The library sector has, for many years, been experimenting and developing collaborative programmes in order to achieve a wide range of goals – from maximising economies of scale and savings to training staff and students. The UK Research Reserve (UKRR) programme is one example; it has coordinated journal de-duplication activities across the UK since 2007. It has processed more than 104km of material offered by participating members and enabled libraries to make strategic decisions about their collections and space. It has also fundamentally shifted the culture within and beyond the Higher Education sector.

The community has made significant progress in terms of journals, and programmes such as UKRR demonstrate what can be achieved when the community works together. However, monographs remain untackled at a national level and it is widely accepted that they present very different challenges from journals. Is the UKRR model the right one to manage the nation’s print monograph collections? In the monograph land, here in the UK and internationally, is there any local, grass-root initiative that has begun to look at relevant issues? What would a feasible, efficient, and economically viable model for national monograph management be if the community decides to tackle this collaboratively and on a large scale? Is there an appetite for such a collaborative model?

As pressures on space continue to rise, and as more and more materials become available digitally, the National Monographs Steering Group invites tenders for proposals to undertake a feasibility study that will explore various aspects relating to monographs, identify potential solutions to meet the community’s needs, and to address issues associated with the national monograph management agenda.

The feasibility study will be jointly funded by HEFCE (through UKRR), RLUK, and SCONUL.

The closing date for submission is 10 November 2016.  Full details with conditions regarding submissions are available from the Invitation to Tender: A Feasibility Study on Monographs 2016 10 19  Questions and final submissions should be sent to Daryl Yang (

Added 8 November – A set of Q&As to provide addition guidance around the ITT: Feasibility Study on Monograph – Q&A