With library doors closed for the foreseeable future, the coronavirus pandemic is an unplanned catalyst for a completely virtual library experience across universities, colleges and skills providers.
But with publishers and platform providers offering access to content that would normally sit behind subscription paywalls, it is hard to keep track of what’s on offer.
Here’s a brief overview:
To start off, we have lifted all subscription fees to our own content services until 31 July 2020. This includes the Journal Archives collection, which combines nine major archives of periodical content from publishers including Brill, ProQuest and Oxford University Press, along with the open access Spare Rib Archive.
Subscription fees have also been lifted for Historical Texts, which brings together major collections of historic books, such as Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), into a single resource.
Institutions, including ones servicing further education, can also sign up to other available digital archives such as the Migration to new worlds from Adam Matthew Digital; JSTOR 19th Century British Pamphlets and JSTOR Digital Library of Core E-Resources on Ireland.
Targeting the FE sector
Our longstanding e-books for FE service, free for FE, has been extended during the coronavirus crisis to include 66 newly-added titles in addition to the existing collection of more than 500 curriculum-mapped e-books. This brings in titles from ProQuest, Pearson, Bloomsbury, Cengage, Hodder, and Taylor & Francis.
The subscription fees to our five vocational learning resources have also been lifted until 31 July. These include materials for construction, digital and IT training, education and childcare, health and social care and hairdressing. Further, the Vogue archive for FE is available from Licence subscriptions manager.
Working with publishers and content providers
In an open letter, Jisc recently asked publishers and content providers to adopt recommendations that are designed to help libraries within universities, Research Councils and FE settings to offer online content.
As part of this effort, we asked providers to detail the measures they are taking to support UK institutions through an online survey. Over 60 responses have been received so far, which have been combined with information sourced from other resource lists into a single resources registry to create clarity around what is on offer and how to access it.
In the meantime, textbook publishers and aggregators have stepped up in removing restrictions on use. Jisc has partnered with Kortext, VitalSource and BibliU to deliver access to key learning resources for university students and staff.
Throughout this time of adjustment, a major concern for libraries is finance and processing payments. Publishers have been asked to signal their acceptance of extended terms via Jisc’s survey and responses will be listed in the resources registry.
Bridging the print gap
As libraries remain closed through the coronavirus pandemic, they can no longer access their print collections, supply hard-copy texts, or scan their physical collections.
Jisc, SCONUL, RLUK, the British Library and the UUK CNAC group have discussed this issue with the Copyright and Licensing Agency (CLA) to see whether they may be able to adjust CLA licence limits and permit searching and the use of scanned content in the CLA Digital Content Store. Any progress will be announced on our Library Services blog.
Training for a time of adjustment
While libraries grapple with rapid change, online training sessions are available to support delivering training virtually. FutureLearn are offering a new course, How to teach online: providing continuity for students, and Epigeum - part of Oxford University Press - have made courses on Teaching Online and Blended Learning freely available until the end of May.
For more information and updates, follow our library services blog.