Speeding up digital in higher education

New CLA licensing solution to transform digitisation process for HEIs

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) has launched the licensing solution of the future with a system that will significantly speed up and streamline digitisation for higher education institutions (HEIs).

The brand new Digital Content Store (DCS) platform, developed in conjunction with software firm Cloudspring Technologies, will revolutionise the current labour intensive process associated with declaring digital copies and scans to CLA. The DCS web-based hosted solution will enable users to research, record and monitor all digital book chapters and journal articles and ultimately help HEIs reduce the risk and potential cost of copyright infringement.

Adopting the new DCS platform will not require any additional investment from HEIs as it will form part of the service provided through the standard annual CLA Higher Education Licence. Designed specifically for the sector, the Higher Education Licence provides annual blanket permissions to photocopy and scan from millions of books, journals and magazines and from a range of digital material such as e-books and some websites.

Meghan Mazella, Product Manager, CLA said: “All HEIs have to report every digital copy and scan they supply to students on an annual basis and up until now there has been no uniform process in place to monitor what is being used. HEIs currently use a variety of methods, including spreadsheets or sending out emails to colleagues to gather the relevant information.

“This has been a real burden for HEIs. We have been in constant consultation with the sector for several years to understand their pain-points and have used this knowledge to develop a solution that will help them to deliver and access content quickly and cost effectively.”

The DCS can be used in any browser with no installation requirements. Designed for use by librarians, the list of requests from academics and lecturers at each HEI can be entered into the system and searched for on the bibliographic database. The request workflow will automate a range of checks on the selected material – from confirming whether the book or article is included in the CLA repertoire, to checking the extent limits by highlighting extracts already used and calculating the percentage of the book being used. The DCS is able to connect to two major library management systems to explore whether the specific book or journal is held in the library catalogue and check the ownership, which is a requirement of the licence.

Once the relevant automated searches and checks are completed, the user can then attach and upload the content in a PDF file of the chapter or the journal article. This can be done either by making a copy and uploading a scan to the system, or outsourcing the scanning via the Enhanced Higher Education Supply System (EHESS) so the British Library can scan it from their stock. Alternatively if another university or HEI has already uploaded the requested document, then that copy can be used, saving the need to duplicate the scan and upload process.

The new DCS will be available to HEIs from mid-July. Over the last few months, a growing number (more than 50 in June) of HEIs have been trialling the demo DCS site and as a result 52 have said they will be adopting the live version.

Linda Pover, team digitisation leader, University of Manchester said: ““We have really found value in both using the DCS solution and in working with the CLA and providing feedback as to functionality and use. The speed of inputting has improved dramatically and the functionality of the look up tool is really useful. We are also finding great value in the reports that are generated as they reduce the time staff is spending on renewal for annual reporting. In the past this process wasn’t very efficient, so the DCS is a welcome change. We’re looking forward to the future and fully realising the benefits of this new solution.”

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