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About the Merit Project

This is the logo for the Merit project


Merit (Making Excellent Research Influential and Transferable) is our challenging new initiative. Merit will be a service: its main objective is to make available to any user free of charge a selection of the best research outputs from UK universities. The outputs will mainly take the form of high quality peer reviewed articles that have appeared in a wide range of scholarly journals, but will also include book chapters, conference papers, and multimedia. All disciplines will be included. It will act as an effective showcase for UK research, both in the UK and around the world.


Merit's aims are:

  • to provide access to the best UK research for universities, schools and colleges, government, business and industry, the third sector and individual citizens
  • to create a partnership between everyone involved in the scholarly publishing process
  • to offer a guide to the best UK research and researchers, to assist raising their profiles and providing users with a route to identify them
  • to make the service visible through Google and other standard internet search engines

All aspects of the service will be free to the user. Our aim is to make this possible through a partnership between JISC Collections, publishers and authors and institutions. The project team is currently discussing publishers' involvement with individual firms and with industry bodies and investigating how to supplement published content with information from institutional and subject repositories.

The initial selection will be based on the outputs that universities selected for the RAE2008. We are discussing ways in which we can continue to develop the collection with universities and their representative organisations. We are also exploring ways in which Merit can be made financially sustainable.

About the Merit Project

Merit was first proposed two years ago, following a report investigating the feasibility of developing a service that offered some of the benefits of the Netherlands Cream of Science service (now absorbed into the NARCIS scientific information portal). It emerged in its present form in late 2008, and a small team consisting of the Project Director, Hugh Look, and Project Officer, Heather Haskins, is developing the service, supported by a Steering Group.

The project is a JISC Collections initiative. Our mission is to support UK education and research by delivering affordable, relevant and sustainable online content.

Merit is a challenging and complex project. Our approach is to try to deliver it through partnerships wherever possible, and this is the basis of our discussions with publishers, universities and funding bodies.

Last updated: April 2016