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One million pages on the history of science freely available for researchers, students and teachers

Not-for-profit technology provider for research and education, Jisc, and global publisher, Wiley, are poised to digitise a one-million-page collection on the history of science.

Monday, September 30, 2019 7:15 am EDT
"Digitising specialist archives is a costly enterprise and, over the last few years we have been exploring new business models to support digitisation of collections."

Not-for-profit technology provider for research and education, Jisc, and global publisher, Wiley, are poised to digitise a one-million-page collection on the history of science.

The collection will largely comprise content from the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS), now the British Science Association (BSA). UK universities will also be able to put their collections forward for inclusion in this digital archive provided the content complements the BAAS archive and meets practical and logistic considerations.

The collaboration between Jisc and Wiley is the first to offer universities a chance to influence what material is digitised by a commercial publisher.

Paola Marchionni, Head of Digital Resources for Teaching, Learning and Research at Jisc, says; “Digitising specialist archives is a costly enterprise and, over the last few years we have been exploring new business models to support digitisation of collections."

"This deal is a first for Jisc and Wiley and was struck in response to our members’ concern over the cost of content and the desire to democratise access to all institutions, no matter what their size or income. We are hoping this project will pave the way for similar alliances with other publishers and collections in the future.” 

Through this partnership, the resulting digital collection will be free to all UK universities and colleges and, once the licences to the content expire, will be made available openly and globally password-free. Scholars and teachers will be able to freely access materials dating roughly between 1800 to the 1970s via the Wiley Digital Archives platform. The history of science collection will be available from March next year, giving access to primary source material that might otherwise have been hard to access, and difficult to use.

Jay Flynn, Chief Product Officer at Wiley Research, adds, “We are thrilled to be working so collaboratively with Jisc, the British Science Association, and leading UK universities to add a new collection to the Wiley Digital Archives program. Wiley Digital Archives allows researchers to peer into the science of the past to create scholarship for the future. This partnership will help the BSA and UK universities to unlock their content for a larger research audience through our global platform and expand access into educational settings at the same time. Wiley Digital Archive’s built-in text and data mining tools will increase discoverability while adding context to this powerful content.”

Katherine Mathieson, Chief Executive at the British Science Association, also adds, “The British Science Association is delighted to have the opportunity to share its extensive archives of the history of science with researchers across the world. Currently these papers are only available to scholars who can travel to the archives kindly looked after by the Bodleian Library at Oxford. This transformative partnership will extend access to many more researchers. These papers show that from the very beginning, scientists wanted to share their knowledge with everyone. We continue to realise this vision today through our work with communities and schools which supports our vision of a world where science is seen as a fundamental part of society and culture.”

Additional Information

About Jisc
Jisc’s vision is for the UK to be the most digitally advanced education and research nation in the world. At its heart is the super-fast national research and education network, Janet, with built-in cyber security protection. Jisc also provides technology solutions for its members (colleges, universities and research centres) and customers (public sector bodies), helps members save time and money by negotiating sector-wide deals and provides advice and practical assistance on digital technology. Jisc is funded by the UK higher and further education and research funding bodies and member institutions.

For more information, contact Faye.holst@jisc.ac.uk, or call 07443 983571.

About the British Science Association  
The British Science Association (BSA) believes that science should be a fundamental part of society and culture and owned by the wider community.

Our mission is to transform the diversity and inclusivity of science; reach under-served audiences; and increase the number of people who are actively engaged and involved in science. By unlocking the potential of a more diverse group of people, we increase our ability to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges and shape our future for the better.

Established in 1831, the BSA is a registered charity that organises major initiatives across the UK, including British Science Week; the British Science Festival; the Huxley Summit; the CREST Awards, and other programmes for young people in schools and colleges. We run activities and training for professional science communicators, undertake research and policy work, and we seek to influence and collaborate with stakeholders, including policy makers and opinion formers, leaders from across different sectors of business, industry and public life.

Our programmes encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with science, become ambassadors for science, and ultimately to be empowered to challenge and influence British science - whether they work in science or not.  

For more information, please visit www.britishscienceassociation.org  

About Wiley
Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

Wiley Media Contacts:
Tom Griffin (APAC): +617 38599 740
Penny Smith (UK): +44 1243 770448
Dawn Peters (US): +1 781-388-8408
newsroom@wiley.com
Follow us on Twitter @WileyNews

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