National search portal for academic libraries

Since December 2020, users of our libraries have access to almost all of the scientific media holdings in Switzerland via a single portal called swisscovery. It lists more than 30 million books, series, journals and non-book materials as well as 3 billion electronic articles.

swisscovery is operated by the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP). This was founded by 15 university libraries. To date, 475 further libraries across Switzerland have joined. The previous library networks and catalogues will be replaced – including swissbibBasel Bern and IDS Basel Bern. At the local level, libraries in Basel will be connected to one another via a single search interface and will offer joint services.

In addition to the Basel Courier service which will continue to be free of charge, the fee-based SLSP Courier will be set up (CHF 6.- per ordered item), which will connect academic libraries throughout Switzerland with one another and which will replace the previous IDS Courier service and the NEBIS Courier service. The delivery time for items ordered via the SLSP Courier will be 48 hours.

Some function names as well as information texts are still to be adapted. For example, a clearer description of chargeable services.

Borrowed items in the user account
By default, the most recent loans are currently displayed first, but the order can be changed manually. In many cases it would make more sense if the oldest loans, i.e. those that are due soon, would be displayed first. This is being clarified.

Emails: Automatic emails from swisscovery (e.g. reminder letters)
Improvements are under consideration.

Emails: Sending emails from the title display
When sending emails from swisscovery, no sender is displayed. If you send an email to a library from a title record, please log in to swisscovery beforehand and enter your name and contact details in the note field, so that we can reply to you. We are aware of the problem and it has been passed on to developers. Alternatively, you can contact us via the swisscovery chat function, whenever possible providing the permalink of the title record to which your query refers.

Export functions
The export options in the "Send to" area (email delivery, printing, etc.) are displayed too prominently compared to the order options and will be moved to "Details" in the lower  screen area in the future.

Invoicing for fees incurred in swisscovery
You will now receive invoices for chargeable services and library fees from SLSP, the operator of swisscovery. The first invoice will be sent by SLSP at the beginning of April. It will contain the cumulative amount for chargeable services that you made use of since swisscovery went live, until the end of February (07.12.20 - 28.02.21). From April onwards, invoices will be sent monthly for the month before last (i.e. in May for March). You can see your outstanding fees in your swisscovery account under Fine + fees. If you have questions about your invoice/charges, please contact the library at which the fee was incurred.
Cash payments: You can also pay fees in cash at the counter in most Basel libraries, but only so long as the invoice has not yet been sent by SLSP.

Link to library information
The link currently leads to an unsorted list of all libraries participating in swisscovery. At a later stage, the link should lead directly to information about the displayed library.

Multi-volume works  / series
It is not yet possible to order individual volumes directly from the complete works. An improvement will be made available in the middle of March.  

Online link for e-resources
The link to our e-resources is currently only displayed correctly in the University of Basel network. Therefore, always activate the VPN client if you have a unibas account. External users do not currently see the link in swisscovery Basel. However, if the title you searched for appears – but without a link – this is an indication that a licence exists for the title. This issue has been passed on to the developers.  

Order forms (copies, interlibrary loans, acquisition requests)
We are working on a more streamlined registration process.

Page details for copy orders
No letters can be entered for the page numbers of an article order (e.g. Roman page numbers V-VII or page numbers from supplement volumes S4-S13). The problem is known and has been passed on to the developers.

Data protection – what will happen to my data?

When you register with SLSP, it will import your personal data (name, addresses, telephone numbers, email address) from your SWITCH edu-ID account into the new swisscovery  search portal.

You can update your personal information in your SWITCH edu-ID account at any time. The changes will be automatically transferred to swisscovery. Library-specific data such as loans, orders and fees will be recorded directly in swisscovery.

You can delete your user account at any time as long as there are no open transactions (loans or fees). To delete your user account, delete your SWITCH edu-ID account or contact SLSP.  

Transaction data are regularly anonymised and accounts in swisscovery will be deleted after 10 years of inactivity.

For more information on data protection, refer to the SLSP webseite.

User registration

In order to be able to use swisscovery and the SLSP Courier, you will have to register. A SWITCH edu-ID account is required for this purpose. We recommend that you link your SWITCH edu-ID account to your educational institution (if available).

You can register with swisscovery with your SWITCH edu-ID. If you do not yet have a SWITCH edu-ID account, you can set it up when you register. In doing so, you must consent to your SWITCH edu-ID account data being passed on to SLSP (see data protection provisions above). Existing library cards and UNIcards can still be used.

When a SWITCH AAI account is linked to the SWITCH edu-ID, the UNIcard library number is automatically copied to the library account and the address details also do not have to be added manually. Address changes therefore only have to be made at the University of Basel.  

The creation of a SWITCH edu-ID is not only essential for the use of the libraries, but after 10 November 2020, other university services can also only be used with a SWITCH edu-ID. Additional information

After creating a SWITCH edu-ID, the library user number must be entered when registering. You will receive additional information during the registration process and under «Help»:

Users who do not yet have a user card can have one issued at any circulation desk in the participating libraries. Prior registration with swisscovery is necessary.

Help with Registration

Please contact us if you need assistance with registering/creating the SWITCH edu-ID account and if you have further questions about researching and ordering in swisscovery.

Billing by SLSP

For fee-based services from swisscovery (e.g. copy orders, SLSP Courier, postal delivery), invoices are issued monthly by the operator of swisscovery, the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP). You can find all the information on invoices for fees at FAQ Billing by SLSP .