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Engineering Library: News

Information about the Department of Engineering Library, including information for researchers


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This page will be regularly updated with news and updates from the Engineering Library and other Cambridge University Libraries.

Elsevier Town Hall Meetings

What do the Elsevier negotiations mean for you?

Virtual "Town Hall" meetings for researchers, students and staff:

9 September 14:00-15:00

16 September 11:00-12:00

The contract between academic publisher Elsevier and UK Universities is due for renewal in December 2021. The UK Universities sector is entering negotiations with Elsevier with two core objectives: to reduce costs to levels UK universities can sustain, and to provide full and immediate open access to UK research.

The outcome of negotiations may affect how you read and publish research. If we have to step away from a deal, the way you access some publications may change. Many funders have open access requirements, and a deal could mean that you can publish in open access journals ‘for free’ as the cost are incorporated in the deal, as is already the case with many other publishers. If a deal cannot be reached, some Elsevier journals may no longer fulfil funder policies.

Come along to a virtual town hall meeting to hear more about the aims of the negotiations and their potential impacts, and to contribute your own views to the debate.

Book your place and find out more at

You can find out more about the negotiations on the University of Cambridge Open Access website.

You can submit questions in advance of the meeting through the Online Form.

Optical Society of America Conference Proceedings Online

The Department of Engineering has now made the conference proceedings of the Optical Society of America (OSA) available online.

You can access the conferences online directly, or go to the Cambridge University Libraries A-Z. You can also find each of the conference proceedings titles via the iDiscover catalogue.

The conference proceedings number over 800 meetings and comprise over 5,000 conference videos.

Of particular interest to Engineers will be the availability of the conferences on Optical Fibre Communication, Frontiers in Optics, and Digital Holography and Three-Dimensional Imaging.

Read more about the OSA conference proceedings at the EJournals@Cambridge blog.

Elsevier Negotiations: Update and Consultation

The University of Cambridge is in negotiations with the publisher Elsevier and has opened a consultation with academics and staff to hear your views. In a blog post for the Unlocking Research blog, the University Librarian, Dr Jessica Gardner, introduces the context behind the negotiations and outlines how you can share your thoughts and respond to the consultation. Dr Gardner writes:

"As Cambridge University’s Librarian, I am mindful of the need for our academics to be able to access the journals they require and publish in the journals they feel most befit their research. The library is here to support Cambridge’s academic mission to develop and share new knowledge, which requires comprehensive access to the scientific record. Through the coming months, as we continue our negotiations with Elsevier, we want to listen to the academic community to better understand how these negotiations may impact their work". 

Read more on the Unlocking Research blog, and add your response to the University's Consultation

British Standards Online (BSOL) plug in update

British Standards Online (BSOL), the teaching, research, and study tool for a broad range of courses and disciplines, provides full text access to thousands of BS, BS EN, BS ISO, PAS standards.

At the start of 2021, BSI began working with BSOL clients to activate a new security feature that supports access to documents within the platform.

From 1 September 2021, all users at academic institutions will need to have the FileOpen plug-in installed on your device in order to access BSI documents within BSOL. 

The digital security of intellectual property is important for BSI, who also wish to protect users from potential and unintentional fraudulent activity and  from copyright and intellectual property breaches. This extra layer of security to BSI documents helps to achieve this. The licence for BSI documents states that it is for a single user on a single device but in practice BSI have allowed the document to be used on up to three devices, to support those of you moving across devices. Please ensure that you’re connected to the internet when you open the documents for the first time to authenticate them and use Adobe or an equivalent PDF viewer.

Find out more on what’s changing via the BSI website, and access the guidance document which allows you to test the plug-in feature. 

Please contact if you have any concerns.

The University of Cambridge and Elsevier

The contract between the publisher Elsevier and UK Universities is due for renewal in December 2021. The sector is entering negotiations with the aim of securing a read and publish agreement that converts subscription expenditure to support immediate open access publishing and maintains access to paywalled content for a reduced fee. So-called ‘transitional’ or ‘transformative’ agreements (TAs) are supported by Plan S funders with the goal of achieving full and immediate open access.

You can read more about the negotiations via the News Story on the Cambridge University Libraries website, and further information is available on the University of Cambridge and Elsevier website

O'Reilly for Higher Education subscription

O'Reilly for Higher Education subscriptionNew subscription to O'Reilly for Higher Education

The Cambridge University Library ebooks team are delighted to announce that a year-long subscription has been taken out to O’Reilly for Higher Education (OHE).

University staff and students previously had access to OHE through a two-month trial in the spring, and the new paid-for access has followed on seamlessly from the trial thanks to flexibility from O’Reilly. OHE holds titles of interest across STEMM with a particular strength in technology.

iDiscover holds records for individual titles from O’Reilly, and you can explore the O'Reilly platform via this direct link (Raven login required).

Engineering Village platform trial promotion

Cambridge University members have trial access to the Inspec, Inspec Analytics, and Compendex databases on the Engineering Village platform. We are looking to understand the potential benefit of these resources to scientists in Cambridge and ask for your feedback.

Please see our Welcome Message here.

You can also find out more details about the functionality of Engineering Village and Inspec Analytics here.

Your trial start date: 03 May 2021

Your trial end date:  11 June 2021

This limited trial access is for product testing purposes only and will be subject to the terms set forth in the Elsevier terms and conditions, including but not limited to the usage restrictions and limitations of liability set forth therein.

Engineering Village is a specialized discovery platform where researchers can effectively search multiple engineering databases all in one place. For more information about any of the databases available on Engineering Village, please visit the Engineering Village information page.

We strongly encourage you to explore the training materials available online at the getting started page. Created by our in-house librarian, these resources provide thorough instructions on searching in Engineering Village and helpful tips for saving time and simplifying the research process.

Access is provided to you via:

Direct IP access on the University Data Network (“on campus”)

Via VPN off campus

Via EZproxy off campus

Postdoc Café: Managing Your Online Profile

All School of Technology Postdocs are invited to the Easter Term Postdoc Café on Tuesday 25 May 2021, 11:00-12:00.

The Café is a chance to meet and chat with other Postdocs from around the Technology Departments and subjects.

This term, we will be looking at online profiles: how to create, manage, and curate them.

There will be a brief presentation and case study followed by plenty of time for Q&A and discussion.

Bring your questions and a cup of tea, coffee or your beverage of choice, and join us!

To book your spot, click the training page here

Publish Open Access Free of Charge

Cambridge researchers can now publish open access with no charge in journals that are part of "Read And Publish" or "Transformative" Agreements. Here’s what you need to know.  

The University of Cambridge is signing agreements with a growing number of publishers to enable researchers at the University to publish primary research and review articles Open Access.  

These agreements are on a read and publish model: the publisher receives payment for providing access to their journal portfolio and payment for publishing, bundled into a single contract.   

What does this mean for you?   

If a journal is covered by one the deals, you will not be charged open access fees provided your paper is a research or review article, and has a University of Cambridge affiliated corresponding author.  Costs for Open Access publishing have been met centrally, arranged by Cambridge University Libraries directly with the publisher.   

Which journals are covered by a Transformative Agreement?  

Currently the University has signed transformative read & publish agreements with 12 publishers, covering over 5000 journals.    

Information about these publishers is provided on the University Open Access website, where you will also find a list of the journals where you can publish with no Open Access fee. This list is updated regularly.

For further information please visit the webpage on Open Access Agreements or contact the Open Access Team by email at  

New Ebooks Collections Available

New Ebooks collections are available for University of Cambridge students, staff and researchers. 

Of particular relevance to Engineering are:

Science Direct Mathematics Focus Collection, with nearly 6,000 maths and physics titles available until the end of 2021

O'Reilly for Higher Education Collection, featuring technology and business content from over 250 publishers, available until 20 April 2022

Morgan and Claypool Ebooks, including over 350 titles in Engineering and Computer Science

Find out more on the ebooks@cambridge blog.

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