IReL “is considered by all stakeholders to be an important and effective part of the infrastructure of higher education and research” in Ireland.
The review of IReL has now concluded and its report is now available. The review began in 2018, the request of the Governance Committee of the Irish University Libraries Collaboration Centre (IULCC), and was led by the Higher Education Authority.
- Purchasing practices in IReL result in improved value for money. It was found that there is a benefit of having a single entity negotiating with publishers rather than individual members negotiating separately.
- Good financial management was evident, and IReL operates efficiently and effectively.
- IReL is considered by all stakeholders to be an important and effective part of the infrastructure of higher education and research, and a significant factor in building up Ireland’s education and research base and international reputation. The service is also recognised as a valuable support for teaching and learning, as students can access journals and other resources to support their studies.
- It is recommended that procurement of e-journals at a national consortium level should continue and be expanded, as resources permit.
- Membership of IReL should be expanded on a phased basis, in line with the agreed mission, to enable wider sharing of the benefits of consortium membership.
- IReL should adopt a tiered-model (‘all in’ and ‘buyer’s club’), with different levels of access and associated costs for different types of members.
- Long term strategic aims should be clearly identified at a national level, to inform IReL’s mission and Ireland’s future negotiating strategy, taking into account evolving Open Access/Open Science policy, nationally and internationally.
- A review of the current IReL catalogue is recommended to consider the needs of current and potential new members.
- IReL’s governance structures should be simplified and move from a representative model to a competence-based model.