The British Library (BL)
The British Library is one of the largest research libraries in the world. It has a statutory responsibility to acquire, preserve and make accessible the UK national published archive. It holds over 150 million items ranging from historic manuscripts to modern electronic journals, digital music files and patents and is leading international collaborations to find solutions to ensure this rich and varied collection is sustained far into the future.
The British Library provides extensive digital services including the world’s largest document supply service, the national eThesis service, and extensive access to collections including digitized newspapers, sound, books, maps, and more.
Materials related to Science, Technology and Medicine (STM) represent 40% of the Library’s total holdings and approximately 50% of the Library’s acquisition budget is dedicated to STM. A key aspect of the strategy for STM is to engage with the scientific research community to understand its needs and develop products and services to enable discovery of and use of information. Over 50% of researchers who use British Library services are STM graduates and 70% of all remote documents are requested by STM researchers. The Library is the lead partner with the University of Manchester and the European Bioinformatics Institute, in hosting and managing the UK PubMed Central service. It provides electronic abstracting / indexing services, such as the Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED), and has worked in partnership with other key institutions within the UK health and life science field to provide free online catalogues of evaluated Internet resources. It is also a major contributor to the UK Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills e-infrastructure initiative. Together with the UK Higher Education Funding Council, it co-funds and hosts the Research Information Network.
The British Library is a founding member of the European Alliance for Permanent Access to the Records of Science, the DataCite international data citation initiative, and chairs the WorldWide Science Alliance. It is a Signatory to the UK National Data Strategy for Economic and Social Data and a member of the Steering Committee for the UK Research Data Service. It was a founding member of the UK Digital Preservation Coalition and digital preservation forms a major part of its partnerships with Microsoft, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), and publishers. It is the co-ordinator for the FP6 PLANETS digital preservation project.