From Prototype to Production

The founding members of the CLOCKSS pilot program are pleased to announce that CLOCKSS will advance to active operations in mid-2008. Two years ago, scholarly publishers and research libraries, challenged by the responsibility to preserve the digital assets of the community, joined forces to build a prototype for a global dark archive. Their unique collaboration focused on creating an archive “cooperative” with publishers and libraries running the archive together. The prototype was successfully built and tested and, during the pilot period, the need for a robust governing structure was addressed.

One of the CLOCKSS board’s first resolutions was that any content released from the archive would be made available for free to the world, without need of a subscription. Content stored in CLOCKSS cannot be accessed until a trigger event is deemed to have occurred and the CLOCKSS board votes to “light up” the affected titles and restore access to them again.

Utilizing open source LOCKSS™ (for Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) technology, the CLOCKSS archive comprises geographically-dispersed nodes located at major research libraries into which e-content is routinely ingested and preserved. Within the past year, CLOCKSS experienced two trigger events and responded by releasing the endangered content at CLOCKSS host organizations.

A unanimous vote by the CLOCKSS board in April 2008 led to the decision to transition the archive from prototype to production. With commitment from Elsevier, Wiley, Nature Publishing Group, American Physiological Society, Taylor & Francis, bepress, and other premier publishers to deposit their titles, and from libraries across the world to act as archive nodes, CLOCKSS is currently incorporating as a not-for-profit organization, and will begin operations soon thereafter.

CLOCKSS was unveiled at a June ALA event honoring Victoria Reich, Stanford University Libraries, this year’s recipient of the ALCTS Ulrich’s Serials Librarian of the Year award, in part, for her work with CLOCKSS. Libraries and publishers worldwide are invited to help build, guide, and govern CLOCKSS.

“Securely archiving our digital content is key to the future of scientific communication,” explains CLOCKSS founding member, Howard Ratner, Chief Technology Officer, Nature Publishing Group. “The joint efforts of the participating libraries and publishers have made CLOCKSS an essential part of the fabric of digital archiving. CLOCKSS offers a proven secure dark archive and hosting system for triggered content. CrossRef and CLOCKSS worked closely to make sure that users can access triggered archived content via the DOI system. This is just one example of how CLOCKSS is already helping to shape industry practices.”

Pilot Participants:

Publishers include American Chemical Society, American Medical Association, American Physiological Society, Elsevier, IOP Publishing, Nature Publishing Group, Oxford University Press, SAGE Publications, Springer, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley-Blackwell. Library organizations include Indiana University, New York Public Library, OCLC, Rice University, Stanford University, University of Edinburgh, and University of Virginia.

The CLOCKSS pilot was funded by participating publishers and library organizations, as well as by a grant from the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) via the US Library of Congress.

Scroll to Top