LOCKSS Program & CLOCKSS Initiative

From Vicky Reich, Director of LOCKSS Program, Stanford University Libraries, a report on electronic content preservation intiatives within the LOCKSS project:

“I. Background

A group of publishers, librarians, and learned societies launched an initiative employing the LOCKSS technology to support a community-managed “large dark archive” that serves as a failsafe repository for scholarly content. Controlled LOCKSS (CLOCKSS) aims to provide the global research and scholarly community perpetual access to journal content, for orphaned or abandoned content and in the event of a long-term business interruption.

II. Organization and Management of CLOCKSS Initiative

The CLOCKSS initiative is a community-managed membership organization of libraries and publishers that differs from the
LOCKSS alliance. Libraries and publishers govern the CLOCKSS initiative as equal partners. One of the strengths of the CLOCKSS initiative is that all participating organizations have a long history of survival and members understand issues of long-term sustainability.

Libraries and Date Founded:

  • Edinburgh University – 1582
  • Indiana University -1785
  • New York Public Library -1895
  • Rice University – 1912
  • Stanford University – 1891
  • University of Virginia – 1825

Publishers and Date Founded:

  • American Medical Association – 1847
  • American Physiological Society – 1887
  • Blackwell – 1897
  • Nature Publishing Group – 1869
  • Oxford University Press – 1478
  • SAGE Publications – 1965
  • Springer – 1842
  • Taylor and Francis – 1798
  • John Wiley & Sons – 1807
  • Elsevier (which is participating in all discussions and is sharing in financial support) – 1880

III. Differences between Content in LOCKSS and CLOCKSS

The main difference between the LOCKSS program and the CLOCKSS initiative is that LOCKSS provides a community approach to long term preservation of a library’s local collections while CLOCKSS aims to provide a long-term global archiving solution that will serve the joint library and publisher communities in the event of a long-term business interruption or in making orphaned or abandoned works readily available to the scholarly community.

In LOCKSS, librarians use their LOCKSS boxes to collect and preserve the journal content locally that they subscribe to. With the publisher’s permission, LOCKSS Alliance libraries no longer “just lease content”. Publishers have control over which libraries take custody of what materials and when this occurs.
Preserved materials are available to the local community when the publisher is not able to resolve a specific URL request.

In CLOCKSS, libraries preserve member publisher content they do subscribe to and content they don’t subscribe to. CLOCKSS content would only be available after a “trigger” event, such as the material was no longer available from the publisher. In these situations, the publishers, librarians, and representing societies begin the collaborative process to determine whether materials should be made generally available to all for a limited or an indefinite period of time.

LOCKSS has a large number of participating libraries, it allows a library to locally preserve its own subscriptions. CLOCKSS has a limited number of library participants, as the dark archives will e held on behalf of the broader community.

IV. Technology and Funding

The CLOCKSS initiative uses the same robust technology underpinning the LOCKSS program. To develop this initial
technology, the LOCKSS program was sponsored by a number of high-profile supporters, including the National Science
Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon foundation. The LOCKSS Program has been built using award-winning computer science research supported by NSF, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard Laboratories, and Intel Laboratories as well as Stanford University’s and Harvard University’s Computer Science Departments. Ongoing support for the LOCKSS Program is also provided through LOCKSS Alliance membership fees.

The CLOCKSS member libraries and publishers are sharing CLOCKSS initiative expenses equally, which includes money for additional servers, support staff and development costs. All CLOCKSS participating libraries are also active members of the LOCKSS Alliance.

V. Future of CLOCKSS

The CLOCKSS partners intend to build an archiving model that will preserve all years of digitally available publisher member
titles. After the two-year pilot, CLOCKSS will report the findings to the wider community.

CLOCKSS members are considering new publisher participants until April 28, 2006. At present no additional libraries are being added to the pilot.”


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