Jisc saves universities £1m through group purchasing archives.

Institutions save more every time one buys from the scheme, which is relaunched this week.

Jisc’s digital archival group purchasing scheme has saved higher education institutions (HEIs) more than £1million off the cost of primary source collections since it launched in 2017.

The scheme, which relaunches this week, helps institutions reduce the cost of buying digital collections and archives from publishers by using a community-based model, meaning the more members buy from each publisher, the greater the savings across that publisher's products.

Fifty-six Jisc-affiliated HEIs have purchased and saved a combined £1million to date on perpetual purchases of digital archival collections since its first pilot five years ago. 

The scheme was created to respond to the challenges faced by Jisc member organisations when buying digital archival collections to complement the library resources held for researchers. Institutions would ‘purchase’ a digital archival collection but often face a yearly ‘hosting’ or ‘admin’ fee.

Running from November to July each academic year, the scheme guarantees at least a 20% saving on digital archival collections for participating members, potentially increasing to 30% depending on the uptake, and no additional yearly hosting or admin fees.

Each year, different publishers make their collections available. In 2022 the scheme is launching with three publishers: Microform (British Online Archives)De Gruyter and East View.

Twenty-nine collections will be part of the initial release, including a selection of British government information and propaganda, an archive from the British high society magazine Tatler, and details of British and American secret service collaboration in World War 2. More publishers will be added to the scheme in the coming weeks.

Karen Colbron, digital content manager at Jisc, says:

“This fantastic £1million milestone illustrates the real savings the group publishing scheme achieves for our members. Our model benefits all members, and every purchase boosts the savings for all. The scheme gives them transparency and clarity around pricing and saves universities potentially up to 30% on digital archival collections.

“Our model licence also gives them a consistent and standard approach to buying from multiple publishers. It helps give members access to better value resources, benefitting research across the UK."

Find out more about the digital archival collections group publishing scheme