Perpetual Access

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Perpetual Access

Statement: Provide access to conference proceedings in perpetuity for the use of scholars.

The proceedings publisher provider must make arrangements to archive all content in a secure manner. Possible methods include:

1. Making print copies available for purchase or donation to one or more libraries.

2. Depositing online conference content into at least one, and preferably more than one third party archive, such as Portico, LOCKSS, or a disciplinary or institutional repository.

If online proceedings are offered for purchase or licensed access, we recommend these guidelines be followed:

- The content provider must guarantee the library perpetual access to all licensed content and use of that content in accordance with the terms of the existing or, in the case of cancellation of an agreement; the most recently signed license agreement, for so long as the content provider is solvent.

- In the case of a current license agreement, the content provider must guarantee electronic access to all material currently or previously licensed by the library, in a format mutually agreed upon.

- In the case where a current license agreement no longer exists, the content provider must continue to guarantee access to all electronic content previously licensed to the library, or to provide the source files for the content to the library so that the library may provide its own access to the licensed content.

- If the content provider’s choice is to offer access on their site to the previously purchased content, it remains the content provider’s responsibility to make the content available in the same manner and format that it offers to current subscribers. If the source files are provided to the library, it becomes the library’s responsibility to address access and format migration issues.


Conference articles are often the first place research is shared in a disciplinary community and offer an important entrée into the literature about a particular topic. Scholars frequently want to access this kind of content sometimes long after the participants of the conference have moved on to new research directions. The original authors of conference papers can experience longer lasting contribution of their work if a conference proceedings is made available for the long term, whether through print or electronic means.

Best Practice Examples:

1. Provide print as well as digital copies of work in a third party digital archive

  - SPIE

2. Put digital content in more than one third party digital archive (e.g. Portico, LOCKSS, a disciplinary or institutional repository)

 - Institute of Physics Publishing places their Journal of Physics: Conference Series in two third party archives:  Portico and LOCKSS.