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Proposal for a LOCKSS PLN for OJS Journals

The Global LOCKSS Network (GLN) preserves content from over 10,000 electronic journals from a wide variety of commercial and learned society publishers. However, very few if any journals published using OJS are included in this list. Economies of scale in dealing with publishers is the main reason for this lack of OJS content in the GLN, which is administered centrally by LOCKSS staff at Stanford. In addition, the process by which titles enter the GLN is driven by demand from within the institutional members of the LOCKSS Alliance, libraries that typically prioritize titles for which they pay large sums of money. OA journals are the minority in the GLN, a condition which marginalizes OJS titles even more.

A number of Private LOCKSS Networks (PLNs) exist that use the same technology as the GLN but are governed by library consortia or other groups of organizations. Examples include MetaArchive, the COPPUL (Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries) PLN, and the ADPNet (Alabama Digital Preservation Network) PLN. Some of these PLNs, most notably COPPUL's, harvest and preserve small numbers of OJS journals, but these titles are typically limited to those hosted by libraries that are also part of the PLN.

Given the absence of OJS journals in the Global LOCKSS Network, and the local emphasis of the OJS journals that are being preserved in existing PLNs such as COPPUL's, a Private LOCKSS Network that will host any OJS journal, regardless of where it is hosted or who its publisher is, would serve an important role. Such a PLN would also be a welcome addition to the LOCKSS community ecosystem. Vicky Reich, Executive Director of the LOCKSS Program, has been advocating for individual communities to take more direct control of their digital preservation activities, and is aware of how OJS titles have been disadvantaged by the Global LOCKSS Network. PKP will be discussing the proposed PLN for OJS journals with LOCKSS in order to secure their endorsement.

The technical infrastructure necessary for such a network is modest and easy to implement. A LOCKSS harvester plugin for OJS, and additional software to retrieve OJS content from PLNs so that they are 'bright' (as opposed to only dark) archives, already exist. In addition, Simon Fraser University Library is developing a set of tools to automate the harvesting of content into a PLN. A robust PLN requires seven LOCKSS servers, ideally distributed over a wide geographic area. Most PLNs are governed by their communities but for the most part, technical administration is handled by LOCKSS staff at Stanford. The tool mentioned earlier being developed by SFU Library will substantially decrease this reliance on LOCKSS staff and allow for a very high degree of automating the process of adding content to PLNs.

A LOCKSS PLN requires the participation of seven sites to ensure sufficient redundancy. For the proposed LOCKSS PLN for OJS journals PKP is seeking seven LOCKSS Alliance sites who would be willing to participate as one of the seven primary hosting sites and also be comfortable with extending this support to the wider OJS community. Many of the participants in the latter category are not likely to be LOCKSS Alliance members nor able to provide the technical and server support. PKP does not envision this will impose an undue load on the primary sites especially with the addition of the automated support for adding content. Three members of PKP’s Advisory Committee – SFU Library, UBC Library, and Univ. of Pittsburgh Library – have already volunteered and the invitation to participate is now being made to participants on PKP’s Member Committee.