Category Archives: journals

RLUK/SCONUL response to BIS statement on access to publicly funded research

The Government has announced that it has accepted all the recommendations of the Finch report except the recommendation on reducing the VAT on e-journals.   It stresses Government’s preference for “gold” over “green” open access. Its response can be found here:

RLUK and SCONUL welcome the commitment of the UK government to ensure that publicly funded scientific research is made available for  anyone to read for free.  They agree with Science Minister David Willetts that “Removing paywalls that surround taxpayer funded research will have real  economic and social benefits.”

They point out that the transition from older models of publishing  to open access (OA) will take some time and will have serious cost implications. They also have concerns about the length of embargo periods for green open access suggested in the Finch Report. They would like to see more modelling of the potential transition scenarios – in particular focussing on the interplay between and interdependence of green and gold OA, and the possible role of national licensing.

Read their response here:

Expanding access to research publications

The report of the Working Group chaired by Dame Janet Finch published on 18 June recommends a programme of action to enable more people to read and use the publications arising from research. Better, faster communication of research results will bring benefits for public services and for economic growth. It will also bring improved efficiency for researchers, and opportunities for more public engagement with research.

The internet has brought much better access to research results for members of the academic community. But the full benefits of the digital and online revolutions have yet to be realised, especially for business, the professions, and the general public. Many people have expressed the ambition for a worldwide open access regime. The key policy questions are how to promote that shift in an ordered way which promotes innovation and maximises the benefits while minimising the risks.

The report recommends actions which can be taken in the UK which would help to promote much greater and faster access, while recognising that research and publications are international. It envisages that several different channels for communicating research results will remain important over the next few years, but recommends a clear policy direction in the UK towards support for open access publishing. This means that publishers receive their revenues from authors rather than readers, and so research articles become freely accessible to everyone immediately upon publication.

At the same time, the report recommends extensions to current licensing arrangements in the higher education, health and other sectors; and it welcomes recent moves by publishers to provide access to the great majority of journals in public libraries.

The full report is available for downloading, along with an executive summary.

JISC Collections Roadshow in Cardiff – 7 June

The JISC Collections Summer Roadshows are taking place at Cardiff University and other venues over the summer. The events are aimed at librarians in the JISC Collections member institutions and are open to both HE and FE.

The Cardiff roadshow is on 7 June.

Further details including an outline programme and a form to register your interest, are available on the JISC Collections website

New tool launched by Cardiff University provides insights into e-resource usage

 A new tool launched by Cardiff University’s information services directorate and JISC allows people to assess the popularity and use of e-resources so they continue to deliver value for money.

Download Raptor for free:

Eileen Brandreth, director of university IT at Cardiff, said: “I am confident that Raptor will make a real difference to education institutions looking to maximise value from investments in e-resources. The information that Raptor provides will enable institutions and individual Academic Schools to assess the best value and most useful e-resource subscriptions for their students and researchers.”

People using Raptor can produce statistics on e-resource use whenever they are needed in as much detail as they require – for example, usage by an individual university department.

Chris Brown, JISC e-Research Programme Manager, added: “The Raptor tool has successfully gone through beta testing and incorporated user feedback prior to the release of this version, which is ready for production deployment. With universities looking at the potential cost savings and efficiencies, the Raptor tool provides valuable statistics on resource usage. It can analyse a variety of log files and present important information, not only promptly, but most importantly, in an easy to understand and visual way.”

The fully-released Raptor system lets institutions view usage statistics from different access management systems in use across the education sector.

Chris added: “The team at Cardiff have used their wealth of experience in this area to build a tool that is easy to install, use and is extremely powerful.”

The launch of the tool follows the JISC webinar on the Journal Usage Support Portal which can also help librarians assess their subscriptions.

The Raptor system focuses particularly on federated access systems, where online resources request access authorisation from the ‘home’ institution of the visitor, resulting in easier single sign-on access for users.

Raptor is also now available for both Linux and Windows servers, further widening the potential audience.

Find out about a series of workshops for staff at institutions interested in benefiting 

See how this project fits into JISC’s wider support for libraries

National knowledge service

A UK-wide digital library for British higher education is in reach, says Ann Rossiter (SCONUL), if we can sort the licensing out.

The UK’s status as a world leader in research depends on its institutions having the best possible access to the full range of published work. Although we currently rank alongside the US and outstrip most European and Asian nations, we risk being overtaken in the next decade if we do not grasp the possibilities of new technology.

For the first time, a national digital library has become a realistic possibility, both technologically and economically. Such a shared service, delivering a national core collection of monographs and journals, would allow the UK to maintain its lead in delivering the best content electronically to all students, researchers and academics at higher education institutions. It would also overcome a significant barrier to new entrants to the higher education market: further education colleges would be able to buy into it, rather than having to build up their own individual libraries. The student experience would be improved by resources accessed through a national catalogue.

THES – read more


100 libraries now participating in the Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP)

The JUSP consortium is pleased to announce that 100 libraries are now participating in the Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP):

At a time of economic constraint, it is essential that libraries can evaluate usage, and make a compelling case about the value of journal subscriptions.  COUNTER compliant data is vital in providing UK Universities with empirical evidence to inform the management and procurement of e-journals. However, obtaining and analyzing usage data can be extremely labour intensive with each library having to visit each publisher’s website and download their own statistics.

The JUSP Portal provides a single point of access for usage statistics, meaning that users can easily and quickly compare usage across various publishers, subscription or academic years and journal titles. The Portal uses the SUSHI (Standardised Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) protocol to collect COUNTER compliant statistics .

JUSP welcomes WHELF members

The JUSP team are very pleased that most WHELF libraries have now joined the Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP).

Libraries spend millions of pounds on electronic journals each year, but gathering statistics about their use hasn’t always been easy. Diminishing budgets must demonstrate value for money, and reliable data is key. Comparative usage statistics help evaluate the impact of e-resources and inform future purchasing decisions. The Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP) provides a “one-stop shop” for libraries to view, download and analyse their usage reports from NESLi2 publishers. It responds to current financial challenges with time and cost saving benefits.

WHELF libraries in JUSP are able to view JR1 and JR1a usage reports for the OUP deal which are gathered automatically each month via SUSHI. We also collect OUP usage data back to January 2009 so you are able to compare usage through the WHELF deal with usage through earlier deals or subscribed titles.  If you use an intermediary service (Ingentaconnect, Swetswise or EbscoEJS) we also collect their usage reports and add them to those from the publisher, to give you a complete record of use.

Once in JUSP, WHELF libraries can benefit from access also to usage reports from their NESLi2 deals. Publishers currently in JUSP are AIP, Annual Reviews, Elsevier, Nature Publishing Group, OUP, Project Muse, Royal Society of Chemistry, Sage and Springer. We aim to include all NESLi2 publishers by the end of the year, and hope to extend JUSP to cover other publishers too. We are now able to collect usage data back to January 2009 via SUSHI for almost all publishers in JUSP.  We collect usage reports for these publishers whether or not you take the NESLi2 deal.

As well as giving you the ability to view or download usage reports, JUSP offers you a number of other reports and tables to help analyse your usage. Most reports can be downloaded as CSV files. You can also use our SUSHI server to gather reports from JUSP.

The number of libraries in JUSP is growing rapidly. We now have over 70 participating libraries and another 20 in the process of joining. JUSP members can log in to their own reports using Shibboleth authentication from the website .  You will find more information and updates on the website, including a new video presentation on how to use JUSP on the Support tab.

As a community resource, we always welcome your comments and ideas. We are often able to respond quickly to your suggestions and a number of reports now in JUSP have been developed as a result of user feedback. We would welcome any ideas from WHELF members on what else you would like to see in JUSP.

Angela Conyers, Evidence Base (

Jo Lambert, Mimas (