Library, Documentation and Dissemination Service 

Informative, bibliographic and documentary support unit for research

The Cajal Institute Library provides specialized documentary, bibliographic and dissemination support services to researchers at the center to facilitate and improve the exercise and development of their scientific activity.

Considered by the national and international scientific community as one of the most complete libraries in the world in the field of Neurosciences, especially for its rich documentary collection of international publications from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, its main objective as a support unit of the Cajal Institute is to offer bibliographic resources to its researchers, as well as disseminate, control and preserve the bibliographic and documentary collection it houses (Royal Decree 582/1989 of May 19).

Integrated into the CSIC Library and Archives Network, its staff is responsible for managing, processing and participating in all its processes, with the aim of providing the best service to the scientific community, taking advantage of all technical, economic and humans available.

Functions and activities

  • Acquisition, registration, cataloging and computerization of magazines, monographs, reprints, etc., both in digital and paper format
  • Registration, cataloging and computerization of donated material.
  • Access to electronic resources.
  • Access to the document (personal loan, interlibrary loan).
  • Documentation on the special fund “Cajal”, upon request.
  • Compliance with the Institutional Mandate for Open Access to CSIC research results: Digital.CSIC (Open Institutional Repository)
  • Information of the processes to the new incorporations of the center.
  • Statistics.
  • Courses, conferences and congresses.

Technical process


Journals: They are processed annually and determined by the researchers of the center, according to the administrative guidelines established by the CSIC through the Unit of Scientific Information Resources for Research (URICI).

Registration and cataloging

The new collections acquired, in any medium (paper, CD, online), are registered and cataloged in the Computerized Registry of the CSIC Library Network, using the established subject headings, assigning a location to each physical copy and assigning it a code. of bars to each document. This barcode uniquely identifies each copy within the Network Catalogue.

The same procedure is followed for donated material. As it is one of the most complete libraries in Neurosciences, it usually receives donations from private bibliographic collections specialized in the subject, both from national and international scientists.

Services provided 

Direct access to the funds

[Monographs and Periodicals]

Access to electronic resources

Access to the special fund “Cajal” 

Collection made up of the publications of Santiago Ramón y Cajal and the most outstanding of his disciples. Accessible, upon request to Library staff. This fund is treated in accordance with the provisions of Law 16/1985, of June 25, on Spanish Historical Heritage and current Laws on Intellectual Property.

Loan from our funds  

The monographs, except the old collection, manuals and dictionaries, can be borrowed by the staff of our center (staff workers, interns and contracted). Previously, they will have been prepared a loan form and a card that will also allow them to borrow from the CSIC Libraries that have this service in their regulations. The user card and the loans are managed through the “loan module” of the CSIC Library Network, which allows timely control of this service.

Periodicals are not loaned. In exceptional cases they can be removed from the facilities for a short period of time, notifying the Library staff, who will take note.

Interlibrary loan: GTBib and SURAD  

The Library provides the documents that are requested from its paper collections and from the electronic resources it has contracted, both from CSIC Libraries and from other institutions. A significant number of these requests correspond to the fund of magazines that are found exclusively in the Cajal Institute, within the national territory. Depending on the support of the document, it is sent photocopied, digitized, etc. In the case of monographs, as long as this availability has been previously established, if required, the original can be lent for a certain number of days.

The Library also locates the publications that users need and that are not found in our collections or in the electronic resources of the CSIC Library Network, requesting the document both from CSIC Libraries and from external Libraries. These requests are managed through the GTBib interlibrary loan service for university and scientific libraries, as well as through SURAD, the service of the CSIC Library and Archives Network, dependent on the Unit of Scientific Information Resources for Research (URICI ), which acts as an entry point for receiving requests to obtain documents from libraries outside the CSIC.


The Library of the Cajal Institute is also in charge of the dissemination of the scientific production developed in the center through the Digital.CSIC repository, which organizes, preserves and disseminates CSIC research results in open access.

Digital.CSIC has more than 250,000 records and 1,528 collections available, with a total of 153 indexed institutes. More than 60% of the records published in the repository are in open access.

Reorganization of deposits 

Despite the widespread systematic incorporation of electronic resources in recent years, the number of publications acquired in paper format is still very important, forcing periodic restructuring of deposits due to space limitations, making it necessary to move bibliographic material on a regular basis.

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