The CLA Digital Content Store (DCS) has been live since July of 2016, and in that time over 333,000 content items have been uploaded to the DCS, over 325,000 of which now sit in the DCS repository.
These items predominantly come from the scans and copies of digital originals that HEIs using the DCS upload themselves. Every item uploaded under a CLA licence is automatically added to our repository, so that when the next HEI searches for this item of content, they can find it and use this item instead of scanning or digitising their own.
Below is the breakdown of content uploads added to the DCS:
As you can see there was a massive ingestion of content at the start of the DCS when HEIs onboarded and the content included in the one-year pilot was automatically added to the live system. After this there has been a mostly steady pattern with the summer / early autumn months the most popular for adding content. Occasional peaks can also be seen with bulk uploads.
New DCS users can bulk upload all their active CLA licensed content into their DCS instance using our bulk upload spreadsheet and the CLA Cloud. We will even remove the copyright notices for HEIs whose PDFs are still prefaced with these.
Users do not have to use the content in the DCS, they can ‘Preview’ scans and if the quality is not high enough they can upload their own. Also, if they want to run PDFs through accessible programs such as through Adobe or Abbyy they are welcome to do so and then re-upload to the DCS. All PDFs in the DCS are DRM free as standard in order to support customisation without having to rescan.
Another route to adding scans in the DCS is via the EHESS integration. EHESS is the scanning supply service from the CLA and the British Library. Via this integration you can order scans via the DCS and pay Copyright Fees for material that your institution does not own, to give you the right of ownership in order to copy under your CLA licence.
All EHESS orders placed through the DCS are returned to the DCS, with HEIs able to ‘Preview’ and ‘Accept’ the scans returned from the British Library, as well as the ability to report any problems. These high-quality, OCR as standard, copies are all kept in the repository for users to access going forward.
For the next academic year (up to 31 July 2021), to support EHESS customers through the current crisis, CLA are temporarily waiving the service charge for all Copyright Fee Paid scans ordered through EHESS for UK Higher Education customers. This is only when a Copyright Fee is paid for material not owned by the institution. Outsourced scans are still subject to a service fee.
Material in the DCS’ Content Store is presented to users at the point of the request where they might be looking to create the scan themselves, after they check permissions, ownership and extent limits. However, the DCS has improved the search since the DCS’ launch to present users with all the copies from any given searched-for book (by ISBN). This is to ensure that, where searched-for page ranges are slightly out or where the page range is unknown (for example only knowing that the academic has requested Chapter 3), the user will still be able to find the content requested if it is in the store.
The DCS pushes content that is closest to the page ranges searched for to the top and will star ‘Exact Matches’ and place these at the top to help HEIs select what they have searched for. The Content Store will also try to present chapter data, if previously added in another request, to help users identify a specific chapter that may have been requested. See below for an example:
During COVID-19 the availability of the content store has been more vital than ever, especially where HEIs have not always had access to their collections. As you can see from the upload chart near the start of this blog, uploads during this period have been down, despite student access and request generation remaining the same as previous years.
Moving forward CLA is looking to explore what else we might be able to do to support content in the DCS, both in terms of accessibility and capacity. For now we have created some recommendations that HEIs may want to consider when uploading scans into the DCS, which can be found here.
About the Author
David has been a Product Manager for the DCS at CLA since August 2017, previously working in the Education and Operations Teams in CLA since 2008. Outside of work David enjoys writing, reading, gaming (currently obsessed with the new Red Dead Redemption), and films.
You can find out more about the Digital Content Store here.