For more than 10 years, Nereus – the European network of leading social science libraries – has sought to improve the accessibility and usability of quality content from leading international institutions. Also, it has facilitated the sharing of expertise in knowledge provision and library services of value to researchers throughout Europe and beyond. However, in the light of a changing landscape replete with budgetary and time constraints, the consortium has decided to discontinue its formal structure and meeting schedule. Moving forward, we will adapt to become a lighter, more versatile forum, coming together on specific themes and at international events.
From September 2007 to February 2010, Nereus managed the project ‘Network of European Economists Online’ (NEEO), co-funded by the European Union’s eContentplus programme, with the aim to make digital content in Europe more accessible, usable and exploitable, through the creation of an openly available, multilingual portal called Economists Online. The service brought together current, high quality research, thereby increasing the visibility of researchers’ material and delivering a real boost to the repository development and Open Access policies of partners, as well as building up expertise on a number of prescient issues, from metadata standards through to intellectual property rights.
The NEEO project and subsequent portal has led to a number of substantive benefits which will continue to have an impact: the knowledge gained through our work; the discoverability, accessibility and usability of research outputs; the conditions for use and re-use, and the forwarding of content to information providers such as RePEc. Since the completion of the project, we have extended our scope to other social science disciplines and refocused the network as a platform to exchange knowledge, best practice and new ideas.
The desire persists to preserve our unique elements of subject-focused, international cooperation, and we will continue to communicate with one another, meet at events and collaborate on projects of mutual interest on an ad hoc basis. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners, both past and present, for their contributions, dedication and support, and wish them every success in the future.