OCLC partners provide extended and free e-content during the COVID-19 crisis

Chip Nilges

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During the past weeks, we’ve all faced a wide variety of changes in our lives and jobs. For librarians, part of that challenge is serving students, teachers, faculty, and patrons who now have to work and study from home.

As a library cooperative, OCLC has leveraged dozens of partnerships with publishers to provide extended and, in many cases, free access to e-resources. We are working with our partners to organize and centralize this content and make it easily discoverable in library services.

A growing list of partners

If you are an OCLC services user, you are likely familiar with the WorldCat knowledge base. Provisioning e-content through a centralized resource such as the knowledge base makes it more efficient for libraries to manage metadata and provide faster access. In many cases, for example, automated holdings can be set for collections of library resources, eliminating the need for manual updates of catalogs.

What all of this means is that the knowledge base is a place where information about centralized collections can be updated quickly for many publishers and many libraries all at once using WorldShare Collection Manager. And at a time like this, that can be very helpful.

There are, for example, existing collections in the knowledge base for content that’s now provided at no charge during this crisis. In other cases, we are working with partners to create new knowledge base collections so they can be configured for MARC record delivery or access through services such as WorldCat Discovery, WorldCat.org, WorldShare ILL, Tipasa, and ILLiad. Additionally, libraries can use Collection Manager to download the WorldCat MARC records for these collections for use in non-OCLC discovery and resource sharing services.

For example:

  • Elsevier: All textbook content is available for free to all paid accounts on ScienceDirect. Through OCLC’s partnership with Elsevier, the new textbook collection named “eBook – Educational Textbooks 2020” is now available to OCLC members in the WorldCat knowledge base under the Collection ID: elsevier.ebooksedutextbooks2020.
  • Cambridge University Press: Cambridge Core Textbooks are available in the WorldCat knowledge base under the Collection ID: CUP.textbooks.
  • American Medical Association: JAMA and related AMA journals information is now open access under the Collection ID: silverchair.amassoc

OCLC is maintaining a growing list of this freely available content at oc.lc/covid19-partner-content. As of today, this list of 60+ collections includes:

  • The date the resource was updated
  • Provider name
  • Provider response statement on resources related to COVID-19
  • Link to provider site for more information
  • Configuration information for OCLC services

We will continue to update this list as new information becomes available, so please be sure to bookmark this link and check back often.

Most of this free e-content will be available through WorldCat.org, too. Which means that anyone who searches WorldCat.org (either directly or from a link on another website) will be able to connect to more free content. In cases where changes like this have been made to the central index, links that previously went to the record for content will now take users to the full text of the resource.

I’d like to thank my staff and all our partners for working with us so diligently to move this project and these resources forward quickly. It’s our hope that it helps you more easily serve your communities during these challenging times.


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