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New research platform swisscovery

A new and unified platform was launched by 475 Swiss academic libraries on 7 December 2020. The ZHAW University Library played a key role in this project participating as a pilot library.

As part of the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) project, a Swiss-wide, centrally operated library platform for academic information had been in development since 2018. From the beginning, the ZHAW was involved in various committees and actively contributed to strategic and operational decisions. The new research platform ZHAW swisscovery enables users to access the holdings of 475 academic libraries – both print and e-media holdings licensed for ZHAW users. The ZHAW digitalcollection (a digital open-access repository) is part of the platform as well. Swisscovery serves as a single point of entry to search the combined holdings of all Swiss university libraries listing more than 30 million holdings in total. The new system is a follow-up solution that replaces the individual library systems and facilitates access to academic information for users in Switzerland. Using the SLSP courier service, it is possible to obtain holdings that are only available at a partner library. Borrowing periods and overdue fees have been harmonised at a national level.

The national fusion of the university libraries into a joint library platform is unique and the biggest change that Swiss library culture has seen in recent decades.