The discussion began with a consideration of what types of material and resources should be acquired for the repository. Four formats were taken from the Web survey form pertaining to digital projects in RU academic units, for purposes of discussion:
a. Working papers and preprints: it was agreed that these are acceptable as a format, but will always involve a question as to the author's intent: should they be freely accessible, and if so for an indefinite period of time?
b. RU theses: clearly senior, honors, MA, and PhD theses are RU intellectual products and the repository is a fitting receptacle for them. The RU relationship with UMI for PhD dissertations is non-exclusive.
A sidebar discussion ensued from the observation that data that would otherwise be suitable for the repository may be well preserved on a server other than ours. It was agreed that the repository may host entire digital objects, or the metadata for objects that are themselves hosted in another, trusted repository.
c. Thematic websites: this category of publication can be very important in the humanities. RUL is preserving "legacy" websites that grew out of abandoned RUL projects. Thus we have a precedent for archiving this category of material.
d. E-journals: Clearly we are accommodating these already.
The mention of e-journals prompted the question of whether this committee can propose a regular process for determining whether a scholarly publication, and specifically an e-journal, should be brought into the repository. With PCSP, we required the signing of a tripartite publishing and archiving agreement by Marianne Gaunt, Dan Fishman as the journal editor, and the Dean of the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. Thus, the involvement of a Rutgers unit in addition to RUL might be a prerequisite for hosting an e-journal. [Subsequent clarification by Bob Sewell: As we are refining our procedures, in the future publications that are born digital, such as e-journals, will be reviewed by the DRRC before mounting on our publishing platform.]
RUL is currently working on a grant proposal for "Digital New Jersey". As in the case of NJDH, it would include many New Jersey institutions, with an RUL host, but not be limited to historical material. This reinforced the idea that the involvement of New Jersey institutions, though not necessarily limited to Rutgers itself, might be a prerequisite.
The committee agreed that these ideas constitute progress toward creating the elements of a mission statement for the repository. The repository would serve to preserve four, potentially overlapping, categories of digital objects: creative output of Rutgers; Digital New Jersey as defined above; scholarly e-publishing; and the content of other organizations for whom we serve, on the basis of agreements, as a trusted repository.
Niessen volunteered to compose a first draft of the mission statement based on these ideas.
The committee has been asked to prepare a statement of one or two pages addressing long-term goals in scholarly communication at Rutgers over the next five years. In our preliminary discussion we agreed that this statement might include the above mission statement, the advocacy of open access, and collaboration with selectors and academic programs to help address the budgetary challenges RUL faces in supporting our collections.