Open Sourced Java Technology Providing Trustworthy Access and Preservation for Publishers and Libraries

8/22/2002 - The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National ScienceFoundation (NSF) have independently awarded two new, two year grants totaling almost $3 million to the LOCKSS ("Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe") Program. The LOCKSS program is a joint undertaking of Sun Microsystems Laboratories and Stanford University Libraries to develop a secure, reliable system which safeguards and preserves access to digital publications.

The LOCKSS system is designed to make it feasible and affordable, even for smaller libraries, to preserve access to the e-journals to which they subscribe, and safeguard their community's access to them. Individual libraries can also monitor the level of redundancy within the system. A total of 49 libraries, including the Library of Congress are currently running Linux systems with the LOCKSS software as part of a long-term test.

"We are immensely grateful to our several supporters for recognizing the potential of LOCKSS to serve libraries and publishers as part or all of a comprehensive digital archive methodology," said Michael A. Keller, Stanford University Librarian. "This joint program between Sun and Stanford is a fine example of academic-industry cooperation; Sun has not only provided funds, but has made its brilliant engineering talent available to the project."

Individual Grants Support Development and Resources
As part of its program in support of electronic journal archiving, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant is intended to support the production, development and implementation of distributed electronic journal archives through LOCKSS. Partner institutions for this aspect of the program include, Emory University, Indiana University and New York Public Library.

The National Science Foundation and Sun Microsystems Laboratories plan to continue funding core technology development, focusing on the peer-to-peer (P2P), fault-tolerant aspects of the system. Both organizations have funded previous phases of the LOCKSS Program. The two new grants cover Stanford's participation in the program, coordinating with Sun's concurrent research.

"By helping Stanford to build the Open-Source LOCKSS software we hope to allow organizations anywhere to preserve pertinent journal literature to which they have subscribed," said Dr. James Mitchell, vice president and director of Sun Laboratories. "Researchers and scholars can't afford to get incorrect information or lose access to it; LOCKSS is designed to ensure the full functionality of online documents at a low cost which is important especially in University and Government settings." Mitchell added, " With this program, we are interested in researching peer-to-peer fault tolerance, system integrity, distributed archiving, and related subjects. The collaboration and implementation of the LOCKSS system also provides a valuable test-bed for our research."

About LOCKSS (
The LOCKSS ("Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe") project was initiated in October 1998 and headed by Sun Distinguished Engineer David Rosenthal, who has been deeply involved with the conceptual and practical development of the LOCKSS system and its communication protocol, known as LCAP. Based on JavaTM technology and Linux, the LOCKSS system was created as an open-source, easy to use, distributed system, which runs on low-cost computers without central administration. Designed as an Internet appliance, the LOCKSS system preserves access to authoritative versions of web-published materials, applying contemporary automation to the old idea of preventing loss by multiplying copies. The PC runs an enhanced web cache that collects new issues of the e-journal and continually compares its contents with other caches on other participating computers. If files have been corrupted or altered, they can be repaired or replaced with intact copies from the publisher or from other caches.

About Sun Microsystems (
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — "The Network Is The ComputerTM" — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 170 countries.

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and in other countries.

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