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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: June 2018

3 - Denmark's Electronic Research Library: implementation of user-friendly integrated search systems in Denmark



In 2003 Denmark's Electronic Research Library (DEFF in Danish) became a permanent activity on the Danish budget after a five-year project period. The Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation continued to finance DEFF annually through the national budget with 17 million DKK (2.3 million euros). 1 January 2007 marked the beginning of a new planning period with a new steering committee, a changed organization and additional activities.

DEFF is a co-operative organization for Danish research libraries. All participants in DEFF have slowly learned to seek co-operation in most areas in order to avoid duplicating work and to increase the value of individual efforts. The main target group for DEFF is still researchers, lecturers and students at institutions of higher or further education and research institutions within the public sector, who are primarily serviced directly through the institutions that participate in DEFF. The overall objective is to ensure an optimal exploitation of the institutions’ research-based information resources. The implementation of user-friendly integrated search systems in Denmark is in this respect an obvious activity within the framework of the DEFF strategy. Parts of the systems can be shared, and the systems support the overall objective of DEFF.

Challenges for a research library

DEFF has identified three important activity areas for research libraries in Denmark, which are the results of the changing roles of libraries in the digital environment (DEFF, 2006). These areas pose major challenges for the libraries, and therefore become targets for DEFF's manpower and funding efforts:

  • In the e-publishing area libraries are defining new tasks for themselves, and DEFF is among other things supporting institutional repositories and migration of journals to Open Access. Furthermore, research registration and a common research database are in focus. DEFF has been the political advocate for Open Access in Denmark and has provided support for it through an EU petition in February 2007 made by the Knowledge Exchange partnership. DEFF's partners in Knowledge Exchange are the German Research Foundation (DFG) in Germany, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the UK and the SURF Foundation (SURF) in the Netherlands. In the near future DEFF will be launching pilot projects with publications’ underlying datasets in line with the development of e-science and e-research.