CLOCKSS seeks Collections Management Consultant

About You

CLOCKSS seeks consultancy support to help us systematically identify, assess, and document an array of collection management challenges and to resolve these in partnership with the CLOCKSS community. These challenges were rare but are growing in frequency and number now that the archive is 15 years old, and the volume of content made available for post-disappearance access grows.

CLOCKSS is a dark archive which means that we do not make content accessible until a trigger event occurs. This typically involves the closure of a journal or disappearance of the publisher. After investigation, we bring content that has disappeared from the web out of the dark archive and make it bright by making it available in perpetuity under an Open Access license (

This is an exciting project that will help contribute to the preservation of human knowledge for future generations. Tenacity, ingenuity, and excellent collections management skills are essential as is experience with collections management in an academic library or digital archive context. Highly desirable would be experience with policy setting and an understanding of the spectrum of scholarly publishers and research integrity issues.

The ability to work effectively independently and in collaboration with colleagues, the broader international CLOCKSS community, and our strategic partners is essential. This project is focused on policy setting then implementation, and so requires an individual or team able to think strategically at a high level and then follow through with attention to detail.

The consultant can be based in any time zone as long as you can work effectively with global colleagues who are at present primarily located in the Americas and Europe. We anticipate an effort equivalent to .5 FTE will be required in the first instance.

Why does scholarship need to be preserved?

Unforeseen events, catastrophic accidents, and stewardship gaps can erase access to both traditional and digital publications. Knowledge that takes generations to build can be lost in an instant or erode gradually and out of sight. With the pandemic, cyber-terrorism, climate change, and a multitude of economic, social, and political crises looming large, and the volume of published academic content soaring, there are more reasons than ever to make sure that our knowledge is preserved in perpetuity.

Academic libraries are memory organizations and have long performed an essential print preservation role. In the digital world, academic libraries continue to have the mandate for long-term preservation, but collaboration is profoundly important because they often fund or license content copyrighted, published and hosted by others.


CLOCKSS is a long-term trusted archive for digital scholarship. We hold the highest accreditation score ever awarded by the Center for Research Libraries. Mirror archive sites at major academic institutions around the world guarantee preservation and access to the scholarly record. The CLOCKSS preservation approach is resilient to threats from potential technological, economic, environmental, and political failures.

CLOCKSS is a charity jointly owned and governed collaboratively by world-leading academic libraries and scholarly publishers. All books, journals, data, software, and other materials entrusted to CLOCKSS are kept safe in perpetuity, preserving research for future scholars, and minimizing the need for humanity to rediscover knowledge.

We are a proud part of the broader community of digital preservation services built around LOCKSS opensource preservation software.


Collections policy:

  • Document the current collection by comparing ISBNs, ISSNs, and DOIs against external datasets to characterize its geographic spread, language coverage, subject coverage, and types of publishers.
  • Review and refresh the CLOCKSS Collection Development policy, publish this, and lead on its implementation. Consider whether and how different versions of documents should be handled, and what policies are needed for different scenarios.
  • In dialogue with members of the CLOCKSS community, recommend priorities for the inclusion of new content in the archive.
  • Support negotiations with publishers to gain permission to archive this content.
  • Develop and manage CLOCKSS guidelines for the good practices, formats, and metadata that we ask publishers to deposit. Develop advice and good practices on how to update content and metadata in case of corrections, retractions, name changes, etc.

Triggered content:

  • Develop a clear policy framework around triggered content, including the trigger process, how content is made available and managed, and how research integrity is maintained over time.
  • Explore whether and how an ethics committee is needed to handle any issues that arise after content has been archived and/or triggered.
  • Manage the collection of triggered content for which CLOCKSS is responsible:
    • Develop and maintain a catalog.
    • Ensure requests to trigger content are handled promptly and efficiently.
    • Ensure the correct licenses and permissions are in place in the metadata and on the full-text content.
    • Put in place systems and procedures to manage triggered content over time.
    • Add a blanket statement to contextualize historical content where needed and to explain why and how content is being provided by CLOCKSS.
    • Add cover pages to triggered content on an exceptional basis to address specific complexities or contexts such as corrections or links to related datasets.
    • Identify gaps (e.g. content that includes only abstracts rather than full text), and label these appropriately while working to fill the gaps.
    • Encourage the curation, preservation, and cross-linking of related research objects.
  • Review trigger-related language in our publishing agreements and recommend any changes that may be needed.
  • Develop mechanisms to identify content potentially available to trigger.
  • Explore options for ways that CLOCKSS can most effectively host and make available the content it has triggered to increase access, discovery, and use.
    • Ensure the permanent and unique identification of content triggered by CLOCKSS, including retrospective registration of DOIs where needed.
    • Work with strategic partners who register, aggregate, host, or distribute content as needed.


  • Review, refresh and maintain a variety of documents including:
    • Agreements with members of the CLOCKSS community
    • CLOCKSS preservation guidelines for publishers
    • CLOCKSS wiki, currently maintained by the LOCKSS team
    • Triggered content and other relevant web pages
    • Cover sheets for triggered content, where appropriate


  • Identify opportunities and build connections with strategic partners (e.g.

Skills and Experience


  • Significant relevant experience, specifically experience in and enthusiasm for digital curation/preservation and digital collections management.
  • Familiarity with copyright and licensing as they pertain to scholarly publishing.


  • Experience with policy development and implementation.
  • Experience with the concepts and current issues in critical cataloging.
  • Familiarity with issues related to research integrity.
  • Familiarity with research libraries and academic publishers.

To Bid

Please send a proposal introducing yourself / your team and outlining how you would deliver this brief, including costs, key deliverables, and timeline. Please ensure this is delivered by 8 February to:

Alicia Wise
Executive Director

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