Connacht-Ulster Alliance launches new online research resource

Thursday, February 27, 2014 Press Office
Press Release

GMIT Library launches its second Strategic Plan (2013 - 2016)

A valuable new research resource for third-level students and academic staff in the North West has been officially launched by the three Institutes of Technology in the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA). 


The online research repository called ‘Cual’, developed by the libraries in GMIT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT, hosts extensive research material from staff and students in the three colleges, such as journal articles, theses, monographs, books, book chapters and conference papers.  This significant academic resource is also a platform which showcases research on a range of topics and disciplines to the general public on


The new institutional repository is the first collaborative academic initiative by the CUA. It was formally launched at a reception hosted by Letterkenny IT in Donegal last week (Tuesday 18 February) attended by the Presidents of the three Institutes and the Registrars from GMIT and LYIT as well as programme chairs.


Margaret Waldron, GMIT Librarian, says: “The CUA Institutional Repository is a highly significant project as it provides a resource which preserves and showcases at a worldwide level the research of academics, students and researchers in GMIT, IT Sligo and LYIT. The repository will raise the profile of the researcher and in turn increase the citations to their work. We are delighted to share this educational resource with the public”.


The name for the new research repository ‘Cual’ was chosen by staff and students following a competition to come up with the best title.

In a separate event, GMIT Library launched its second Strategic Plan (2013 – 2016) at a reception in the college on Friday (21 February). GMIT operates a number of libraries; the main Galway IT Learning Resource library and headquarters accommodated in GMIT’s award-winning ‘sails’ building on the Dublin Road, the award-winning architecturally designed library in GMIT’s Centre for the Creative Arts & Media at Cluain Mhuire, the Moore Library in GMIT Mayo, and the furniture library in GMIT Letterfrack.


The new Library Strategic Plan encompasses five strategic pillars: Learning and Teaching, Collaborations and Alliances, Research Development and Innovation, Student Community Engagement, and Internationalisation.


The first strategic plan heralded the development of an information skills module that is now embedded in first year programmes of study. The new plan seeks to enhance and further develop the information skills component of the first year module and commits to the development of an Academic Writing Centre to further develop the academic writing skills of GMIT students.


GMIT Librarian Margaret Waldron says “Ownership of learning materials is complemented by access to scholarly material facilitated by the advancements in technology. Since our original library plan, the library now has access to 80,000 e-books and over 30,000 online journals.”


“Print journals are being phased out where possible in favour of electronic journals to serve the needs of our users who now expect a large proportion of learning materials to be available on a 24/7 basis.”


GMIT library has a number of collaborative agreements in place with other colleges and organisations. A reciprocal borrowing policy is in place with NUI Galway, the Connacht Ulster Alliance (CUA) and the Marine Institute, which underpins the ‘Collaborations and Alliances Pillar’ of the GMIT strategic plan.”


See to view the plan in full.