Thoth Archiving Network goes live at Cambridge 

Dr Agustina Martínez-García, Head of Open Research Systems, Digital Initiatives

Cambridge University Library (CUL) is piloting participation in the Thoth Archiving Network, which allows small presses to use a simple deposit option to archive their publications in multiple repository locations, creating the opportunity to safeguard against the complete loss of their open books catalogue, should they cease to operate. 

Participation in the pilot has allowed us to explore the implementation of suitable infrastructure, built on interoperable, open, and widely adopted platforms to support discovery, access, and long-term availability of open scholarly works. 

Work done so far 

We are pleased to share that the Cambridge repository platform participating in the Thoth network is now live at, and now includes a full back catalogue of two open monograph publishers. This repository is based on the open-source DSpace software

Through the implementation phase, we have worked very closely with the Thoth technical team to support the implementation and testing of standard and automated deposit mechanisms into DSpace-based repositories. This work has allowed us to further our knowledge and expertise on scholarly and research platforms by using well adopted repository platforms (DSpace) in a new area: open access books and monographs. It has also provided us with the opportunity to test the implementation of additional infrastructure to support discovery, access, and dissemination of such open access content, and potentially experiment with other types of scholarly work. 

What’s next 

Now that the repository platform is live, we would like to gather insights about volume of content, required storage and staff resources (both infrastructure and user support). This will help us estimating associated costs for provision of such a service as well as preservation costs for the longer term, during the 3-year pilot.  

In terms of long-term preservation, we will explore several preservation options, including preserving the content in-house as part of the Libraries’ wider Digital Preservation Programme. The types of material hosted in this platform can provide an exemplary use case of scholarly content that is “preservation ready”, uses open and standard file formats (i.e., PDF and epub) and is accompanied by rich, high quality descriptive metadata. 

See this post by the Open Book Futures Team for more details about the pilot:

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