Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library, today predicted a switch from print to digital publishing by the year 2020. Speaking at the launch of the Library’s new three-year strategy, Lynne Brindley said:
“Most people are aware that a national switch to digital broadcasting is expected by the end of this decade. Less well known is the fact that a similar trend is underway in the world of publishing: by the year 2020, 40% of UK research monographs will be available in electronic format only, while a further 50% will be produced in both print and digital. A mere 10% of new titles will be available in print alone by 2020.”
The Digital Library – The digital storage facility itself will have strict quality and security controls. The system is uniquely designed to be tamper proof; once a digital item enters the system it is digitally ‘signed’ and ‘catalogued’ using metadata. This means that Library staff can check that it has not been tampered with or modified and is the same as when it was deposited. The system architecture is based on multiple ‘nodes’ which are independent of each other. This means that there are at least three copies of everything – if one were to be destroyed, there is a back up. The system will include a quality control mechanism which will check the stored items regularly to ensure that they have not deteriorated in any way. There will also be a ‘dark’ or offline copy which will be stored separately in the unlikely case of catastrophic system failure. The system also enables the ‘chain of custody’ to be followed – the route the item has followed from the store to the Library user’s computer screen.