Shared Research Repository

screenshot of shared research repository webpage

The Shared Research Repository brings together research produced by cultural heritage organisations

The British Library's Research Repository is part of the Shared Research Repository for cultural and heritage organisations, featuring content from partner organisations, and making research more discoverable collectively than we could achieve alone.

The Shared Research Repository is a service offered by the British Library that allows partner organisations to establish and manage an open access repository on a shared platform. A single search across the combined content reveals collaborative research projects and interesting parallels between our separate specialist research fields. Partners can take advantage of our expertise in metadata, publications, discovery, and data management.

Current partners in the Shared Research Repository are the British Museum, National Museums Scotland, MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The separate repositories are:

Research underpins much of the day-to-day activity within museums, galleries, libraries and other heritage organisations. Whether it’s a major exhibition or a new way to preserve a unique part of our collections, it has probably been enabled by staff research. The Shared Research Repository ensures this research is discoverable and available to use by anyone, to support and further their own research.

Material in these repositories include articles and reports, books and book chapters, podcasts, datasets, exhibition texts, blog posts and more, all produced by our staff or research associates. Partners of the Shared Research Repository are all Independent Research Organisations (IROs) including the British Library: IROs undertake significant research that is not always visible. They share a need to make their research more discoverable and to meet the Open Access mandates of research funders.

Featured items from partner's repositories

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have made one of their acclaimed reference texts, Genera Palmarum: The Evolution and Classification of Palms, available for free, immediate download from their repository. The 732-page book, published by Kew in 2008, has been out of print for some time. Its addition to the repository saw a flurry of downloads and interest globally and it remains one of our most popular items from the Shared Research Repository.

Research done by partners is valued not only by our visitors, but also by our peers in the cultural heritage sector. Digital Collecting in Museums: Approaches and Opportunities, a symposium report by colleagues at the National Museums Scotland, is one of the most downloaded items in the NMS repository.

The British Library is a major contributor to library infrastructural activities in the UK and globally. Alongside articles about our collections and open datasets, around a quarter of our repository items relate to our professional library work. For example, our Response to the UKRI Open Access Review Consultation has been downloaded many times and supports the principles of Open Access.

Find out more

We’d be delighted to welcome new partners to join the Shared Research Repository for culture and heritage organisations and we are always happy to share more information about the service, just get in touch.