One of the major challenges of a project as large and diverse as EAST is ensuring the availability of retained titles to scholars across the member libraries.  The retention of approximately nine million holdings across distributed collections throughout the region requires that there be a high level of confidence in the availability of those titles for use by all partners.  Verification of the existence and condition of retained holdings (known amongst shared print programs as “validation”) helps to build trust among partner libraries that retained volumes will, in fact, be available and usable.

In order to evaluate the statistical likelihood that a retained volume exists on the shelves of any of the institutions, the EAST incorporated sample-based validation studies. The specific goals of this study were to establish and document the degree of confidence, and the possibility of error, in any EAST committed title being available for circulation. Results of the validation sample studies help predict the likelihood that titles selected for retention actually exist and can be located in the collection of a Retention Partner, and are in useable condition. This research should also help to determine the initial and ongoing costs of conducting validation in circulating monograph collections.