Backing up floppies - a survey David_Fisher@UCSDLIBRARY.UCSD.EDU 23 May 1997 17:52 UTC

          This notice has been cross posted. Forgive the duplication.

          The UCSD Libraries are convening a task group to explore the
          possibility of discontinuing the production of backup copies
          of data on floppy discs that accompany books and journals.
          Our current practice is to back up all accompanying
          floppies, circulate the backup copy and archive the master
          in our Systems Dept.  Before we sit down to discuss
          discontinuing this practice I'd like to get some answers to
          the following questions:

          1) Have others among you implemented such a policy and, if
          so, are you satisfied with the results? Please describe.

          2) If you answered yes to the first question, have you had
          to acquire replacement copies of floppies that accompany
          books or journal issues in the aftermarket.

             a) If yes, please cite the sources you've found most
             b) If acquiring floppies in the aftermarket has been
                problematic, please describe.

          3) Regardless of whether you maintain backup copies or not,
          do you have a policy in place to "Refresh" your discs
          periodically to prevent corruption as they age? If so,
          please describe.

          Thanks for taking the time to respond to these questions.
          Please respond to me privately as well as to the listserv,
          as I'm under time constraints to gather this information

        From: David_Fisher@UCSDLIBRARY.UCSD.EDU

          "Because of the workload and processing issues surrounding
          making backup copies of commercial software/data purchased
          for library collections (usually accompanying a book or
          serial), I would like to convene an Ad Hoc task group to
          explore the possibility of doing away with this task.  The
          group will be charged to prepare a recommendation ...

          "The current process is that Catalog Dept. staff make backup
          copies of floppy disks, which are then sent with the
          materials to their respective library collections.  The
          original software then goes to ... storage.

          ...we question whether the activity should be done at all.
          How often do we go to our backups?  What are the risks if we
          abandon them?  We are also concerned...that we need to have
          a "refresh" system in place, as the data on floppy disks can
          become corrupt after about five years.