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UKOLN is supported by: Providing a Support Infrastructure for Digital Library Programmes Marieke Guy QA Focus A centre of expertise in.

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Presentation on theme: "UKOLN is supported by: Providing a Support Infrastructure for Digital Library Programmes Marieke Guy QA Focus A centre of expertise in."— Presentation transcript:

1 UKOLN is supported by: Providing a Support Infrastructure for Digital Library Programmes Marieke Guy QA Focus A centre of expertise in digital information management Richard Waller NOF Technical Advisor

2 Introduction This presentation will: Introduce the programmes served by the support mechanism Explain each support services rationale Give information on partners in the service Describe each services users Describe each services activities Compare and contrast the services approaches Examine the lessons learned over the service duration Summarise recommendations for new programmes

3 NOF-digitise Programme Programme Life: August 1999 to December 2004 £50 million funding to put information that supports lifelong learning into digitised form. It brings together a wide range of partnerships and organisations and is designed to support lifelong learning under one of three broad themes: –cultural enrichment –citizenship –re-skilling Data resources comprised a considerable proportion of newly digitised material Resources needed to be accessible, interoperable, durable and represent value for money

4 Rationale of NOF TAS Need for informed support and advocacy of Technical Standards and Guidelines Need for assistance in achieving standards compliance Need for detailed and project-specific advice Need for repository of standard and generic advice Need for input into development of Technical Standards & Guidelines Need for input into creation of Programme Manual Need for examples of best practice Need for means of communication to, from and between projects

5 The Partners Distributed team –UKOLN, University of Bath –AHDS (Arts and Humanities Data Service), Kings College, London Skills –UKOLN - Access (Web sites), Web site design and implementation, detailed technical support, support coordination, policy, documentation –AHDS – Digitisation, policy, Web site design

6 Nature of Users (1) Nof-Digi projects come from higher education, local authority, museum and archive backgrounds Fairly heterogenous group A very wide range of technical competence A variety of relationships with projects technical developers, ranging from in-house to commercial third-party with parent- child organisational relationships in between Enquiries can come direct from project managers, technical developers, cataloguers, etc.

7 Nature of Users (2) NOF is composed of a project leader and case managers but with access to other forms of advice such as Resource Fairly homogenous group but which seeks advice on very varied matters from detailed project-specific issues to policy Its principal role is supporting and even enforcing delivery through progress-tracking and so often seeks project-specific advice NOF will also seek advice on more general issues including policy and the balance between standards and real-world implementation

8 Activities of Service (1) Web site: Information Papers Useful Pointers FAQs – divided across different areas of the implementation cycle: –Web site design, Hardware and software, File formats, Legal issues, Digitisation, Metadata and Compliance Project-specific advice: Email enquiries Telephone enquiries Site visits Training sessions and workshops Discussion list

9 Activities of Service (2) NOF-oriented advice: Review meetings Case manager-oriented surgeries Policy review and advice NOF-related discussion lists

10 JISC 5/99 Programme August 2000 to July 2003 Improving the applicability of resources for learning and teaching Previously data resources used primarily for research Increasing use by integration into JISCs Information Environment Resources needed to be accessible, interoperable, durable and represent value for money Technical development needed to be rigorous and based on best practices Standards and Guidelines to build a National Resource document (based on eLib Standards and Guidelines)

11 Rationale of QA Focus Compliance had never been checked before QA Focus post funded in early 2002 for 2 years initially as a support mechanism for 5/99 Aim was to ensure that: –projects comply with standards and recommendations –projects make use of best practices –projects use quality assurance procedures –projects are advised and supported Enforcement versus encouragement Developmental - explaining reasons for compliance, documenting examples of best practices and providing advice on implementation and monitoring

12 The Partners Distributed team –Initially UKOLN, University of Bath and ILRT (The Institute for Learning and Research Technology), University of Bristol –Now UKOLN and AHDS (Arts and Humanities Data Service), Kings College, London Time –Intermittent Project Manager time –0.5 FTE UKOLN, 0.5 FTE AHDS Skills –UKOLN - Access (Web sites), software, metadata, service deployment –AHDS – Digitisation, some learning and teaching

13 Nature of Users 5/99 projects came from HE Mainly technically competent Fairly homogenous group They were divided into the following clusters: –Images –Moving image and sound –Access to museum resources –Enhancing JISC-funded data services –Infrastructure –Virtual environments –Access to learning and teaching resources

14 Activities of Service (1) Documentation and Advice –Briefing Papers –Case Studies – written by the projects –FAQs –Descriptions of tools and architectures for projects to implement best practices –Pointing users to the correct advisory services The QA Focus Toolkit - self-assessment toolkit, more than just a tick box approach Surveys of project Web sites In-house QA – policies, procedures and audits

15 Activities of Service(2) Providing Motivation - explaining why compliance with standards is important Workshops –Workshops for 5/99 - Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham –General standards Workshops –Presentations at conferences Liaising –with individual projects –with the Advisory Services over their provision of advice and address maintenance and feedback mechanisms –With JISC about requirements for future programmes

16 Convergence and Divergence of Approach Reactive Lower level Hands on Pre-emptive Higher level Self assessment Documents Workshops Motivation NOF TASQA FOCUS

17 Lessons Learned The earlier support mechanisms are introduced in a programme the greater the impact and service responsiveness Ideally they should be involved in the creation of the standards on which they will advise There is a conflict between advice and real world implementation that must be handled flexibly Some projects want to be told exactly what to do, others want to do exactly what they want If projects are to implement standards they need to understand them clearly and why they should use them You cannot prescribe everything nor anticipate everything The deliverables from a programme are not just the resources created but the lessons learned Process is easily as important as product

18 Lessons for New Programmes A support structure needs to be implemented as part of the design of a programme Advisers need to be involved in the standards creation process Training sessions/workshops are great morale-boosters Case studies really help but need to be timely A support structure needs the backing of its funders and programme managers To work well, a standards document needs to be tied in with support and offer practical examples Decide on the redline areas that must be implemented for interoperability, prioritise their support and sustain with a variety of aids; be positive but also pragmatic about how much of the remainder should be realised.

19 Questions? QA Focus - NOF TAS -

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