May 19, 2022

Digital Repositories: Center for Research Libraries Releases CLOCKSS Audit Report

From CRL HQ in Chicago:

The Center for Research Libraries has released the findings of its preservation audit, and has certified CLOCKSS as a trustworthy digital repository. The certification applies to the repository’s ability to preserve and manage digital content deposited with CLOCKSS by participating e-journal publishers as of May 2014.

The audit report identifies one issue related to criteria from TRAC (Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification: Criteria and Checklist) that CLOCKSS will address to more fully satisfy the concerns of research library constituents. Moreover, to ensure continued certification, CLOCKSS has agreed to periodically make certain disclosures to CRL. The report also highlights some notable features of CLOCKSS operations that should be understood by stakeholders, as they may have a bearing on future repository services.

In general, CRL’s review found the CLOCKSS program, with its simple and flexible technical architecture, to be particularly well suited to the rapidly evolving landscape of e-journal publishing and scholarly practice. In its audit CRL benefited from the advice and expertise of the following members of its Certification Advisory Panel:

  • Perry Willett (Chair), Digital Preservation Services Manager, California Digital Library
  • Maliaca Oxnam, Associate Librarian, Digital Content and Services, University of Arizon
  • Winston Atkins, Preservation Officer, Duke University
  • Oya Y. Rieger, Associate University Librarian for Information Technologies, Cornell University
  • Pascal Calarco, Associate University Librarian, Digital & Discovery Services, University of Waterloo

Direct to Full Text Report: Certification Report on CLOCKSS (8 pages; PDF)
Released July 2014

UPDATED July 28 With Statement From CLOCKSS

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) announced the completion of an eight-month audit of the CLOCKSS Archive and has certified the CLOCKSS Archive as a trustworthy digital repository. CLOCKSS is the only organization to earn a perfect score of 5 in the Technologies, Technical Infrastructure, and Security category. CLOCKSS also attained the highest score received by any organization that has undergone this independent audit.

A team of prestigious digital preservation experts conducted the audit with reference to generally accepted best practices in the management of digital systems; the interests of its community of research libraries; the practices and needs of scholarly researchers in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences in the United States and Canada; and ISO and National Archives and Records Administration standards. The purpose of the audit was to obtain assurance that CLOCKSS provides, and will likely continue to provide, services adequate to those needs without material flaws or defects and as described in CLOCKSS’s public disclosures.

“On behalf of the CLOCKSS board, I would like to thank CRL for its certification of the CLOCKSS service, and for thoughtful suggestions about how we can continue to develop and improve,” said Alicia Wise, Publisher Co-Chair of the CLOCKSS Board. “The 725 library supporters and 200 publisher partners in CLOCKSS already value the terrific team that delivers the CLOCKSS service, and this independent certification should inspire others committed to the long-term preservation of quality academic content to reach out and learn more.”

The certification is based upon a site visit and sampling of triggered archives content, and upon the review of information gathered by CRL and its Certification Advisory Panel and documents and documentation provided by CLOCKSS. CRL’s analysis was guided by the criteria included in the Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification checklist, and other metrics developed by CRL on the basis of its analyses of digital repositories.

“CRL’s review found the CLOCKSS approach, with its simple and flexible technical architecture, to be particularly well suited to the rapidly evolving landscape of e-journal publishing and scholarly practice” said Bernard Reilly, President of CRL.

“The CLOCKSS Archives is very pleased with the results of the audit, especially the highest score in the Technology category. Our partnership with the LOCKSS team at Stanford has afforded us a robust platform from which to deliver our preservation activities,” states Randy S. Kiefer, Executive Director of the CLOCKSS Archive.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.