Scholars Portal Services during COVID-19

  • Posted on: 24 March 2020
  • By: Anika

Dear colleagues,
Like many of you, Scholars Portal staff are currently working remotely to continue to support online library services to university communities in Ontario and across Canada. We are up and running and eager to enable you to provide a strong set of online services to your users.

Continuing Services
Most of Scholars Portal’s services, including the major content repositories, are operating as usual. Please continue to contact Scholars Portal by email for help or to report any problems. Phone lines are not being monitored, but Scholars Portal staff will respond to emails as soon as possible.

  • Books - books [at]
  • Journals - journals [at]
  • GeoPortal - geoportal [at]
  • ODESI - odesi-help [at]
  • Dataverse - dataverse [at]
  • Permafrost - permafrost [at]
  • Publishing Services (OJS/OMP) - ojs [at]
  • TDR Services - journals [at]
  • OLRC - cloud [at]
  • OUR - licenses [at]

Service adjustments
You may find virtual reference becomes an increasingly useful resource for your users. Scholars Portal is continuing to support your offering of virtual reference through Ask a Librarian/Clavardez avec nos bibliothécaires with the following in mind:  

  • Due to an expected increase in volume, many institutions are adding operators to the service; however, students may still see a delay in response time if volume increases past capacity.
  • Ask staff at Scholars Portal are onboarding new operators from many institutions to help meet this demand.
  • The number of hours the service is open is normally reduced during the spring and summer terms; however under these circumstances the steering committee and Directors of the participating institutions are considering extending the hours.
  • More information will follow if any changes are made. Contact chat [at] with questions.

There may be some disruption to the following Scholars Portal services:

  • The RACER system is still operational; however, most participating libraries are closing their resource sharing services or offering reduced, electronic-only options. The RACER team is working with each institution to make sure their RACER setup is appropriate.
  • Contact racer-support [at] with questions.


  • The repository of accessible texts continues to be available to students, staff, and faculty members with print disabilities, allowing users to find and access materials for their studies and research.
  • Currently, digitization services are unavailable. However, any requests for materials already available through Internet Archive will continue to be accommodated in real time as requests are submitted.
  • Along with the ACE Working Group, SP staff, in consultation with OCUL Executive, are investigating shared solutions to content challenges in order to continue fulfilling user requests and research needs.
  • Contact ace [at] with questions.

We will be sharing any updates as they occur on the Scholars Portal Twitter account.
Connecting with us
We acknowledge that many OCUL libraries have had to close their physical spaces and are working hard to continue to provide services to their communities. OCUL’s shared online services continue to operate and staff at OCUL and Scholars Portal want to enable you to provide the strongest possible set of online library services to your communities. We are available to help wherever we can. To this end, we will be working with OCUL Executive and other committees to advance discussion on ways to leverage these shared services to better help you serve your user communities during this unprecedented time. Suggestions and ideas will be discussed through OCUL Directors’ meetings. We know that much is being done at individual institutions to support users. With OCUL Executive's support, SP has assembled a list of COVID-19 guides and communiqués from OCUL libraries. We aim to keep this list updated so that schools can see how each is responding to the current circumstances:
Kind regards,
Alan Darnell
Director, Scholars Portal