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CLOCKSS Works Amy Kohrman 30 Jan 2008 21:16 UTC


Researchers increasingly access journal articles online, but the real
possibility exists that, due to natural disaster or human/computing failure,
digital content might not always be available. Libraries and publishers have
joined forces in an initiative called CLOCKSS*, providing leadership and the
supporting technology, to ensure reliable, long-term access to scholarly

The moment has arrived to see how CLOCKSS works.

As of today, the web-published content of the journal Graft: Organ and Cell
Transplantation (SAGE Publications) has been exported from the CLOCKSS
archive, and is now available to the world from two CLOCKSS hosting
platforms at universities in Europe and the US. Released under a Creative
Commons license, this content is free to researchers, students and the
general public, without need of any subscription.

CLOCKSS is a trusted and secure dark archive, preserving scholarly journal
content from the world's leading publishers. The CLOCKSS system is based on
geographically-dispersed nodes located at major research libraries into
which e-journal content from publishers is routinely ingested. Archived
copies remain "dark" (hidden, secure and unavailable for use), until a
trigger event and the CLOCKSS Board votes to "light up" the content and
restore access to it again via a hosting platform. At present there are
seven archive nodes and two hosting platforms. These numbers are expected to
double in order to achieve added security from global coverage.

SAGE Publications is one of 11 premier publishers (together accounting for
about 60% of e-journal content) participating in the CLOCKSS Pilot and
serving on the CLOCKSS Board. When SAGE announced that it was discontinuing
Graft, this became the first real-world test for the CLOCKSS system and its
procedures: the CLOCKSS Board, comprising both publishers and library
organizations, determined that a trigger event had occurred; instruction was
given for Graft content to be copied from archive nodes in the CLOCKSS
network to the designated hosting platforms; and 18 issues of Graft became
available to the world.

Stanford University, where the underlying LOCKSS software was developed, and
the University of Edinburgh are among the seven participants on the library
side, acting as stewards for the CLOCKSS system. The two universities have
also been designated as CLOCKSS hosting platforms in order to demonstrate,
through the release of content, how CLOCKSS works, with EDINA, the UK
national data centre at Edinburgh, playing that role for Europe, and
Stanford University Library doing so for the US. Both serve as points of
worldwide access, free to all, without any prior subscription, fee, or

To read Graft, please click here:

* CLOCKSS is transitioning from a Pilot Program to an organization for the
long-term, building on the technology and findings of LOCKSS (for Lots of
Copies Keep Stuff Safe).

Additional Information about CLOCKSS

Libraries in the CLOCKSS Pilot:

Indiana University, New York Public Library, OCLC, Rice University, Stanford
University, University of Edinburgh, and University of Virginia

Publishers in the CLOCKSS Pilot:

American Chemical Society, American Medical Association, American
Physiological Society, Elsevier, IOP Publishing, Nature Publishing Group,
Oxford University Press, SAGE Publications, Springer, Taylor & Francis, and

In June 2007 CLOCKSS was the inaugural winner of the Association for Library
Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) Outstanding Collaboration Citation,
which recognizes and encourages collaborative problem-solving efforts in the
areas of acquisition, access, management, preservation or archiving of
library materials.  The ALCTS is a division of the American Library

The CLOCKSS initiative is 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.  The grant is intended to finance CLOCKSS through a mixture of
ingest fees from publishers and revenue from an endowment raised from
voluntary contributions over the next five years.  The need to secure
long-term sustainable funding for CLOCKSS will be one of the key strategic
issues facing the Board in 2008.

This announcement forms part of the CLOCKSS campaign to engage support
across the research community and help raise that endowment.


For information on joining the CLOCKSS initiative, please visit or contact clockss-info (at) clockss (dot) org.

January 30, 2008


Stanford University Libraries

Stanford, California USA