DERA (Digital Education Resource Archive)

DERA is our Digital Education Resource Archive, a repository of official publications in the areas of education, training, children and families, managed by library staff here at the UCL Institute of Education.

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With a rapidly increasing number of government reports and guidance only published in digital format and the added challenge of capturing different versions of documents made available in HTML format before they are updated and no longer retrievable, DERA provides effective access to resources in the field of education, which are saved in pdf format and stored in the repository. All the links are therefore stable and the publications available in perpetuity.

Our repository is completely open access, allowing anyone to perform a search and download documents, thus embodying UCL’s commitment to open scholarship. Our staff and students often reach DERA via Explore, but for external users the way in is mostly via a search engine. For example, we’ve noticed an increased number of DERA links in Google Scholar, a sign that this resource is cited more and more in academic publications.

A quick look at the list of over one hundred organisations included in the repository reveals that these, far from being only government departments, are in fact a mix of official bodies, think tanks and quangos. And the list is bound to grow, as we’re regularly in touch with potential new organisations. For example, we have recently added The Sutton Trust and the Office for Students.

From a chronological point of view, DERA resources span from the mid-1990s, when the first signs of a shift from print to electronic publishing began to appear, to today, with a steady increase in the number of documents added each year. At the moment, the repository includes almost 31,300 resources, of which about 300 published since the start of this year.

Ensuring that DERA remains current and relevant to users is obviously a priority, that’s why new items are added on a daily basis, often on the same day they are published, and always in respect of existing copyright restrictions.

DERA is a fantastic resource, heavily used by UCL students and staff, as well as teachers, policy makers and many others who work in education. We are grateful for all the interest and determined to offer a great experience to all our users, by ensuring DERA continues to be a reliable and authoritative source of information.

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