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Researchers, Research Councils and the UK Information Infrastructure Dr Michael Jubb Director Research Information Network.

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Presentation on theme: "Researchers, Research Councils and the UK Information Infrastructure Dr Michael Jubb Director Research Information Network."— Presentation transcript:

1 Researchers, Research Councils and the UK Information Infrastructure Dr Michael Jubb Director Research Information Network

2 ► “Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.” Samuel Johnson ► “If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain.” Adlai Stevenson

3 The Challenges of Connection ► The needs of researchers as producers of information and as users (consumers?) of information ► The research community/ies and the library and information community/ies ► Research Strategy and Information Strategy ► Research funders and policy makers, and library/information funders, providers and policy-makers

4 The RIN and its Sponsors ► The four UK Higher Education Funding Bodies ► England (HEFCE), Scotland (SHEFC), Wales (HEFCW), Northern Ireland (DELNI) ► The eight Research Councils ► Arts and Humanities (AHRC) ► Biotechnology and Biological Sciences (BBSRC) ► Central Laboratory (CCLRC) ► Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPSRC) ► Economic and Social (ESRC) ► Medical (MRC) ► Natural Environment (NERC) ► Particle Physics and Astronomy (PPARC) ► The three National Libraries ► British Library (BL) ► National Library of Scotland (NLS) ► National Library of Wales (NLW)

5 RIN Mission “To lead and co-ordinate new developments in the collaborative provision of research information for the benefit of researchers in the UK” ► all disciplines and subjects ► all kinds of information sources used by and produced by researchers (digital and non-digital) ► the research base both in the HE sector and beyond

6 What do we Mean by Research Information? ► Information Produced by Researchers ► Journal articles ► Monographs ► Reports ► Datasets ► Other outputs (software, performances, tools…) ► Information Used or Needed by Researchers ► Publications produced by other researchers (articles etc) ► Data and other outputs produced by other researchers ► Publications, reports and data produced by a wide range of individuals and organisations ► Manuscripts, artefacts, sounds, images

7 What do we Mean by Scholarly Communication? ►A “broad definition”? “the authoring, publication and use of academic research material among scholars, for the purpose of communicating knowledge and facilitating research in the academic community” J Eric Davies and Helen Greenwood “Scholarly communication trends- voices from the vortex: a summary of specialist opinion” Learned Publishing vol 17 no 2 April 2004

8 The RIN and Scholarly Communications ► Broad definition covers for the research community all that is involved in ► Discovering, accessing, analysing, manipulating and using the information resources – in whatever form – a that researchers need in the process of their research; ► Disseminating, publishing and making available to other researchers and stakeholders the information resources that researchers produce; and ► The systems, applications and tools that are needed to underpin those processes

9 Characteristics of the UK Research Information Infrastructure ► A highly-federated and distributed system ► Like other parts of the research infrastructure, arguably an under- invested system ► Key players ► National and copyright libraries, especially the British Library ► Other major research libraries ► The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and its major service providers ► Data Centres such as those of the British Geological Survey, the European Bioinformatics Institute ► Publishers, with services such as Science Direct, Web of Science etc ► International connectivity ► Opportunities and challenges

10 Key Challenges for the UK Research Information System: I ► Co-ordination and Collaboration ► Need for better maps of the distributed national collection of published serials, monographs and grey literature ► At item level (a national union catalogue?) ► At collection level ► Need for more efficient and effective management of collections in the interests of users ► Collaborative storage and de-duplication ► Interlending ► Need for co-ordination in collection development ► But recognise tension between national collection development needs and the interests/needs of institutions ► Focus on national gaps and needs, with carrots as well as sticks ► Political, Organisational, Technical and Financial Challenges

11 Key Challenges for the UK Research Information System: II ► Building and providing access to the hybrid intellectual infrastructure ► Published articles and books in digital and hard copy form ► Reports and other grey literature from a wide variety of bodies ► Research datasets, produced by public and private sector bodies, as well as by researchers themselves ► Increasing volumes of research, of data/information produced by researchers, and of data/information to which researchers need access ► Political, organisational, technical and financial challenges of sustainability

12 Key Challenges for the UK Research Information System: III ► What will the essential intellectual infrastructure look like in the future ? ► Different subjects and disciplines with different characteristics and needs ► Some generic issues ► Management of the data that researchers produce ► Proactive collection of informal material ( s, blogs)? ► Quality assurance: how and by whom? ► What kinds of bibliographic control? ► How effectively discoverable and accessible, by whom, and on what terms? ► What kinds of item and collection description? ► Classification systems, metadata, ontologies ► To what extent digitised? ► How and where stored and preserved? ► Challenges here are intellectual as well as organisational, technical and financial

13 RIN Strategic Aims ► To develop, with the active involvement of key stakeholders, a strategic framework for enhancing the UK research information infrastructure ► To ensure that the research community contributes to and collaborates in a programme of action tailored to its needs ► To act as an advocate for research information provision at the highest levels of policy-making in the UK, and to represent the interests of UK researchers in relevant international forums ► To co-ordinate action to improve the arrangements for researchers to find information sources relevant to their work, and how they may gain access to them ► To lead the development of a programme to sustain and enhance management and development of the aggregate UK collection of published hard copy research resources ► To co-ordinate action to ensure that the outputs researchers produce and need are retained and made available for use in the most effective way

14 Co-ordination and Leadership: Key Relationships ► Research Communities ► Research Councils, Learned Societies, Representative bodies, Consultative Groups ► Library and Information Communities ► Professional and Representative bodies ► e.g. Consortium of Research Libraries (CURL); Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) ► National Libraries ► The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and its major service providers ► Publishers Association, Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) ► International bodies (ARL, CAUL, DLF, LIBER, OCLC, RLG) ► Government and Related Organisations ► Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) and Office of Science and Technology (OST) ► Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and HEFCE ► Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

15 RCUK Position Statement on Research Outputs: I ► Based around four principles ► Ideas and knowledge derived from publicly-funded research are made available and accessible for public use, interrogation, and scrutiny, as widely, rapidly and effectively as practicable. ► Effective mechanisms are in place to ensure that published research outputs are subject to rigorous quality assurance, through peer review. ► The models and mechanisms for publication and access to research results are both efficient and cost-effective in the use of public funds. ► The outputs from current and future research can be preserved and remain accessible not only for the next few years but for future generations ► Extensive consultation with all key stakeholders

16 RCUK Position Statement on Research Outputs: II ► Key recommendations ► Support for development of repositories ► roles of Research Councils, universities, British Library and others ► preservation as well as access issues ► Requirement to deposit ► subject to copyright and licensing arrangements (work to be done with publishers on model licensing arrangements) ► in an appropriate repository (either institutional or subject-based) wherever such a repository is available to the award-holder ► Peer review to be maintained ► clear “kite-marking” of repositories and of their contents ► Pay-to-publish costs allowable in grants ► Talks with publishers and with learned societies ► Implementation and review ► To apply in relation to grants awarded from April 2006 ► Review framework

17 Key Challenges for the RIN Making a Difference ► To deliver a programme of work – in partnership with key stakeholders - that will make a visible difference, and in a short timescale ► To establish an authoritative national strategic framework for future development ► To improve scholarly communications in the broadest sense

18 Irreverent Final Thoughts “It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information” Oscar Wilde “I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up” Tom Lehrer


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