Scotland’s shared digital library gives researchers vital edge
In the first scheme of its kind in the UK, Scotland’s university researchers are to benefit from a shared digital library that will widen access to over 1,500 specialist journals and publications.
The Scottish Higher Education Digital Library (SHEDL) is considered vital to the development of Scottish-based research, over half of which was rated internationally excellent or world-leading in last month’s Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).
SHEDL has been backed by all of Scotland’s HEIs, who hope it will support research, learning and teaching. It is also expected to stimulate research both across different disciplines and between institutions - a feature of Scotland’s research scene singled out for praise in the RAE.
JISC Collections negotiated this pilot scheme, which will be led by the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL). Three leading academic publishers have already signed up, namely Cambridge University Press, the American Chemical Society and Springer.
Sheila Cannell, the chair of SCURL, who is Director of Library Services at the University of Edinburgh, said: 'Differential access to journals has been a problem for some researchers but with the advent of SHEDL we are now providing them with a level playing field. It not only provides universities with a greater range of materials, but will also encourage collaboration between institutions as it gives researchers access to journals on the fringes of their chosen disciplines.'
Lorraine Estelle, CEO of JISC Collections, said: ‘NESLi2 is the national initiative for electronic journal negotiations and licensing in the UK. Working with the Scottish higher educational libraries on this project has enabled us to further develop the NESLi2 model, and we believe that what we have achieved is a feasible and scalable model for the future.’
For further information about the SHEDL electronic journals initiative, please contact Ronald Kerr, University of Edinburgh, via Ronald.Kerr@ed.ac.uk
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