The University of Aberdeen has today announced a partnership with Elsevier, the world’s leading publisher of science and health information, which will make a significant contribution to the international competitiveness of the University.
When the new University library opens on the King's College campus in 2011 it will provide the complete collection of electronic backfile material published by Elsevier, more than is available in any other UK institution.
The partnership with Elsevier will give University staff and students unrivalled access to the complete back catalogue of electronic journals, e-books and other reference works covering a wide spectrum of medicine, health and life sciences, physical and environmental sciences, energy, engineering, information technology, mathematics and psychology.
The agreement with Elsevier will be a further boost to the University's growing strength in research across a wide range of disciplines in the physical and life sciences, medicine, technology, arts and humanities, and social sciences, and its consequent attractiveness to ambitious academics and students from around the world.
The results of the recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) conducted across UK universities confirms Aberdeen as one of the UK's top research universities. Eighty-nine percent of the University's research output is rated as 'international', and 55% is described as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. Total research income into the University has trebled over the past ten years, and many internationally distinguished academics have been attracted to Aberdeen from leading universities across the world.
Elsevier's own management information suggests a very high correlation between access to significant electronic holdings and the publication output and citation levels of an institution. This is being borne out by third party analysis. The company is also developing further management information tools which would enable the University to identify key metrics, benchmark and measure its performance. They will also help identify sources of funding and key partnerships in various areas of research, and provide new tools to improve efficiency and decision making.
As part of the agreement, Elsevier will showcase the University and its new library through creating a case study illustrating the commitment to flexible, modern learning and role of e-resources in the mission of an ambitious, global university.
The new University of Aberdeen library, due to start construction late spring, is designed to provide a visually striking piece of architecture and a modern learning environment in which e-resources are an essential element alongside the University's magnificent collection of books, manuscripts and archives. The collections, along with the new e-resources, will be available to students, researchers and the wider public through individual and group study. Additionally there will be public events including exhibitions and seminars.
Complementing the £57 million new library is the University's recent investment in creating the largest wireless campus in Europe, which also covers halls of residence. This means that 14,000 students and 3,000 staff have the flexibility to access the University's extensive collection of e-resources from anywhere on campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Welcoming the announcement of the partnership with Elsevier, Professor C Duncan Rice, Principal and Vice-chancellor at the University of Aberdeen said: "The agreement with Elsevier is yet another building block in engineering a great global university, of which our city and country can be proud."
Chris Banks, University Librarian added: "Our library collections are increasingly strong in digital as well as in physical content, and the partnership with Elsevier brings with it a very significant 21st century addition and a huge boost to our collections. This is major content which we can now make available to the students and researchers in the University and beyond.
"We have already benefited from Elsevier management information to inform our decisions on developing our collections, and we look forward to working further with the Elsevier team as they continue to develop more advanced strategic management tools."
YS Chi, Vice Chairman of Elsevier, commented: "We are very excited about partnering with the University of Aberdeen to set new standards of access to comprehensive quality content. We share the University's commitment to driving innovation in learning and to leverage technology and research at the very highest levels."