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May 1, 2018

Scholars Portal is pleased to announce the beta release of the new Scholars Portal Books platform. We invite users at OCUL schools to search, read, and download on the new platform, and to send any feedback or concerns to

This platform will become the default books platform in July 2018. All previously linked and bookmarked books will continue to be accessible at the same URL throughout the transition



Collections currently available on Books Beta

  • ACUP - Athabasca University, Institute of Social and Economic Research, McGill-Queen's University Press, Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies, Presses de l'Université Laval, Presses de l'Université du Québec, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Manitoba, University of Ottawa/Presses de l'Université d'Ottawa, University of Regina, University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier.
  • Business Expert Press (BEP)
  • CRKN purchased collections (2008) - Cambridge, CEL, Oxford, Taylor & Francis*
  • Duke University Press
  • Elsevier*
  • Emerald*
  • eTheses
  • Iter
  • Institute for Engineering and Technology (IET)
  • Karger
  • LWW
  • National Roundtable on the Environment & the Economy*
  • Oxford Scholarship Online - American University in Cairo, British Academy, Columbia University, Cornell, Fordham, Hong Kong, Liverpool, Manchester, MIT, NYU, Oxford University, Policy Press, Stanford, University of California, University of Chicago, University of Edinburgh, University of Hawai'i, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, University of North Carolina, University Press of Florida, University Press of Kentucky, University Press of Mississippi, Yale University
  • Palgrave*
  • Pharmapress*
  • PsycBooks (APA)
  • SPIE
  • Springer
  • Taylor & Francis (direct)
  • University of Chicago (direct)

* these collections no longer receive updates

Collections being loaded this month to Books Beta

  • Canadian Public Documents Collection (CPDC)
  • IEEE - MIT, Wiley
  • Morgan & Claypool
  • Sage
  • Ontario Government Documents Collection
  • Taylor & Francis (UofT deal)
  • Wiley

Collections coming up

  • Brill
  • Champlain Society
  • Edward Elgar
  • Manchester Gothic
  • Open Editions
  • ProQuest - US Academic series

About the redevelopment

The Scholars Portal Books platform was released in 2009, when the ebook landscape looked significantly different. Consultation with the OCUL community indicated significant interest in renewing the platform, both to end reliance on software that is no longer supported, and to better be able to serve up content as it’s packaged and purchased today. In late 2014 the OCUL Directors approved funding for a two year redevelopment project.

The Scholars Portal Books platform has been completely redesigned from the ground up. All indexing and retrieval is now handled using MarkLogic, and our new built-in-house HTML reader delivers a significantly enhanced in-browser reading experience. Books metadata is now being loaded into MarkLogic in the BITS XML format, ending our reliance on MARC records to load content.

A new administrative interface will allow eresource staff to view their entitlements and license terms, and to generate KBART lists, MARC collections, and usage reports on the fly.

Redevelopment Timeline

  • November 2014 - OCUL-SP proposal to fund Books Reinvestment approved by OCUL Directors
  • February 2015 - Books redevelopment survey circulated to OCUL staff. 90 responses received
  • March 2015 - Books Reinvestment Working Group is formed as a subcommittee of OCUL-SP
  • November 2015  -  Functional Requirements document developed by working group is approved by OCUL Directors.
  • January 2016 - SP begins scoping deliverables based on functional requirements
  • August 2016 - Two full-time eBook developers hired
  • June 2017 - Beta release of the new Scholars Portal Books platform (limited features and collections)
  • Spring 2018 - General release of the new Scholars Portal Books platform in beta 

Scope of the staff-only beta release

  • On-campus users will be able to search across twelve active collections and narrow their search by criteria such as publisher, year of publication, and subject. Authenticated users will be able to view both PDF and XML books that their school has purchased in the online reader, and to download books either at the chapter level or by extracting up to 20% of the book as a PDF (where permitted by the license).

  • Users will be able to select books from the search results or metadata page and add them to the My Books list, where they can generate a citation or reading list.

Scope of the Spring 2018 public beta release release 

  • Users will be able to access books with concurrent use restrictions. Users will be able to search within PDF and HTML content, and to search across XML book and navigate directly to sections associated with search results. 

  • ACE Users will be able to review the terms of use and log in with a token. They will be able to navigate through the entirety of the site using keyboard commands, search all collections, and download any content they are entitled to


Scope of the Spring 2018 full release

  • e-resource staff will be able to log in and review all collections their school is entitled to. They will be able to generate title lists based on collections or load date, and packages of MARCs or KBART files using the same parameters. They will be able to select collections or date ranges and generate a few usage reports.

  • ACE coordinators will be able to log in and generate usage reports for the following, based on tokens: visits to platform, searches performed, items viewed, items downloaded

The Scholars Portal Books team is: Bartek Kawula, Sadia Khwaja, Ivan Jankovic, Sunil Manikonda, Ravit David, Annie Thomas Selvarajan, Bikram Singh, Jacqueline Whyte Appleby

With support from Anika Ervin-Ward, Kate Davis, Amaz Taufique, Thara Savio, Harpinder Singh, and Carlos McGregor Muro.

With thanks to the Books Reinvestment Working Group for their efforts in developing initial functional requirements:

George Duimovich, Carleton University (CHAIR); Sharon Bosnell, Trent University; Evelyn Smith, Brock University; Jennifer Easter, University of Guelph; Marlene Van Ballegooie, University of Toronto; Klara Maidenberg, University of Toronto; Carol Stephenson, Wilfrid Laurier (now COPPUL); David Fiander, Western University 

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