28 October 2010

LOCKSS - Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe

Significant investment in electronic content is made by libraries, which makes long-term archiving and guaranteed continuing access for users, an imperative.

To support these aims, the Library has purchased a number of important permanent-access e-journal archives and databases, some of which result from national negotiations with publishers.

In addition, many nationally-negotiated licence agreements for e-journals now include archiving clauses, and international digital archiving services such as LOCKSS and Portico exist to preserve, and provide continued access to, scholarly literature in electronic form.

The Library uses LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe), a digital preservation system developed at Stanford University.  LOCKSS collects publisher-authorised e-journal content using a web crawler, archives it locally, and provides access when a 'trigger' event occurs e.g. if normal distribution channels are not available; if a title ceases publication; or becomes unavailable through a publisher's website.

The Library made a successful bid for JISC funding for the UK LOCKSS Pilot programme, in 2005.  It became an early member of the world-wide LOCKSS Alliance, and continues as a member of the UK LOCKSS Alliance.  It is also a participant in Portico, a world-wide digital preservation service which, like LOCKSS, is used by a partnership of hundreds of scholarly publishers and academic libraries.

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