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LOCKSS LAUNCHES COMMUNITY INITIATIVE TO PRESERVE SCHOLARLY CONTENT
Boston Mass, January 23, 2006 - A group of publishers, librarians, and
learned societies have launched an initiative employing the LOCKSS (Lots
of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) technology to support a "large dark archive"
that serves as a failsafe repository for published scholarly content.
The initiative, Controlled LOCKSS (CLOCKSS), aims to provide assurance
to the research community that a disaster, which would prevent the
delivery of content, will not obstruct access to journal content.
CLOCKSS content or the "orphaned content" would only become available
after a "trigger" event, such as the material was no longer available
from the publisher. In these situations, a joint advisory board,
representing societies, publishers and libraries, will begin the process
to determine if the content is orphaned and whether it should be made
publicly available. The board ensures that content is controlled but
that no one person or sector has authority over orphaned digital
materials in the system.
"Our community needs to ensure that when content becomes orphaned there
is a process through which it becomes publicly accessible," said Vicky
Reich, Director LOCKSS Program, Stanford University Libraries. "The
CLOCKSS project offers an alternative solution to archiving and its
strength lies in the fact that it has been founded by publishers and
librarians -- and will remain collectively managed."
CLOCKSS provides additional functionality to the LOCKSS system, which is
widely known in the scholarly communications world as a technology for
ensuring the integrity of digital content, and is used as part of
preservation strategies for electronic journals to which libraries
subscribe. CLOCKSS also differs from LOCKSS in that participating
libraries will archive both subscribed and non-subscribed journals, with
the ultimate goal of archiving all of the journals of participating
"As more scholars rely upon access to electronic journals, it has become
critical to explore ways to ensure long-term availability of journal
content," says Karen Wittenborg, University Librarian, University of
Virginia. "This collaborative initiative addresses the uncertainty that
librarians have confronted in the digital environment and shows promise
of offering a real solution for long-term preservation."
The initial two-year pilot will include at least five research
libraries, and several commercial and society publishers. During this
time, publishers and libraries will continue to work closely to collect
and analyze data and develop a proposal for a full-scale archiving
model. As part of a longer-term strategy to permanently preserve
published work, CLOCKSS will report the findings to the wider community
and begin the dialogue about a global infrastructure to ensure
preservation of all past, present, and future scholarly content.
Publishers: American Medical Association, American Physiological
Blackwell Publishing, Nature Publishing Group, Oxford University Press,
SAGE Publications, Springer, Taylor and Francis, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
In addition, Elsevier is participating in all discussions and is sharing
in financial support.
Libraries: University of Edinburgh, Indiana University, New York Public
Library, Rice University, Stanford University, University of Virginia
For more information, visit http://www.lockss.org/clockss.