IReL – Irish Research eLibrary
This site provides information on the Content of the Irish Research eLibrary initiative, as well as background, history, membership and latest news.
While this site can facilitate links to publishers’ websites, the normal access point for fulltext access to journals and databases is via your own library’s website.
IReL the Irish Research eLibrary is a nationally funded electronic research library, initially conceived to support researchers in Biotechnology and Information Technology in mid-summer 2004, and following on the success of this, expanded in 2006 to support research in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
High-level research is both an academic and a national economic imperative, the essential component of a strategy to develop a knowledge-based economy and to position Ireland as a world leader in this respect. As a result of initiatives funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) through the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI), and projects funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) there has been a major enhancement in the research profile of the Irish universities.
In response to an invitation from SFI transmitted via the Conference of Heads of Irish Universities (CHIU, since renamed the Irish Universities Association, IUA), the university librarians submitted a proposal in June 2002 for the development of an electronic library, or research information resource. This proposal envisaged that the electronic library would be established on a consortium basis and available to the research community throughout the sector. Following favourable approval, IReL began in Summer of 2004 concentrating on resources to support biotechnology, and information and communications technology. This first (STM) phase of IReL continued until December 2009.
The success of the Science, Technology & Medicine (STM) phase of IReL resulted in the funding by HEA of a second phase of IReL to run from 2006 to 2009 to support the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) a major boost to researchers in these areas.
In 2009 additional funds were made available for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and the Institutes of Technology. The funding arrangements of IReL are described here.