Award Finalists: Preserving Books for Future Generations

We are delighted to announce that we are finalists at the Digital Preservation Coalition Awards 2024.  CLOCKSS has been chosen as a finalist in the "Teaching and Communication" category for efforts to inform academic publishers about the importance of long-term digital preservation and engage them in actively preserving their books and journals.

Preserving Books for Future Generations

With 25% of academic journals known to be at risk, and academic books at even more risk, it is essential for libraries and archives to engage book publishers and authors in digital preservation. A cross-organizational working group convened by CLOCKSS in 2023 did just this.

CLOCKSS was well-placed to convene this work:

  • CLOCKSS is a digital archive developed by and for the publishing industry in partnership with libraries. Founding publishers include the American Medical Association, the American Physiological Society, Elsevier, Oxford University Press, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, Wiley, and Wolters Kluwer.
  • CLOCKSS is a harmonious community where libraries and publishers work together on developing digital preservation systems and outputs, rather than it happening only through exceptions and regulation.
  • CLOCKSS is a financially secure, independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization operating globally with participating publishers from 62 countries.
  • CLOCKSS has an active and engaged board made up of accomplished librarians and publishers.
  • CLOCKSS has earned the highest certification score ever awarded to a digital preservation service by the Center for Research Libraries. We preserve books, journals and related materials including datasets, images, metadata, software, video and more.
  • Operating as a dark archive, CLOCKSS diligently adheres to copyright laws through agreements with rights owners and is committed to open access, open infrastructure, and opensource software. It is therefore trusted by publishers of all shapes and sizes.

The working group produced a guide on digital preservation and launched an education campaign within and through key publishing trade associations. The leaders of each association were invited to become digital preservation champions and were provided with customized text and literature to send to members and designed to explain, in terms that resonate with publishers, what digital preservation is and why it is important.


The group also prepared an ISO draft standard for the preservation of digital books in EPUB format.

The group is now working together to deliver a proof-of-concept project by which publishers, digital archives, and libraries can use ONIX metadata to track what has been published and what is preserved. This is modeled after the KEEPERS Registry for journal archiving.

This work has demonstrated that working closely with stakeholders involved in the creation of digital resources is a really powerful way to build understanding and trust, to identify specific actionable barriers to digital preservation, to scope initiatives to overcome these barriers in a targeted manner, and to drive awareness and action.

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