IIED delivers major upgrade to online Publications Library

News, 25 August 2016
A new responsive design streamlines downloads and improves access for readers in the global South.

IIED's improved Publications Library allows better access to the institute's 6,700-plus publications from mobile phones and the global South (Image: IIED/Jon Knox)

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) has this week launched a major upgrade of its online Publications Library.

IIED's Publications Library includes more than 6,700 publications, ranging from briefings to in-depth research studies, to books. Ninety-eight per cent of these publications are available to view online or to download free of charge, and readers around the world download more than 750,000 IIED publications each year. Forty-eight per cent of IIED's publications were downloaded by the global South in 2015/16.

The library's new streamlined and responsive design aims to improve usability and download speeds. The responsive technology ensures that the publications site adapts its layout depending on what type of device is being used to access it and its screen size, from mobile phone to desktop computer. This is particularly important for users who access IIED's work via mobile phones and tablets.

IIED's director of communications Liz Carlile said: "We know that more and more of our readers – in the global North and South – are accessing our site on mobile devices. Our move to a fully responsive site will help access our research more quickly and easily."

Features on the newly enhanced site include:

  • Responsive design optimised for all mobile phones and tablet devices
  • Faster download speeds
  • A new 'live search' facility that auto-completes search queries
  • Improved links to related material on IIED's main website, www.iied.org, and
  • Improved download monitoring and reporting for senior management and project donors.

The project lays the foundation for more wide-ranging improvements in the future, including the introduction of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs). DOIs provide a unique persistent identifier for items published digitally – and because they never change, they make finding, citing and sharing research easier.  

The upgrade of the Publications Library follows an online survey of IIED's readers earlier this year that provided useful insights into how readers access and use IIED's publications. Our 'Best of 2015' report sets out the top 10 most downloaded publications for the year.

IIED carried out the improvements in conjunction with consultant Jon Knox, of specialist developers Frame of Reference Ltd.


For more information about the design and implementation of IIED's Publications Library, contact: 

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