Identifying the future direction of legal deposit in the United Kingdom: The Digital Library Futures approach

Paul Gooding, Melissa Terras, Linda Berube

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Purpose: To date, there has been little research into users of the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013. This paper addresses that gap by presenting key findings from the AHRC-funded Digital Library Futures project. Its purpose is to present a “user-centric” perspective on the potential future impact of the digital collections that are being created under electronic legal deposit regulations. 
Design/methodology/approach: The study utilises a mixed methods case study of two academic legal deposit libraries in the United Kingdom: The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford; and Cambridge University Library. It combines surveys of users, web log analysis, and expert interviews with librarians and cognate professionals. 
Findings: User perspectives on NPLD were not fully considered in the planning and implementation of the 2013 regulations. We present findings from our user survey to show how contemporary tensions between user behaviour and access protocols risk limiting the instrumental value of NPLD collections, which have high perceived legacy value. 
Originality/value: This is the first study to address the user context for UK Non-Print Legal Deposit. Its value lies in presenting a research-led user assessment of NPLD, and in proposing “user-centric” analysis as an addition to the existing “four pillars” of legal deposit research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Documentation
Early online date5 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Apr 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • legal deposit
  • digital library infrastucture
  • digital libraries
  • user studies
  • behaviour
  • academic libraries
  • national libraries


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