What is UKRR?

Reader spaces in library

UKRR saves space in libraries by de-duplicating print journals.

UKRR allows you to share the responsibility of preserving low-use material with other libraries, while at the same time de-duplicating journal content in order to re-purpose space and save money. Researchers can access journal collections through our On Demand service.

History of UKRR

UKRR originated as a joint project between Higher Education Libraries, The British Library and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE - now Research England). 

The project started in 2007 and ended in March 2019, saving c120km of shelf space within university libraries. Due to the success of the project, the British Library is continuing the service as part of its remit as the national library of the UK.

Journal back-runs represent a valuable source of knowledge and in some cases, are unique or rare. As research behaviours change, users now have the choice to access electronic or print copies.

How is UKRR managed? 

An independent Advisory Board provides strategic leadership to UKRR, ensuring if fulfills its aims and meets the needs of users. The membership of the Board reflects the diversity of the research community in the UK.

How we work

The British Library accepts offered journal issues to fill collection gaps and thereby enhance the national collection; ongoing access onsite in the Reading Rooms or remotely via British Library On Demand


We accept academic print journals, in a robust and stable condition, suitable for continued use.


For access and preservation, the scarcity process ensures a copy of every print journal offered is held at the British Library, and another within the UKRR community.

How is UKRR managed?

UKRR is a service of the British Library, where the principal copy of the journal is retained and access is provided for researchers through its document supply service and reading rooms.


These resources will help you use UKRR

Latest News

UKRR: Twelve years of lessons learned

17 October 2019

The UK Research Reserve (UKRR) was a project which enabled UK research libraries to release space through the co-ordinated disposal of print journals.

UKRR progress towards service delivery - June update

19 June 2019

We continue the process of moving UKRR to a British Library Service and in May and June have been presenting our vision to the community.

More news stories

Case studies

…Using UKRR we have freed up valuable space so that we can upgrade the quality of our study areas…

Leeds University Library Joined the UKRR scheme in 2008 and the service is a key part of the stock management process. Jane Saunders explains how this is beneficial to the university.

…Being a member of UKRR has allowed us to free up physical space across the Library estate…

The University of St Andrews has been fortunate to be a member of UKRR since its inception and has found the process to be a fantastic collaborative initiative, vital in the rationalisation of the Library’s print journal holdings.