Can users add documents to the SuSanA library themselves? If not, why not?


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Can users add documents to the SuSanA library themselves? If not, why not?

Dear all,

We were asked the following question about uploading documents to the SuSanA library (

Mughal wrote: If a user would like to add a publication or two to the library, how can he/she do it?

Users cannot upload documents to the library themselves. Why not?
Because this library is a carefully quality-assured place where you can be sure that any document you find there is of good quality. Also, the information that goes with the document (bibliographic information, summary, categories for filtering) is carefully quality assured by the SuSanA secretariat. For this reason, we have opted against the option of letting any user uploading anything to the library themselves.

An exception can be made to this rule if a SuSanA partner organisation has many documents to upload. In that case, we can teach one of their staff members how to do it and then they can do it themselves. We did that in the past with SuSanA partner ACF. Of course, this is a nice option for us because it reduces the work load of the SuSanA secretariat.

If you have a document that you think should be added to the library, please simply send it to us by e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or when you attach it to your post, you could leave a quick note saying "I checked the library, it is not in there yet, could you please add it?". We are continuously scanning posts for attachments that should be added to the library, but occasionally we might miss one, so it is good if you remind or alert us.

We usually add documents to the library within a few days (up to a week), depending on how many we receive in that week and whether our team has the resources (uploads are mainly done by Carola or one of our interns).

One thing that is important to keep in mind: We cannot possibly upload every single sanitation document in the world to the SuSanA library. Therefore, we focus on
  • the very good and important ones
  • the ones that are not yet online elsewhere (e.g. MSc theses, PhD theses, evaluation reports, feasibility studies, factsheets, consultancy reports commissioned by important donors such as the Bill and Gates Foundation and so forth).
We currently have around 1700 documents in the SuSanA library.

Perhaps the following two graphs are interesting (prepared by Dorothee Spuhler, for the complete statistical analysis see here:

Weekly uploads of documents to the SuSanA library (by the secretariat):

Weekly downloads of documents from the SuSanA library (by the users):

And this screenshot shows what goes on in the background when a secretariat member adds a document to the SuSanA library (it is certainly not rocket science but requires attention to detail and adherence to the uploading guidelines):

Please don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have about the workings of the SuSanA library and its conenction to the Forum (see also this related thread:

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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