System Ensures Permanence of Online Academic Texts

LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) is an online archiving program designed to provide reliable access to academic materials published online. The project aims to collect and maintain permanent access to electronic scholarly publications and library collections, regardless of whether the publishers decide to take them off of their own sites. Based on Java technology, the open-source, distributed system is designed to run on PCs, without a need for central administration.

The program works through a distributed network of low-cost computers. Participating library computers continually poll among themselves to monitor files on their hard disks at random intervals. If the files have been corrupted or altered, the autonomous caching system replaces them with intact copies. Sun Microsystems, Inc., Palo Alto, CA,

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2001 issue of THE Journal.

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