Smart Client approaches to digital archiving of e‐journals

Edmund Balnaves (Prosentient Systems, Sydney, Australia)
Mark Chehade (Prosentient Systems, Sydney, Australia)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Publication date: 2 October 2009



The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a research project undertaken by Prosentient Systems and partially funded by the ALIA 2007 research study grant. The focus of the project was a proof‐of‐concept implementation of a Smart Client application for digital archiving of e‐journal subscriptions held by special libraries.


This research comprised a survey of libraries in the area of electronic journal archiving and software development research. The quantitative survey was distributed to 254 member libraries of the GratisNet and GLASS special library networks in Australia. Seven questions explored current practice in e‐journal archiving. In total, 164 responses were received, of which only seven indicated current progress toward e‐journal archiving. Based on the survey results, the second phase of the project comprised software development research.


The research outcomes indicate that a cross‐platform “Smart Client” approach to e‐journal archiving is achievable and the presentation will review architectural design techniques that support cross‐platform deployment and simple installation using open source smart client tools.

Practical implications

The transition to e‐journal subscriptions has not been matched with attention to methods for local archiving of e‐journal subscriptions. This research demonstrates the feasibility of simple solutions suitable for special libraries to implement local e‐journal archives.


This research presents an innovative approach to e‐journal archiving for special libraries. The approach differs from current, peer‐to‐peer approach by implementing a central metadata server and a simple easy to deploy desktop archiving agent. Furthermore, limitations imposed by copyright restrictions are the principal impediment that libraries face in implementing e‐journal archives, and the centralised metadata approach can help libraries distinguish journals for which local archiving is allowed.



Balnaves, E. and Chehade, M. (2009), "Smart Client approaches to digital archiving of e‐journals", The Electronic Library, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 837-845.

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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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