n. (abbr. LOCKSS)the principle of distributed preservation by acquisition and preservation of the same content in multiple locationsReich and Rosenthal 2000, 155LOCKSS (Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) is a prototype of a system to preserve access to scientific journals published on the Web.Reich and Rosenthal 2000, 156Librarians' techniques for preserving access to published paper materials have been honed since 415 AD, when much of the world's then-current literature was lost in the Library of Alexandria fire. These techniques include: acquire lots of copies; distribute them around the world so it is easy to find some of the copies but hard to find all of the copies; lend or replicate your copies when other libraries need access. In this context, we make a distinction between preserving archives (not LOCKSS) and preserving general circulating collections (LOCKSS).Breaden 2006, 54To borrow and modify the LOCKSS acronym (Lots-of-Copies-Keeps-Stuff-Safe) from the field of preservation, this category can be thought of as Lots-of-Versions-Keeps-Stuff-Accessible.LOCKSS 2020aStanford Libraries and industry collaborators initially developed and deployed the LOCKSS technology for the distributed preservation of electronic scholarly publications. In the intervening two decades, the applications of LOCKSS networks have expanded to include all types of digital content and a growing community of organizations needing a reliable mechanism for long-term digital integrity assurance and access.LOCKSS 2020bWhat Is LOCKSS? There is a lot more to LOCKSS than lots of copies. A principle: LOCKSS is a widely-accepted best practice in the digital preservation field and more broadly for ensuring the persistence of digital information. A program: LOCKSS is a general-purpose digital preservation technology and solutions provider and a pillar of Stanford Libraries digital library portfolio. A community: LOCKSS is an international community of institutions and networks working together to advance their digital preservation capabilities. A software application: LOCKSS is a research-based, open-source software application providing for robust, peer-to-peer digital preservation.
The concept was initiated by Stanford University for the preservation of online scholarly journals and based on the observation that distributed holdings of print journals in libraries had preserved access. The concept has since been expanded beyond journals to other digital content. Also phrased with a singular verb as “lots of copies keeps stuff safe.”