Alicia Wise

Alicia Wise

Last updated on 11 May 2022

Alicia Wise is Executive Director of CLOCKSS

Time is a thief of memory, even for formal publications, unless long-term digital preservation arrangements are in place. It takes a community to safeguard the scholarly record. It is too big a job for any single organisation, and too horrific for our species if done badly.

I write from the perspective of CLOCKSS, a collaboration between world leading academic publishers and research libraries to provide a sustainable dark archive for the scholarly record. Initiated as a project by Stanford University 23 years ago, CLOCKSS became an independent not-for-profit 13 years ago. Our community is entrusted with preserving more than forty-six million journal articles, hundreds of thousands of books, protocols, software, data, metadata, essential identifiers, and more.

Sadly, failure to preserve at all (or until it is too late) is a key challenge. This challenge is greatest for less formally published scholarly communications and supplementary materials, but it remains firmly in scope for formal published content and established publishers too. Of 2.8 million ISSNs issued to date, only 68,960 are deposited in long-term digital preservation services according to the KEEPERS registry, and fewer than 20,000 of these are in three or more such services which is considered best practice.

Two studies show that hundreds of Open Access journals have disappeared entirely from the web in the last 20 years, and that more than 7,000 titles registered with DOAJ have no preservation policy or archive in place[1],[2].

To address this challenge, CLOCKSS is partnering with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the ISSN International Centre’s KEEPERS registry, the Internet Archive, and the Public Knowledge Project on the JASPER project[3]. The purpose of project JASPER is to ensure more Open Access journals are preserved for the long-term. While many Open Access publishers are attentive to the need for long-term preservation of their content. Content published by Open Access publishing organizations such as Frontiers, MDPI, Peer J, and Science Open are preserved with the CLOCKSS archive, for example. However, there are practical challenges for smaller publishers and Project JASPER is focussed on the long tail of small journal publishers and particularly those who publish under the diamond Open Access model[4].

[1] M. Laakso, M. Matthias, N. Jahn. Open is not forever: A study of vanished open access journals. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Feb. 2021

[2] J. Bosman et al. OA Diamond Journals Study.


[4] Bosman, Jeroen, Frantsvåg, Jan Erik, Kramer, Bianca, Langlais, Pierre-Carl, & Proudman, Vanessa. (2021). OA Diamond Journals Study. Part 1: Findings. Zenodo.


#1 Barbara Sierman 2022-05-16 14:50
Reference #1 has no link but can be found at

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