What we talk about when we talk about SafeNet


July 2015 marks the halfway point for the SafeNet project. A lot of progress has been made towards developing a service that will provide value to the HE community. As we look forward towards the next reporting phase, one which involves significant outreach and negotiation efforts, our attention has focused on the need to produce a clear model of the service proposition by way of infrastructural components and stakeholders, with a demonstration of how those aspects will function and inter-relate.

In our last blog post, we introduced project personas that emerged via discussions with UK HE librarians.  Those discussions regularly explored the issues around post cancellation access in close detail, however interviewees found it harder to identify the shape of the tool or service that would address these problems. It was clear from these discussions that a more visual approach would be beneficial in explaining how the SafeNet service will provide content and how the components will work together to create a cohesive whole.

A recent work package has focused on the legal agreements required by the emergent SafeNet service, specifically in defining the publisher participation agreement that would underpin the supply and deposit of publisher content. The participation agreement outlines the commitments and responsibilities of those involved in supplying material and those operating the service. Along with these responsibilities, the agreement outlines the individual elements of the proposed service and the relationships of the main actors to the final product.

To this end the project team have spent time defining and illustrating who will do what and why they will do it as participants in the service.  The diagram below visualises the service components and, at a high level, clarifies the responsibilities of the stakeholders involved in the project (click to enlarge):

SafeNet blog diagram

This is a simplified diagram to show the high level relationships and interactions.  We can see, for example, the project responsibilities of EDINA and Jisc and their anticipated responsibilities once in service mode. We will be refining this model and adding further details where relevant to assist with production of a tool kit that will be used to aid negotiation and promotion, describing how the service works in practice.

That said, some of the above components are well defined at this stage and some require further work and investigation. For example, while the responsibility for the service components and operation lies with EDINA, Jisc Collections will deal with publisher negotiations building on their considerable experience in this area. Publishers will provide the e-journal content archived nationally using a private LOCKSS network (PLN). The publisher will always remain the preferred supplier of access, and in the event that content from SafeNet is accessed the service will provide usage information back to the publisher.

The diagram also shows, in red, those components EDINA will manage, including two of the PLN nodes which are complemented by four co-located nodes. Establishing this national infrastructure and formalising the agreements to support this is something that will be progressed in the coming months.

Methods for gathering entitlement information are being closely examined at the moment. We hope to convene a second community meeting in the coming months to discuss approaches and consider challenges. The focus in developing the entitlement registry is currently centred on considering data sources and assessing the quality of information available. The KB+ team — Magaly Bascones in particular — have been instrumental in assisting our progress with this. The SafeNet project are also grateful to KB+ users at the universities of Huddersfield, Newcastle, East Anglia and Cambridge for access to their KB+ test profiles as we investigate the possibility of reusing information held there.

As we reach the halfway point the roadmap above shows where the project is headed. Upcoming landmarks include drafting service level definitions, testing data ingest and integrating components into the broader service architecture as shown above. There’s another year to navigate through with plenty of challenging diversions along the way.

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