The China Academic Library and Information System (CALIS)

The China Academic Library and Information System (CALIS)

Xiaoxia Yao, Qiang Zhu, Juanjuan Liu
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0550-1.ch001
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The China Academic Library and Information System (CALIS), approved by the State Council and headed by the Ministry of Education, is a public service system within “Project 211”. It is also a nationwide academic library resource sharing consortium. CALIS has as its goal the integration of academic library resources and services, and the development of higher educational digital libraries, so that it can consistently serve both higher education and basic education and promote global academic communication. CALIS plans to accomplish these goals by means of advanced technology based on the resources and services of member libraries, information service institutions, education and research institutions, and various information service websites.
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In 1990s, library automation in China was just beginning and academic libraries were seeking opportunities for technological innovation, consortium cooperation, and international development. Due of the demand for information, the improvement of technology, and the lack of funds, the concept of resource sharing came into mind. To make the investment more effective, the Ministry of Education made the decision that a public resource sharing system should be established amongst 211 Projects. Thus, CALIS was developed alongside CERNET, another public service system. The Ministry of Education assigned Peking University to be responsible for CALIS, while Tsinghua University was responsible for CERNET.

In November 1998, the former National Development Planning Commission officially approved the China Academic Library & Information System (CALIS) Construction Project Feasibility Report, which is called the CALIS Feasibility Report for short. The funds for CALIS Phase One came shortly after the approvement. Soon CALIS started construction and a year later passed review by the Ministry of Education, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and the Ministry of Finance.

Prior to July of 2001, CALIS Phase One passed the acceptance check organized by the Ministry of Education, NDRC, and the Ministry of Finance. The Academic Libraries and Information System established the information sharing service network based on the sharing of print materials. It consisted of four national service centers and seven regional service centers. Libraries signed the agreement to become CALIS members without any fee. Then, they had access to the services provided by CALIS.

In September of 2002, the Ministry of Education, NDRC, and the Ministry of Finance combined CALIS Phase Two and China-America Digital Academic Library (CADAL) Phase One to build the China Academic Digital Library & Information System (CADLIS), simultaneously issuing Several Opinions on Strengthening the Construction of “Project 211” during the 10th Five-year Plan.

Based on the advanced technologies of digital libraries, a digital service environment was established. CALIS was in charge of the construction of the CADLIS application system, service system, and resource integration. CADAL undertook the task of digitizing one million books in Chinese and English, which would become an important digital resource database in CALIS. It supported six kinds of services, including literature acquisition, reference consultation, teaching assistance, academic research, training, and individual services. This greatly improved the efficiency of information sharing and acquisition. This construction phase passed the acceptance check in August 2006.

On February 19th, 2008, the Ministry of Education, NDRC, and the Ministry of Finance released The Overall Scheme on the Construction of “Project 211” Phase Three. The overall scheme clearly defined the project’s goals to establish a worldwide advanced higher educational public service platform by promoting the modernization of education through informatization. In this way, the academic library and information system became an important project again, pursuing several missions including strengthening the development of imported databases, literature report systems, and the construction of Chinese and English full-text resources; building the open literature acquisition system, resource archive, and disaster recovery system; and accelerating the construction of the education and research digital library to promote informatization among academic libraries nationwide. The acceptance check met with success in May 2012.

With the development of the 9th and 10th Five-year Plan and CALIS Phase Three, CALIS has realized distributed resource integration on the basis of metadata and database construction for the purpose of literature security, improved the structure of domestic academic literature security, enriched digital resources, and increased the rate of literature security. It has thus become one of the biggest domestic academic digital resource integration platforms. CALIS developed a series of application systems in succession such as eDu, eDe, or unified authentication. These high-tech applications are advanced, functional, practical, and effective. CALIS also developed the idea of universal service and made it a reality, improving service infrastructure, increasing the rate of literature security over time, and strengthening services to universities and colleges at different levels nationwide. The services included resource retrieval, full text acquisition, interlibrary loan, and joint reference, among others, providing powerful support for education and research.

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