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CNI Podcast: Michael Seadle on National Hosting and Interoperability: The LuKII Project in Germany

In this interview, Michael Seadle, Dean and Principle Investigator on the LuKII Project at Humboldt-Universität Berlin, talks about the policy and technical issues involved in this interoperability project and its implications for Germany’s national hosting decision. .

Interoperability gives digital archiving the chance to combine successful features of existing systems. The requirements for digital archiving have evolved differently in different regions. The last decade has seen multiple vendors offering their own proprietary solutions, often using commercial software, and often resulting in a lack of transparency about key technical aspects. Interoperation is easiest to establish between open source systems.

The LuKII (LOCKSS und kopal: Intrastruktur und Interoperabilität) project is building a network in Germany using LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe), which is 100% open source, and the open source elements of kopal are found in its koLibRI software. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) funded this project in order to:
1) establish a cost-effective Private LOCKSS Network (PLN) within Germany
2) implement interoperation with koLibRI (especially its metadata features)
3) test it using open access materials from German institutional repositories

Shortly after LuKII began, Germany embarked on a study about potential national hosting solutions for scholarly data. A substantial study by Charles Beagrie Ltd helped to focus the choice between LOCKSS (LuKII) and Portico. The DFG explicitly involved the LuKII team in providing expert information about the German PLN that is being build as part of the project. A paper discussing technical questions posed within subcommittee (“Archiving in the Networked World: LOCKSS and National Hosting”) is available in Library Hi Tech. The requirements for a national hosting solution continue to evolve, but important elements are emerging from the discussion, including the ability to host all materials within Germany to simplify possible copyright issues involving Germany’s national licensing scheme. The ability to deliver usable content on the fly if originals become unavailable has also grown in importance, as has the awareness that bitstream maintenance is complex and matters at least as much as migration for the future use of digital content.

This interview is provided courtesy of CNI and was recorded at their 2010 Fall Membership Meeting.  The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) is an organization dedicated to supporting the transformative promise of networked information technology for the advancement of scholarly communication and the enrichment of intellectual productivity.  You can learn more about CNI at their web site,


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