OCLC Research Library Partnership

Overview, benefits and a list of current Partner Institutions.

For libraries and other research institutions who want to invest money and staff in collaboratively designing their future services, the OCLC Research Library Partnership is a global alliance of like-minded institutions that focuses on making operational processes more efficient and shaping new scholarly services by directly engaging senior managers. The OCLC Research Library Partnership is supported by the full capacities of OCLC Research, informed by an international, system-wide perspective and connected to the broad array of OCLC products and services.

Activities supported by the OCLC Research Library Partnership

Changes in Scholarly Communication

This goal of this project is to help libraries find new ways to support their institutions' research mission.

Cloud Library: Cloud-sourcing Shared Research Collections

This work has modeled requirements for increased institutional reliance on shared print and digital repositories, based on a case study of a single consumer institution and two representative print and digital suppliers. It offers recommendations for broader adoption of interdependent collection management regimes in the cloud.


A metadata publishing tool that transfers information between databases and different formats.

Define Policy and Infrastructure Requirements for Building and Managing Shared Print Collections

This work aims to characterize the generic business requirements for managing physical research library collections as a shared network resource.

Demystifying Born Digital

This project focuses on enhancing the effective management of born-digital materials as they intersect with special collections and archives practices in research libraries.

Interlibrary Loan Cost Calculator

OCLC Research, in collaboration with staff from OCLC Research Library Partnership institutions, is creating a Web based tool that will allow library administrators and practitioners to better understand the costs of sharing collections. This work is part of a suite of OCLC Research activities aimed at Understanding the System-wide Library.

Multilingual Bibliographic Structure

This activity is designed to leverage the multilingual content of WorldCat® so that bibliographic information can be presented in the preferred language and script of the user.

OAICatMuseum 1.0

Allows museums to disclose descriptions of collection items as well as pointers to digital surrogates.

Role of Libraries in Data Curation

An investigation into ways that libraries can support researchers' data needs and institutional needs for dataset curation.

Rough and Ready: Typescript Finding Aid Conversion

OCLC Research will undertake a small scale experiment to explore the effectiveness of tools and techniques for bringing offline archival descriptions to the open Web.

SHARES Program

SHARES is a membership-wide program of expedited, cost-saving interlibrary lending that also develops innovative new methods to improve collections sharing.

Sharing and Aggregating Social Metadata

Identify the user contributions that would enrich the descriptive metadata created by libraries, archives, and museums and the issues that need to be resolved to communicate and share user contributions on the network level.

Sharing Special Collections

Streamlining procedures for successful delivery of rare and unique materials to users will maximize use of increasingly limited staff and financial resources.

Support for Research Workflows

A collaborative project of OCLC Research and the UK's Research Information Network (RIN) to examine the use and provision of information-related tools and services to researchers throughout the lifecycle of the research process.

Terms of Use and Reuse for Finding Aid Metadata

The purpose of this project is to promote a culture of sharing finding aid metadata. The project will provide recommendations on how to state the terms of use and re-use for finding aid metadata, leveraging good precedents.

Join the OCLC Research Library Partnership!

Through partnership, you can advance your institution's goals, tap into an international pool of experts and benefit from a range of collaborative efforts focused on maximizing the impact cultural institutions have on the communities they serve.


Stay connected

A number of subscription e-mail and discussion lists have been developed for staff at OCLC Research Library Partnership institutions to support continuing conversations about our work, share updates and solicit volunteers for new activities.


Learn more about SHARES

This resource sharing consortium is open only to OCLC Research Library Partnership institutions. Participation is optional, but staff and patrons at many institutions consider SHARES to be a primary benefit of affiliation. SHARES activity is comprised of three components:

  • Expedited interlibrary lending, where participants consider all requests on a case-by-case basis without blanket restrictions
  • Reciprocal onsite access to participant collections
  • Collaboration on projects such as cost studies, sharing expertise and streamlining workflows.

Some of the activities listed here have prototypes or demonstrations you can explore and play with. You can find a list of just those hands-on activities in ResearchWorks.

A few of these activities have generated software that you can download and build upon. Go to our software page for a list of only those activities.

The OCLC Research Library Partnership has sponsored the activities with this mark.

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration.