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Standards support helps make LOCKSS a more effective and trustworthy part of the digital preservation and scholarly communications ecosystems.

LOCKSS applies, contributes to, and supports relevant standards for digital preservation, scholarly communications, and web archiving. These efforts help to benchmark fitness, facilitate interoperability, promote data interchange, and align with larger community initiatives.


At least one LOCKSS-based digital preservation system has been evaluated against the Trusted Repository Audit and Certification (TRAC) Criteria and Checklist (PDF), and received high marks. In 2014, the Council for Research Libraries (CRL) performed a TRAC audit of the CLOCKSS Archive and awarded an overall score matching the previous best, as well as the highest score yet received on the category for, “Technologies, Technical Infrastructure, Security” (PDF). In 2018, CRL re-certified the CLOCKSS Archive, awarding it the highest overall score received to date.

All non-confidential materials submitted for the audit have been made openly available. There are accompanying blog posts announcing the conclusion of the audit, walking through the audit process, reviewing lessons learned, and providing details on running the demos presented to the auditors.

The TRAC Criteria and Checklist is based on the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model (PDF). OAIS is not a standard with rigorous conformance criteria; it is an architectural reference model. TRAC and its successor ISO 16363 provide conformance criteria based on the conceptual architecture of OAIS. Most of these criteria apply to how organizations use technology, not to the technology itself. LOCKSS technologies satisfy the relevant criteria, and the successful audit of the CLOCKSS Archive against the TRAC Criteria and Checklist demonstrates that other organizations applying LOCKSS technologies can likewise satisfy the full set of criteria.

Openly-available documentation elaborates how the CLOCKSS Archive both matches the concepts of the OAIS reference model and satisfies each of the ISO 16363 criteria. A blog post highlights some issues with OAIS that arose during the audit. The audit experience also largely informed our feedback for the 2017 review of OAIS/ISO 14721.


Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) is a joint initiative between the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and UKSG. It provides a common standard for the data needed to drive OpenURL-based discovery systems. The LOCKSS software exports bibliographic metadata in KBART format for access and discovery integration with link resolvers, and to report on the preservation status of holdings.


The Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States (CHORUS) is a set of interoperable services and platforms supporting requirements for public access to research funded by the United States Federal Government (PDF). In partnership with the CLOCKSS Archive, the LOCKSS Program helps ensure the durability of public access, through preservation of published journals, books, and other research outputs.

Format migration

As described in our 2005 paper, the LOCKSS software can perform on-the-fly migration of web formats, dynamically serving supported types using HTTP content negotiation.


The Web ARChive (WARC) format is a container format designed to store arbitrary internet content and associated network communications. The next major version of the LOCKSS software will use WARC as its default back-end storage abstraction. This will drastically reduce inode utilization for the storage of web content collected using the LOCKSS harvester and support the integration of community-maintained web archiving applications and services such as Heritrix, OpenWayback, PyWb, the Web Archiving Systems API (WASAPI) data transfer APIs, and Webrecorder.


The Web Archiving Systems API (WASAPI) data transfer APIs provide a standardized mechanism for export and import of web archive data. This supports, for example, more streamlined loading of web archives for preservation in LOCKSS systems or export of scholarly publications preserved under perpetual access license terms into various analysis platforms.

FIPS 199

With the Library of Congress, the LOCKSS Program completed the Certification and Accreditation process for the Standards for Security Categorization of Federal Information and Information Systems (FIPS 199).