CLA’s DCS – Digital Content Store

The DCS is an optional innovative rights, technology and content platform for Higher Education developed by the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) together with universities, publishers and technology partners.

CLA is the recognised UK collective rights licensing body for text and images from book, journal and magazine content. CLA provides rights, content and licensing services to customers in the academic, professional and public sectors, and performs collective licensing on behalf of the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society Ltd (ALCS) and the Publishers’ Licensing Society Ltd (PLS) and other copyright owners. CLA is committed to helping customers access, copy and share the content they need, while making sure copyright owners are paid the royalties they are due.

The DCS is currently available to all CLA Licensed universities in the UK. At its core, the system has a searchable repository of PDF extracts created by universities and a workflow management tool.  When extracts are digitised by universities under the UK CLA Licence, they are uploaded directly to the system. Once an extract is uploaded and assigned to a course, students are able to access the extract via a secure link to the content held in the DCS.

The system can be used in any browser with no installation requirements. Designed for use by librarians, the list of requests from academics and lecturers at each university can be entered into the system and searched for on the bibliographic database. The request workflow will automate a range of checks on the selected material – from confirming whether the book or article is included in the CLA repertoire, to checking the extent limits by highlighting extracts already used and calculating the percentage of the book being used. The DCS is currently able to connect to two major library management systems to explore whether the specific book or journal is held in the library catalogue and check the ownership, which is a requirement of the licence. Automatic searches and checks will streamline the workflows of both HE librarians and academics, saving them significant time and enabling them to more quickly provide valuable content to their students.

Once the relevant automated searches and checks are completed, the user can then attach and upload the content in a PDF file of the chapter or the journal article. This can be done either by making a copy and uploading a scan to the system, or outsourcing the scanning via the Enhanced Higher Education Supply System (EHESS) so the British Library can scan it from their stock. Alternatively if another university has already uploaded the requested document, then that copy can be used, saving the need to duplicate the scan and upload process.

Adopting the new DCS platform does not require any additional investment from universities as it forms part of the service provided through the standard annual CLA Higher Education Licence. Designed specifically for the sector, the Higher Education Licence provides annual blanket permissions to photocopy and scan from millions of books, journals and magazines and from a range of digital material such as e-books and some websites.

By working collaboratively with universities, CLA were able to understand their pain-points and used that knowledge to develop a solution that best enables them to deliver and access content quickly and cost effectively.

Since the DCS’s launch, it has enjoyed widespread adoption, with over 60 UK universities signing up to use the service – this includes over a third of state universities. Students downloading content from the DCS is dramatically increasing. In just over six months of live activity, there have already been over 750,000 student downloads of content. There are currently over 500,000 active links live in the DCS.

Coming into 2017, CLA is looking forward to another exciting year of development that will see upgrades to the user interface, further improvements to the EHESS service, and the introduction of additional authentication options, such as EZProxy as well as the streamlining of existing authentication using WAYFless. CLA continues to develop the DCS to make copyright simple for HE librarians with easier access to content for HE academics.


© 2024 Ingenta. All Rights Reserved.