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September 2008: Volume 13 Issue 3

EDINA > News > Newsline > Newsline 13.3 > LOCKSS, CLOCKSS and PEPRS are key to digital preservation


LOCKSS, CLOCKSS and PEPRS are key to digital preservation

EDINA is currently engaged in three key initiatives geared at ensuring long-term availability of scholarly content: LOCKSS, CLOCKSS and PEPRS.

These three projects support the objectives of JISC, the Digital Curation Centre and the Digital Preservation Coalition to foster good practice in digital preservation, with an emphasis on scholarly communication.

UK LOCKSS Alliance

Developing national infrastructures for the archiving of electronic journal content is of increasing importance to the UK library community. LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) is an international community initiative, led by Stanford University Libraries, to provide libraries with digital preservation tools and support so that they can easily and inexpensively collect and preserve their own copies of authorised e-content.

JISC and Research Libraries UK (RLUK) worked together to fund a two-year pilot scheme applying LOCKSS in the UK. Following success with 30 libraries, the UK LOCKSS Alliance has now made the transition into a membership organisation, with a JISC-supported national service launched in August 2008 to deliver technical support and programme coordination, led by EDINA in conjunction with the Digital Curation Centre (DCC).

The LOCKSS approach provides a critical component in the distribution of scholarly journals, allowing libraries to take custody of assets for which they have paid (for example through research funding), while conforming to the licensing arrangements they have agreed with scholarly publishers, and sharing the technological infrastructure among the wider UK and global library community. The LOCKSS system can help to improve confidence in electronic journals, and could help libraries justify to their academic colleagues a move from print to electronic documents, eventually providing savings far greater than the cost of participation in the initiative.

Membership in the UK LOCKSS Alliance is open to all HE/FE institutions for an annual fee based on JISC banding.

The CLOCKSS Archive Network

CLOCKSS, or Controlled LOCKSS, is a joint venture between the world’s leading scholarly publishers and research libraries, the purpose of which is to build a sustainable, comprehensive, geographically distributed archive to ensure the long-term survival of Web-based scholarly publications for the benefit of the greater global research community.

An agreement has been put into place by which the back catalogue and current output of journal content from those publishers (accounting for around 60% of digital journal production) will be routinely archived into the CLOCKSS Archive Network.

When content ceases to be available, for whatever reason (usually a catastrophic system failure of some kind), and for an agreed lapse of time, a “trigger event” is judged by the CLOCKSS Board to have occurred. Content stored in the archive is released to designated delivery platforms or hosts, ensuring unrestricted access to research literature that might otherwise have been lost.

For more on this and other information about CLOCKSS, such as the publishers and steward libraries, including the University of Edinburgh, see the link below.

PEPRS – a preservation registry service

Once scholarly material has been archived, users need to be a able to find it. A JISC-commissioned scoping study from Rightscom and Loughborough University confirmed that there is a need for easy access to reliable information on what is being archived, by whom, how and under what policies of access.

Piloting an E-journals Preservation Registry Service (PEPRS) is a JISC project, partnered by EDINA and the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) International Centre, to scope, develop and test an online facility that will keep track of which e-journals are being kept safe by digital preservation agencies for future use.

A key feature of the PEPRS project is use of an e-journals register fed directly from the ISSN Register, with details of over 50,000 e-journals that have been assigned an ISSN.

PEPRS will run until July 2010.