IARLA, of which RLUK is a member, represents the research libraries of Australia, Canada, Europe, United Kingdom and Ireland, and the United States. The international association has issued two statements: support for the Sorbonne declaration on research data rights, and a call to ease access restrictions on digital content during the COVID-19 crisis.


IARLA Statement on Access to Digital Content for Education and Research During the Period of COVID-19 Response

IARLA is amplifying the calls that our associations and others have made toward easing access restrictions on digital content during the COVID-19 crisis.

One of the widespread responses to this crisis in the post-secondary education sector has been a rapid shift from face-to-face to remote instruction. This trend is likely to continue for the rest of the academic term, and possibly much longer. As courses change, students need access to course materials and library resources in digital formats. Likewise, academic research in all fields — and most importantly, on urgent global challenges such as the pandemic itself — must be able to continue through this period of university and lab closures.

Firewalls, restrictive licenses, and unduly cautious or narrow interpretations of copyright stand in the way of remote instruction and research, as they limit access to course materials, library resources and peer scholarship. Such measures also limit the ability of researchers to share the results of their work.

The current situation calls for flexibility, good will, and collaboration so that post-secondary institutions can fulfil their educational responsibilities and provide remote services using in-copyright works without fear of litigation. 

Read the full statement here.


IARLA supports the Sorbonne declaration on research data rights

In January 2020, nine research university associations signed the Sorbonne declaration on research data rights, affirming their commitment to opening up research data and highlighting key roles that the academic community will play to enable data sharing and reuse. The declaration called on the global scholarly and research community to make data accessible and, by transcending disciplinary, institutional, and national boundaries, to accelerate scientific discoveries and economic development

The members of IARLA welcome and support the Sorbonne declaration and its commitments, and have issued a statement of support to this effect. Libraries work with the research enterprise to shape and influence public and institutional research data policy and practice to optimise research integrity, longevity, discovery and use. Curating, sharing, and preserving research data requires deep investment in infrastructure and expertise, and collaboration within and across research institutions is a key strategy for the sustainability of those investments.

Read IARLA’s statement here.