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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

7. Version Issues / Synchronization – Discussion Questions

The Government Printing Office (GPO) document, Digital Distribution to Depository Libraries: Exploring the Issues (9/6/2006) asks these questions about version issues/synchronization:

6. Version issues/synchronization
a. If a library no longer selects similar publications, will it need to manage its collection to ensure that it is not providing access to a superseded version?
i. If yes, how could this be accomplished?


FGI Responses

Q: a. If a library no longer selects similar publications, will it need to manage its collection to ensure that it is not providing access to a superseded version?

Our answer is maybe. Some superseded publications have historical value and so deserve continued accessibility. But depository libraries do have a responsibility to ensure that superseded content is clearly marked. We suspect this would be done through the bibliographic record.

Q: i. If yes, how could this be accomplished?

When a publication is no longer selected, all library catalog records with the same item number (if still used) should be marked as “possibly superseded, please check FDSys for most current version.” Most Integrated Library Systems (ILS) have global search and update functions, so this should not be burdensome to depositories. The library would also have the option of removing both the catalog records and the digital publications subject to established retention guidelines.

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