-digitize. X
The Program also has processes or steps enabled to facilitate the digitization of shared print material or has a partnership with a trusted repository to do so. X
The Program has developed clear guidelines and standardized workflows for members comparing shared print committed items to digital surrogates when considering withdrawing a print commitment. X
Using the standardized workflows, the Program offers a decision tree for members regarding how to deal with different problems discovered. These could include problems such as the wrong item being digitized, missing content, obstructed text, etc. X
The Program requires digital access for all program users if the digital copy replaces a withdrawn print copy that has a shared print commitment.X
As committed titles in print are withdrawn in favor of digital access, the Program requires that withdrawn print titles are now discoverable as electronic resources in members’ local discovery systems.X
The Program tracks the number of items withdrawn in favor of digital copies and makes this information available.X
The Program negotiates digital access for all program users if it replaces a shared print commitment.X
Following being notified regarding digital copy quality, the digital copy holder updates its copy to include any corrections provided by the shared print program or program member. X
Member Library
Each level presumes all checks of any/all preceding levels.GoodBetter BestAspirational
Prior to withdrawing a committed title, the member library should check to see if a digital surrogate exists. X
If prior to withdrawing a committed title a member discovers there is a digital surrogate in a trusted repository, it validates the digital copy. X
When a member library’s print copy is of better quality (i.e., is in better condition) than the current digital copy, the program encourages members to contact the digital copy holder to make corrections or re-digitize. X
If prior to withdrawing a committed title a member discovers there is no digital surrogate, it should digitize the item. X
Member libraries digitizing copies to replace a print copy which has a shared print commitment should put the digitized copy in a trusted repository. X
Following being notified regarding digital copy quality, the digital copy holder updates its record to include any corrections provided by the shared print program or program member. X

583 Action Notes When Not Withdrawing the Print

583 Action Note for Validated Digital Version

Add 583 field to holdings record using the template below:

  • Template: 583 $a validated digital version $3 [digital owner] [digital format] $n [number of images] $o digital images $c [date] $f [program] $j [OCLC symbol] $i [method] $l [status] $z [note] $u [url]
  • Example: 583 $a validated digital version $3 HathiTrust pdf $n 288 $o digital images $c20221012 $f EAST $j SNN $i scrolled through pdf $l complete $z image 8 (p.2) skewed $u https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.31970006038308&view=1up&seq=1

583 Action Note for Completeness Reviewed

Add 583 field to holdings record using the template below: 

  • If there are no problems found completeness reviewed is sufficient:
    • Template: 583 $a completeness reviewed 
    • Example: 583 $validated digital version 
  • If there are issues to document:
    • Template: 583 $a completeness reviewed $l [Condition or state of the described materials.Suggested use is to include status terms to report evidence of missing units, binding anomalies, or reprints] $z [A note pertaining to an action on an item that is displayed to the public. Suggested use is to add a public note to specify gaps and missing materials]  
    • Example: 583 $a completeness reviewed $l missing volumes $z Vols 32-35 are not bound with other items

Examples 

  • In 2013 the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed an electronic coverage verification process to support collection management decisions. While no longer supported, the page and process are outlined below. 

As stated in our Campus Collection Plan, campus libraries are committed to retaining as much unique content in any format possible within our collections, and print materials continue to play an important role for historical and future research purposes. Still, in order to guarantee access to the intellectual content of our collections while making room for both expansion and alternative uses of library space, in some instances campus libraries will decide to withdraw print titles in favor of their electronic surrogates. This document will help guide in those decisions and includes information regarding verifying electronic access for serials and monographs, a critical step in our process. It is meant to be inclusive, but we recognize that we cannot capture all possibilities. 

This document provides general guidelines that should be used when verifying electronic coverage of materials flagged as contenders to withdraw from campus collections. Detailed Instructions regarding the withdrawal decision process and workflow can be found in the Withdrawal Materials Document.

Criteria for print withdrawal in favor of electronic format: 

The following criteria must be met, and the verification checklist completed, before a print item can be considered for withdrawal: 

  1. Completeness: Electronic item must be evaluated for completeness using links from within our local catalog. We recommend that a reasonable effort be made to conduct page-by-page verification of each item; in such cases, please use your discretion to ascertain if pages are noticeably missing (this is different from page-by-page verification), if sections have been removed, etc.
    1. Serials: Verify online equivalent contains complete sequence of problems and volumes of what is to be withdrawn in print. The electronic version must include all articles, letters to the editor, announcements, supplements, illustrations, tables, indices, and conference proceedings that are found in the print copy. Advertisements are preferable to be included but not necessary. 
    2. Monographs: Verify online equivalent contains chapters, indices, illustrations, tables, and table of contents are complete to what we seek to withdraw in print. 
  2. Quality of images, figures and pictures: The quality in the electronic version must be represented in a legible and accessible format. The images and other graphics should compare favorably to the print version. We recommend a reasonable effort be made, including spot checking. Three quality designations will be utilized to ensure the image is of a reasonable standard to meet the needs of our users:
    1. Acceptable: The quality in the electronic version meets or exceeds that of the print copy. 
    2. Questionable: The quality may or may not be acceptable. Library staff will consult with faculty or clinical experts to make a reasoned judgment. 
    3. Poor: The quality is unacceptable. The print copy will be retained until the publisher makes improvements to achieve an adequate standard. Please remember if any problems are discovered with the electronic version of the item report to the publisher. Reporting to the publisher is facilitated and/or triaged by our GLS Online Group (glsonline@library.wisc.edu) for all libraries. They will route to appropriate license holding libraries when necessary. 
  3. Commitment to Access: The publisher’s commitment to digital preservation and perpetual access must be verified before being considered for print withdrawal. In all cases, UW should have a signed license with the publisher that allows for perpetual access and specifies their commitment to migrate content to current technologies as needed. The publisher/vendor must ensure stable, electronic access through an acceptable interface for the entire run of content the library has purchased. If the publisher goes out of business in the future or ceases to support the purchased content, there must be provisions in place for another publisher/vendor or a reputable third party to provide the content. Examples of acceptable third parties to the University of WI-Madison Libraries would be Hathi, Portico, LOCKSS, and other sustainable dark archives. It will not be acceptable for the publisher/vendor to provide the library a local file of journal content in lieu of access to a stable data source. Journals collected in aggregated databases will not be considered an acceptable substitute for a stable data source. To determine the above criteria please work with the Licensed Resources Unit (send email to ctslru@library.wisc.edu). 
  4. Discoverability: Verify that the electronic version is discoverable in all iterations of our local catalog, and OCLC, and that cataloging and holdings information is as complete as possible for both current subscriptions and backfiles. 

Then, they provided a checklist for collection managers to submit for tracking decision purposes. It included the following information:

  • Monographs
  • Serials
    • Journal title
    • ISSN
    • Bib number
    • OCLC number
    • Years to withdraw
    • Library locations and call numbers
    • Completeness:
      • Reviewed for missing pages – Yes/No
      • Online sequence complete – Yes/No
      • Online includes all content – Yes/No
      • Online includes advertisement – Yes/No
    • Quality of electronic coverage:
      • Is electronic version legible? – Yes/No
      • Quality designation – Questionable/Acceptable
      • If Questionable, has faculty consultation occurred?
    • Commit to Access: Describe the publisher’s commitment to digital preservation and perpetual access and/or if the item is held in a trusted repository 
    • Discoverability:
      • Discoverable in local catalog – Yes/No
      • Discoverable in OCLC – Yes/No
    • Comments
  • In July 2019, HathiTrust’s Quality Assurance and Standards Working Group developed an internal mechanism to track quality metadata schema to ensure a high quality digital corpus. The schema included tracking things around the following:
    • HT ID or handle URL
    • Quality statement 
    • Missing pages – includes specifications around things like no problems detected, no problems exist, confirmed no problems 
    • Foldout – includes specifications around things like all imaged, none imaged, some imaged, no foldouts exist
    • Physical Source Issue Type — includes specifications around things like torn, missing page, printing error, obstruction, other, marginalia 
    • Legibility Issue Type – includes specifications around things like faint text, blank text, bleed through, tight gutters, crop, wrap, etc. 
    • Composition Issue Type – includes specifications around things like page ordering, blank page, duplicate page, obstruction, upside down, no OCR 
    • Composition Description 
  • Although no longer supported, the JSTOR “What to Withdraw” instructions and tool suggests reviewing the following when determining whether a digital version of a JSTOR title is acceptable for preservation standards:
    • Journal Title
    • Additional title (monograph titles)
    • Electronic format OCLC#
    • Print format OCLC#
    • Print ISSN
    • Series
    • Volume
    • Issue
    • Part
    • PublicationDate
    • Number of Pages
    • Title Pagination
    • Percentage overall of images (estimate)
    • Color images
    • Photographs
    • Plates
    • Other images
    • Missing Pages, Covers, foldouts, etc.
    • Scanned Front Covers
    • Scanned Back Covers
    • Additional Pages
    • Reprint
    • Binding pattern variations
    • Printing Errors
    • Acidic Paper
    • Alkaline Paper
    • Brittle Paper
    • Faded
    • Foxed
    • Highlighting/Underlining
    • Insect Damage
    • Loose (pages, covers, bindings)
    • Marginalia
    • Mold Damage
    • Obscured Text Block
    • Rebacked
    • Rehoused poorly
    • Repaired poorly
    • Repaired soundly
    • Tight Binding
    • Torn
    • Warped/Cockled
    • Yellowed/Browning pages
    • Scanned Date
    • Print Archive Date
    • Completed

Last Updated December 2022