The manager of the Online Knowledge Library (b-on), Joana Novais, highlights some of the characteristics that distinguish this service from the Unit FCCN, underlining its importance in the face of the evolution of the scientific research paradigm. 

How can you describe the goal of b-on?

b-on (Online Knowledge Library) provides access to a very relevant set of scientific content, in subject areas ranging from the Social Sciences and Humanities to the areas of Science, Technology and Medicine.

The contents belong to some of the most important internationalpublishers and database providers, such as Elsevier, Wiley, Springer-Nature or Taylor and Francis.

For whom and in what situations can b-on be useful?

b-on's members are essentially higher education and research institutions, but also include public administration institutions, private non-profit institutions and also some hospitals.

By aggregating the demand from institutions in a centralized negotiation, b-on allows significant savings resulting from economies of scale, negotiating capacity and reduction of procurement processes. This allows its members to have access to a much more complete set of content - something that, individually, would not be feasible.

"(...) b-on is able to obtain significant savings resulting from economies of scale, negotiating capacity and reduction in purchasing processes".
Joana Novais, Manager of b-on

How do you evaluate the implementation of this service in the academic community?

Scientific research should be unique and innovative and, as such, it is essential to know what is already being done in a given area of research. In this sense, b-on is instrumental in providing access to one of the main raw materials of research: scientific knowledge. Every time a researcher or member of the academic community does a search on a certain subject and accesses a scientific article from one of our suppliers, the success of this gesture is ensured by b-on.

What are some of the most recent numbers regarding b-on's activity?

Currently, b-on has 61 member institutions and aggregates content from 19 publishers and content providers. The number of downloads ensured by b-on grows year on year, with more than 11.5 million downloads in 2019.

What is the future vision for this service?

The publishing world is undergoing a major transformation. There is more and more talk about the importance of research being immediately available. A very clear example of this has been the way in which publishers have been making all research articles on COVID-19 available, to be able to accelerate the transfer of knowledge between the various research groups around the world.

Naturally, this necessary paradigm shift is being made gradually and in concert worldwide. Therefore, one of b-on's main concerns at the moment is to closely monitor the evolution of new trends and to modernise itself according to the best practices!

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