NUSL Project

The National Library of Technology (NTK) is the central professional library governed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. According to its statutes the NTK ran – among others – project of building the Czech National Repository of Grey Literature from 2008 to 2011.

The project was supported by the Ministry of Culture and its full title was The Digital Library for Grey Literature – Functional Model and Pilot Implementation (henceforth the project). There were two participants: the NTK and the University of Economics, Prague.

The NTK has previously been responsible for distribution of grey literature data from the Czech Republic to SIGLE (the System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe), produced by the European Association for Grey Literature Exploitation – EAGLE. This system ceased development after 2003 and was incapable of supplying modern services in the electronic environment. This resulted in its dissolution in 2005. As a result, the coordinated recording of grey literature based on SIGLE principles was terminated in the Czech Republic. In 2005, the NTK organized several meetings with representatives of universities, central libraries and other institutions concerning potential collaboration in collecting grey literature at national level. Based on these meetings, the NTK gradually started to prepare this project. The project was initiated in 2008. Initially, at the turn of 2007 and 2008, a detailed analysis of the state of grey literature and its producers in the Czech Republic was performed. Through questionnaires, universities and the Czech Academy of Sciences were contacted, as the main grey literature producers. 39 out of 48 of the institutions expressed a willingness to collaborate in the future, with respect to agreed license conditions.

The main aim of the project was to create the Czech National Repository of Grey Literature (NUSL), which presents the NUSL Central Search Interface and the NUSL Digital Repository for long-term archiving of and access to grey literature. The software solution as such and the related area, metadata format and identifiers are described here. Before the acquisition of grey literature it was necessary to specify the typology to clearly define the subject of the collection. To ensure stable development, regular audits of the NUSL as a trustworthy digital repository are performed using the DRAMBORA tool and methodology.

The project was aimed at acquiring metadata and full texts. Great importance is still attached to the creation of a partner network of collaborating institutions from the fields of education, research and development, the civil service, the commercial sphere and verified open access sources. Partner institutions have continuously been contacted since 2009 through questionnaires regarding the typology of documents accepted into the NUSL.

In relation to the project solution, academic discussion on the topic of grey literature is encouraged on the occasion of the regularly organized Conference on Grey Literature and Repositories (formerly the Seminar on Providing Access to Grey Literature).

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