ALR CHOSEN TO PARTICIPATE IN THE LOCKSS PROGRAM?
A group of British and American Literature librarians from eight institutions self organized to
identify high priority, high risk electronic-only titles for preservation through the LOCKSS system.
They submitted an initial list of about 50 titles. The selection criteria for this group was
intellectual merit. The technical team reviewed this list and chose to work with
The Absinthe Literary Review and one other
online literary journal, Blackbird. Selection criteria was based on publisher technical competence. The
librarian team has representatives from:
University of Chicago
University of Minnesota
These eight institutions are expected to be the first places ALR will be preserved. A list
of all institutions participating in the LOCKSS beta test is available online at http://lockss.stanford.edu/projectstatus.htm.
There about 80 libraries in this list. In addition to Stanford university, the New York Public
Library, Indiana University, and Emory University are partners on the project enabled by a grant
from the Andrew Mellon Foundation.
WHAT IS THE LOCKSS PROGRAM?
While the transition from print to online journals has had many benefits, there is at least one
harmful consequence. Libraries do not have an easy, affordable way to build local collections of
independently produced, non-commercial e-only journals and magazines. These are, however, becoming
increasingly important, indeed, virtually indispensable sites for both scholarly and creative
publication. This absence of technology threatens the library's historical role as one of society's
principal means of collective memory. LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) shows promise for
helping both librarians and publishers to overcome some of these obstacles. The goal of the LOCKSS
program is to provide an institution's readers with transparent access to preserved material. The
reader's browser fetches the URL at which the material was originally published; if the material is
no longer available at the original URL, the preserved material is supplied instead. There should be
no special action the user has to take to make this happen. LOCKSS creates low-cost, persistent
digital "caches" of authoritative versions of http-delivered content. All file formats
delivered through HTTP are included (html, jpg, gif, wav, pdf, etc.). The LOCKSS software enables
institutions to build local collections; to locally collect, store, preserve, and archive authorized
content, thus safeguarding their community's access to that content. LOCKSS caches collect the
content as it is published. Once a library activates an e-journal title's preservation in the LOCKSS
system, that title's newly published content is continuously collected and preserved. The process is
halted only when a library turns off content collection or if a publisher turns off permission. The
LOCKSS model enforces the publisher's access control systems and does no harm to their business
Accuracy and completeness of LOCKSS caches are assured through a peer-to-peer polling and
reputation system (operated through LCAP, LOCKSS' communication protocol), which is both robust and
secure. LOCKSS replicas cooperate to detect and repair preservation failures. LOCKSS is designed to
run on inexpensive hardware and to require almost no technical administration. The software has been
under development since 1999 and is distributed as open source. See http://lockss.stanford.edu/
for a more complete description.
1. LIBRARIAN PERMISSION:
The Absinthe Literary Review gives librarians permission to use the LOCKSS system. ALR
supports the proposed LOCKSS System, which is being tested through Stanford University, pursuant to
grants from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Upon notice from Stanford University that the LOCKSS
System is functional and operative, Licensee is authorized to store and grant access, through the
LOCKSS System, to the content of ALR online to which Licensee subscribes, in order to
preserve the Licensee's use of and access to such material, subject to the conditions set forth in
the License. This permission is granted on the further condition that Licensee installs and
maintains, at its own expense, any software or other mechanism and authorizations needed to
participate in the LOCKSS System.
2. SOFTWARE PERMISSION:
Permission is granted to the LOCKSS software through a web page called a LOCKSS publisher
manifest. A publisher manifest permits the software to crawl, collect, and preserve the content; it
also lists the top level URLs so the crawler knows where to start the collection
publisher manifest is needed for each "archival unit" (typically a volume) to be preserved
through the LOCKSS system.