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LOCKSS: permanent publishing on the Web

Copyright (c) 2001 Stanford University

Abstract: LOCKSS stands for "Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe". As the name suggests, it applies contemporary automation to the old idea of preventing loss by multiplying copies. LOCKSS provides a bootable floppy disk that converts a generic PC into a preservation appliance. The PC runs an enhanced web cache that collects new issues of the e-journal and continually but slowly compares its contents with other caches. If damage or corruption is detected it can be repaired from the publisher or from other caches. The intent is to make it feasible and affordable even for smaller libraries to preserve access to the e-journals to which they subscribe.

With support from NSF and Sun Microsystems, Stanford developed an alpha version of the system and ran a 10 month test with a single journal, six libraries and 15 caches. With the Mellon funding and continued support from Sun, a more complete beta implementation has been developed.

The beta version is being distributed to over 40 libraries worldwide who will run about 60 caches. Beta test sites include major libraries such as the Library of Congress, and smaller ones such as the University of Otago in New Zealand. Four "shadow" publisher machines at Stanford will mirror about 15 GB of content from real journals, and simulate brief failures and permanent outages. Failures of the caches and corruption of their contents will also be simulated, as will attacks by simulated "bad guys".

The beta software will be released as open source. With experience from the beta tests and further funding it is hoped to produce a production version in 2002.

View Citation
Publication Year:2001
Type of Material:Website
Language English
Publisher:Stanford University
Notes:Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe
Libraries: Stanford University
Online access:
Record Number:9391
Last Update:2015-05-25 14:45:30
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00