Study in Korea Series: Using RISS (Research Information Sharing Service)


One of my research interests would be fan participatory culture. I have read some books and articles regarding fan culture and I can say that Henry Jenkin’s Textual Poachers is one of the best books I have read. I was able to borrow a copy of the book from my previous university but I was not able to make a copy of it except for the pages I needed back then. Since I am planning to do a research related to fan participatory culture, I tried to look for the book on our library’s database but unfortunately they do not carry the book. Even the National Library of Korea or Seongnam City Library does not have the book! There is an available e-book of Textual Poachers but honestly, I am not a fan of e-books. I would rather pay extra bucks to get the physical book so that I can write notes, highlight sentences and put marks on important pages. I know we can do these stuff using e-books and Adobe Acrobat too but it’s too stressful for my eyes and brain ㅋㅋ. I tried to look for the book online using Kyobo Book’s and Youngpoong Bookstore’s websites and the good news is that they have the book! But the bad news is they still need to order it abroad and it will take time for it to arrive plus the cost of the book is way over my allocated budget ㅠㅠ. I was about to give up when my roommate told me that I could check the database of other Korean universities via RISS, which is an acronym for Research Information Sharing Service. So, what is RISS?

I did some research about RISS on the internet. Basically, RISS is a database which provides access to millions of resources such as theses, dissertations and journals related to Korea and Korean Studies. I felt quite ashamed that I didn’t have any idea about RISS even if my major is related to Korean Studies lol. Also, RISS provide access to the bibliographic databases of different Korean universities.

RISS Homepage

RISS Homepage

Before you can avail of the services offered by RISS, I think your school library needs to be a subscriber. The Academy of Korean Studies’ library definitely provides access to RISS so I didn’t think twice to register. Registration is free and I just provided them with my details such as my name, student number, e-mail address and phone number. As far as I can remember, I was also asked to input the university/organization where I belong.

After I registered on RISS’ website, I tried to look for the book Textual Poachers on the search bar and hooraaay there are available copies in other universities like Korea University, Sogang University, Ehwa Women’s University and many more!! My roommate told me that I could do an inter-library loan through RISS and she also taught me how to use the website and how to request for a book loan.

The process was easier than I’ve expected! First, I looked for the book then I chose a school which carries the book. I chose Korea University’s library and I just waited for AKS and KU’s libraries to process my request. Requesting for the book is free but you need to pay for the shipping fees to and from KU’s library which costs 5,000 won (4.5 USD; 201php). I think the price is not bad and the service was really quick!

Snapshot of my transaction

Snapshot of my transaction

I sent the request last Sunday (March 29) and I got the book today (April 1)! I received an e-mail and a text message from both RISS and our library about the arrival of the book and I immediately went to our librarian’s office and asked for the book. The librarian told me that I can borrow the book for 15 days and it can be extended for another week after the grace period is over. I didn’t ask for any extension but still, she extended my borrowing time from 15 days to 22 days ㅋㅋ. I handed the 5,000 won payment to her and I received my book!

Status of the transaction

Status of the transaction

Tadaaaaaaah! I already got a copy of Textual Poachers by Henry Jenkins^^ RISS services are really helpful and convenient to use. At least I don’t have to go to the other university’s library anymore just to borrow a single book! It saves time, money and energy haha! I think foreign scholars in Korea should avail of this kind of service whenever they are having a hard time looking for the books on their own library.

Tadaaaah! Got the book!

Tadaaaah! Got the book!

So if you are a student in Korea and if you are looking for a book which is not available in your school library, try using RISS and their services! Very quick, easy to use and easy to access =D Should you have any questions related to using RISS like the registration process of how to borrow books, don’t hesitate to ask^^


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