BDS Launches ALL

BDS’s new Academic Library Licence launched with the supply of metadata to the University of the Arts on 1st June, 2021. The service aims to simplify, standardise and reduce the costs of the provision of metadata for academic libraries in line with recent recommendations put forward in Plan M and the requirements of the recent SUPC and APUC tenders.

“We want to release cataloguing resources for more specialist material, reduce the number of places we have to go to for metadata, and obtain consistent, good quality metadata,” says Karen Carden, Resources & Systems Manager at the University of the Arts, London.

Two further early adopters have since gone live.

Sheffield Hallam University began receiving metadata on 1st July and Imperial College, London joined on 1st August. The Universities of Bath and Liverpool are preparing to go live for the start of the new academic year.

“We have signed up as an early adopter of the BDS Academic Library Licence as we feel it will provide new opportunities in terms of workflows and record creation,” says Helen Garner, Metadata Services Manager, Sheffield Hallam University. “Being an early adopter will mean we can help shape future developments.”

Andrew Knight, Acquisitions and Content Services Manager, Imperial College London, commented, “The issue of poor or variable quality bibliographic metadata has been ongoing in the sector for a number of years, and we see the BDS Academic Library Licence as a way of consolidating our supply, ensuring predictable costs, and guaranteeing a level of consistency.”

The ALL provides high-quality, consistent MARC records for new additions to stock for all English language print, ebook or open access titles published after 1st January 2010, covering most records required by UK and Irish universities. Access to the complete BDS database is provided so that records can also be downloaded to upgrade existing holdings. A User Group shapes the future of the Academic Library Licence and ensures that it meets the needs of the UK HE library community.

“We are delighted with the response of some of the UK’s major academic institutions to our Academic Library Licence,” says Heather Sherman, Director of Academic Library Operations at BDS. “We are most excited about the work we are currently doing with LMSs and early adopters to implement fully automated workflows. The early adopter libraries see real potential for these developments to provide significant savings in staff time.

“Moreover, one of the measures we based our pricing calculation on for the Jisc consultation exercise earlier this year was based on SCONUL statistics. Feedback has shown that including the total number of ebooks was inflating the true figure for the number of records that BDS would be expected to provide, so BDS has reduced the prices quoted during Jisc’s consultation exercise.

“As we progress with our rollout and respond to feedback, we feel sure that universities will see the advantages ALL offers in terms of savings, improved service and increased opportunities to make their collections discoverable to students and researchers.”

You can find out more about the Academic Library Licence, including individual pricing, by contacting Heather Sherman:, 07711 378 086. More information is also available in the latest issue of BDSlife, and on our website.

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