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Value of WEST

Value of WEST Infographic

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The Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) is a distributed, collaborative, and sustainable journal archiving program that is transforming the manner in which print journal collections are housed and managed. The program’s unique analysis capabilities mean that archiving decisions are made intentionally, and that higher risk materials are identified for physical validation and storage in environmentally-controlled, high-density storage facilities. Built-in development phases allow WEST to continually adapt to the dynamic landscape of print journals and expand its scope as needed. WEST looks beyond its own regional efforts to what is possible at the national level and how shared print builds networks ideal for pursuing related collaborative partnerships. WEST is not only a robust archive for print journals, it is also an invaluable collective for building shared policies, practices, expertise, and community directions in shared print and beyond.

  • Size, Scope, and Risk Mitigation: WEST is one of the largest regional shared journal archiving programs in the U.S. in terms of the breadth of its membership and the number of titles and volumes it has archived to date. Biennial collections analyses support data-driven decision making by calculating the risk of loss for each journal based on electronic availability and identifying which member is optimally suited to archive each. High risk materials go through rigorous physical validation and are stored in secure, environmentally-regulated facilities. WEST archives are located in 18 states west of the Mississippi, further reducing risk through geographic diversity.
  • National Collaboration on and Access to Shared Print Materials: WEST is a founding partner of the Rosemont Shared Print Alliance, a federation of regional shared print programs that leverages the expertise of program and library staff to develop shared best practices, identify priorities and develop projects that support the common good across all programs, provide access to expanded collections, and influence the next generation of shared print infrastructure projects. 
  • Ongoing Development of a WEST Community and WEST Resources: WEST hosts two member meetings each year as well as several webinars that serve to update members on the progress of the program as well as foster a community of expertise and common action through information sharing. Additionally, WEST provides a variety of resources that support members’ local collection projects, including the On Demand Collection Comparison Report, metadata validation reports, and access to the Journal Retention and Needs Listing (JRNL) tool to help express and fill gaps in the archives.
  • Ongoing Systems Development and Refinement: WEST collections analyses are performed using AGUA, a tool built by the California Digital Library in collaboration with the Center for Research Libraries. AGUA ingests and synthesizes data from multiple sources and is used to analyze WEST members’ collections and produce archiving proposals based on the calculated risk each journal faces and the depth of holdings at member institutions. AGUA allows WEST to trace journals across title changes, match print journals to electronic surrogates, and calculate the potential risk of loss that each journal family faces based on electronic availability. With this information WEST makes data-driven decisions on what gets added to the archive, what level of validation is needed, and which institution is the optimal archiver.

All members benefit from access to the archives. All members support selection of titles, collections analysis, and active creation of print archives at Archive Builders (high density storage facilities) throughout the region. All Members may also use the Journal Retention and Needs Listing tool (JRNL) to expose gaps in archives and make offers to fill gaps. Full members are additionally eligible to participate in the regional collections analysis and have the opportunity to serve as an Archive Holder. Participants in the collections analysis receive proposals for retention of deep backfiles and a custom collection comparison report.