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.

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 gaps in its own stock, thereby enhancing the national collection; providing 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

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.

Latest News

Coronavirus notice

26 May 2020

To keep our users and all our staff safe and healthy we’ve taken the decision to close our physical sites in London and Boston Spa for the time being, and suspend our public events.

UKRR: A collaborative collection management success story

16 March 2020

UKSG Journal Article summarising the achievements of the UK Research Reserve

Accessing British Library online content and services

19 March 2020

We're carefully planning a return to our public spaces that keeps everyone safe, and we're always open online.

More news stories