1. A report arising from the review of libraries and related provision in higher education in the UK, commissioned jointly by the HEFCE, SHEFC, HEFCW and DENI, and chaired by Professor Sir Brian Follett, Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, was published in December 1993.
2. The Review Group devoted much attention to how information technology can help to meet the needs of library users and library management over the next decade. It proposed that the funding councils should jointly invest some £20 million over three years in support of a range of activities to further the development of the electronic library. Full details are set out in chapter 7 of the report.
3. The funding bodies published the Review Group's report for consultation in December 1993. The Councils were encouraged that overall the report was warmly welcomed, and that every recommendation was supported by a majority of respondents. Full details of the funding councils' decisions regarding the recommendations are contained in the following circulars:
4. Turning specifically to the recommendations concerning information technology, the funding councils have agreed to allocate funds to support the full programme with an initial allocation of £4.75m during the 1994-95 academic year and have asked the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) to take forward implementation of those recommendations. Funding for subsequent years will be considered as part of the annual review of the JISC budget.
5. At its February 1994 meeting, JISC agreed that an expert sub-committee should be set up chaired by Lynne Brindley, Librarian & Director of Information Services, British Library of Political and Economic Science, London School of Economics. This sub-committee is known as the Follett Implementation Group on Information Technology (FIGIT). JISC Circular 2/94 provided full details of the membership and terms of reference, and these are also included at Annex B to this document.
6. Over 200 replies to the consultation exercise were received from HEFC and DENI funded higher education institutions (HEIs), professional associations, subject bodies and other representative organisations. The JISC Secretariat has undertaken a detailed study of the responses related to the IT recommendations and these will be taken into account by FIGIT.
7. Overall the responses were very supportive of the IT proposals. Key points are given below. The issue of copyright was recognised by all institutions as being crucial and there was support for the extension of JANET and SuperJANET to all institutions. There was strong support for the proposals on electronic document delivery, with some preference for subject rather than regional based consortia.
8. Digitised text and on-demand publishing also received strong support with a number of institutions indicating a willingness to run demonstrator projects. There was endorsement of the proposal that refereed articles published electronically should be accepted in the next Research Assessment Exercise on the same basis as those appearing in printed journals and support for the recommendation that pilot projects should be undertaken to raise awareness and develop the academic credibility of electronic journals.
9. Some responses indicated that the proposal to undertake a feasibility study into an Arts and Humanities Datacentre should be included in JISC's overall datasets strategy and this will be taken on board. Some concerns were expressed about the economics of the proposal to fund the development of the CURL database and these will be addressed to ensure that the most cost effective route is taken.
10. There was support for the proposal to commission a feasibility study from UKOLN on a national retrospective catalogue programme and this is going ahead. Finally, the proposal that a national networked training programme should be established received very strong support and is being pursued as a FIGIT programme line.
11. JISC Circular 2/94 reported that a Programme Director would be appointed to take a lead in the development, promotion and implementation of the initiative. An advertisement was issued for this post in early July and it is anticipated that an appointment will be made in September. The appointee will work closely with FIGIT to ensure that the aims and achievements of the initiatives are widely known and disseminated throughout the higher education sector. Details of the post are given in Annex B.
12. FIGIT has decided to take forward the initiative giving priority in the following programme areas, which are described in more detail at Annex A:
together with a number of supporting initiatives and activities which underpin the main programme areas and other recommendations in the Follett report.
13. Given the very wide scope of the initiative and the strong desire to ensure that the overall programme contributes coherently to the development of the electronic library, and takes account of relevant work already underway, FIGIT does not propose simply to invite competitive institutional bids for projects in each category. FIGIT intends in the first instance to invite higher education institutions and other interested parties to submit expressions of interest in programme areas. Interest may be expressed in a variety of potential roles - to lead projects, to participate as a partner, to contribute resources, to act as a potential test or user site, and so on.
14. Expressions of interest will be evaluated with a view to steering the range of interests towards projects which will be of most benefit to and provide value for money for the overall community. In other words a collaborative and managed approach will be taken. In this context FIGIT reserves the right to share information from responses with other interested parties and with the wider community. Any "commercial in confidence" information should be clearly identified and will of course be respected.
15. FIGIT envisages a range of ways forward, depending on the programme area. There are likely to be follow-up seminars of interested parties to firm up on some programmes; town meetings to engage a range of interest groups and to develop potential partnerships for consortia; some open invitations to bid, other limited tender specifications, and where appropriate some direct commissioning of activity through FIGIT.
16. It is hoped that this staged approach will ensure that in the first instance institutions will not need to devote excessive resources to their response. It is also expected that the approach adopted by FIGIT will enhance the coherence of the final programme and ensure that it has widespread support within the whole HE community. Details of the format for expressions of interest are given in paragraphs 21-24. The proposed criteria for future evaluation of any bids are given in Annex C and institutions should consider these when compiling their initial expressions of interest.
17. Adherence to standards will be important and submissions should address this where relevant. FIGIT has already given some consideration to the standards framework for the programme, and this is being developed in consultation with a number of technical experts in the community. Details of the recommended standards will be supplied when bids are invited. The inclusion of proposed standards in expressions of interest would be welcomed.
18. Paragraph 257 of the Follett Report recognises the need to develop a model agreement with publishers regarding copyright, particularly in the electronic environment, and recommends that a pilot initiative between a small number of institutions and a similar number of publishing houses should be sponsored to see how copyright materials can be handled, stored and distributed electronically whilst protecting the publishers' interests. Copyright issues also arise in other areas of the Follett recommendations, e.g. in document delivery and electronic journal initiatives.
19. FIGIT therefore intends to evaluate a number of different charging mechanisms, metering mechanisms and contractual arrangements that might be appropriate for such developments. This will be undertaken as an integral part of the main programme areas outlined below. The anticipated outcome will be recommended model arrangements that satisfy the needs of HEIs and protect the interests of publishers.
20. The evaluation of the copyright elements of these projects will require some specific criteria which will include:
21. Submissions of expressions of interest should be limited in length to four pages. They should be accompanied by a completed version of the cover sheet at Annex D. A separate submission will be required for each different programme area. Where proposals do not fit specifically into a single programme category, please tick the field that is most appropriate and note other related categories in the outline description.
22. Ten copies of each submission must be provided and should be addressed as follows:
Ms A Colban
Joint Information Systems Committee
Bristol BS16 1QD
23. Responses must be received no later than 7 October 1994. Faxed copies will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. The FIGIT working groups will be considering expressions of interest at various meetings in late October and early November. FIGIT will then make decisions on shortlisting and the outcome will be announced as soon as possible thereafter.
24. Submissions should cover the following points:
25. General enquiries about this circular should be addressed to David Cook, JISC Secretariat, Northavon House, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QD: tel 0272 317250, fax 0272 317255, email D.Cook@hefce
26. Further reading related to this circular:
Both these documents are available electronically via JANET through the NISS WAIS service and the BUBL Bulletin Board.
1.1 This programme area will consider the funding of a number of document delivery services with a networked electronic component. These will have differing emphases, in order to widen the range of accessible and affordable services and to provide experience for exploring future patterns for service in a more distributed environment. Particular areas of interest include subject-based and geographical consortia; the development of technical tools and standards; the delivery of services direct to end users; and funding, costing and copyright issues.
1.2 Four main outcomes are anticipated as a result of this programme:
1.3 Expressions of interest are invited in the following areas to:
1.4 A small number of practical services will be funded at an early opportunity. It is expected that expressions of interest will be followed very quickly by requests for fuller proposals. These must have a serious intent to deliver full-scale services that can be proven within three years. The majority are likely to begin with electronic replacement of parts of paper-based document delivery services, e.g. electronic management. However there should be a clear development pathfor moving to full electronic document delivery and such proposals should be oriented towards electronic versions of print-on-paper (scanned images and/or PostScript files, for example). They could be straightforward imports or extensions of existing services from the UK or other countries. However, more forward-looking proposals are not precluded provided they offer the prospect of practical services within a short-term time frame.
1.5 Research and development proposals preliminary to, or supporting, full-scale services will be considered. The detailed approach and timescales will be developed in the light of expressions of interest from higher education institutions and other bodies. Proposals in this latter category are likely to involve significant extensions of the "electronic print-on-paper concept".
1.6 Particular value will be attached to proposals which address:
1.7 Further details regarding this programme area can be obtained from Ian Winkworth, Director of Information Services, The Library, University of Northumbria, Sandyford Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 8ST: tel 091 227 4126, fax 091 227 4563, email LBV6@unn.ac.uk
2.1 This programme area will consider the funding of a number of initiatives to improve the status and acceptability of electronic journals, and the promotion of new forms of electronic journals and opportunities for parallel publishing. It will be necessary to consider the main technical issues underpinning publication in electronic form and commission some pricing and usage studies.
2.2 Four main outcomes are anticipated as a result of this programme:
2.3 It is intended to hold discussions with a range of academic, learned society, professional and commercial publishing interests, in order to stimulate developments in this area. There is interest in considering new forms of licensing arrangements for journal provision in higher education (electronic, print and other forms); project partnerships with learned societies, professional publishers and others are sought; and activities to stimulate awareness of new possibilities for both informal and peer-reviewed electronic scholarly communication are of interest. Expressions of interest are sought in all areas of the proposed action plan.
2.4 Studies in the following areas will be commissioned on the basis of expressions of interest:
2.5 Major projects
2.6 Particular value will be attached to proposals which address:
2.7 Further details regarding this programme area can be obtained from Lynne Brindley, Librarian & Director of Information Services, British Library of Political and Economic Science, London School of Economics, 10 Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HD: tel 071 955 7218, fax 071 955 7454, email Brindley@lse.ac.uk
3.1 The Follett Report indicated the potential value of digitisation programmes in saving space in university libraries. Improved access is also an important factor. The digitisation and electronic storage of backruns of journals would contribute to the transformation of space currently occupied by stock into more work spaces for the increasing number of students. Such electronic storage could allow easier access by researchers and students from other institutions. It would also allow institutions to dispose of their holdings whilst retaining access to the material therein. There may also be benefits to publishers in that digitisation could obviate the need to hold significant stocks of relatively low use and low commercial value information.
3.2 The main outcomes that are anticipated as a result of this programme:
3.3 Expressions of interest are invited for a number of subject-based pilot projects to digitise backruns of groups of journals. The materials to be digitised should be those which will give maximum benefits to significant sections of the higher education community. Further funding in this area would then be linked to a commitment from a significant number of libraries to dispose of their backruns in order to relieve pressure on space. Consortia involving higher education institutions, publishers and system suppliers would be particularly welcomed.
3.4 Particular value will be attached to proposals which address:
3.5 Further details regarding this programme area can be obtained from Philippa Dolphin, Head of Library and Information Services, Learning Resources Centre, Thames Valley University, St Mary's Road, London, W5 5RF: tel 081 231 2525, fax 081 231 2631, email Dolphin_P@TVU.S
4.1 Documents may also be stored electronically for the purposes of customised on-demand publishing. Publishers, libraries and other interested groups may create electronic readers or anthologies of texts from a variety of sources and print them on demand or make them available electronically to students who may wish to print all or part of the material. Such customised texts have enormous potential for the support of taught course students in their essay and project work. They allow simultaneous access, flexible tailored arrangement of material, 24 hour networked access, and fast compilation and delivery of customised course readings. Finally, they take pressure off libraries which are seldom able to provide sufficient multiple copies of essential course readings. Mechanisms for copyright permissions and payments will be an integral part of this programme.
4.2 Four main outcomes are anticipated as a result of this programme:
4.3 Expressions of interest in the following areas are invited to:
4.4 Particular value will be attached to proposals which address:
4.5 Further details regarding this programme area can be obtained from Philippa Dolphin, Head of Library and Information Services, Learning Resources Centre, Thames Valley University, St Mary's Road, London W5 5RF: tel 081 231 2525, fax 081 231 2631, email Dolphin_P@TVU.S
5.1 There is a clear recognition in the Follett Report that many of the IT related initiatives which are recommended in the Report depend crucially on the development by library staff and others of the skills necessary to promote awareness of networked information resources and to train users in their effective exploitation. The Report calls for the creation of a national training programme with the objective of achieving a widespread diffusion of these skills throughout all HEIs.
5.2 The focus of the programme will be on networked information resources rather than general IT use. It is assumed that individual HEIs will take responsibility for ensuring that both academic and support staff possess the necessary general IT skills, supported by recent and existing national initiatives, especially ITTI. The use of the network is, however, central to the vision of the virtual library, and merits special attention in terms of training and awareness.
5.3 The programme will be funded for three years, but is likely to be significantly front-loaded in order to produce early deliverables. Where specific services are developed, it is likely that funding will be available in the later stages of the programme to facilitate the transition of such services to self-sustaining status.
5.4 Three main outcomes are anticipated as a result of the programme:
5.5 Expressions of interest are invited in three areas corresponding to the outcomes sought.
5.6 It is anticipated that considerable benefit will be derived from the availability of high quality generic learning materials which can be used either by those delivering training or for the purposes of independent learning by all categories of staff in HEIs. No prescription is being made at this stage as to the format (printed or electronic) of these materials.
5.7 It is proposed that six specific themes should be covered by the material:
5.8 The emphasis will be on the development of an understanding of essential principles, and of their relevance to the changing HE environment. Subject based guides will be developed under the programme area devoted to access to network resources. It is not proposed to develop documentation for specific services because this is being undertaken elsewhere.
5.9 The aim of this part of the programme is to encourage quality and innovation in the delivery of training by library and other staff. Emphasis should be placed on both the skills which need to be developed and the mechanisms which need to be put in place to ensure that these skills become widely diffused.
5.10 In this important part of the programme, it is hoped to make a significant contribution to one of the overall objectives of the Follett IT initiative, which is to encourage genuine cultural change so far as the model of information provision in universities is concerned. This should lead to more widespread acceptance of the concept of the virtual library and heightened understanding of the benefits which can be derived from new methods of information access. As part of the programme, there is particular interest in the creation of an electronic contact group with active representatives from all HEIs, and in the creation of a post (or posts) of networked information 'champion' to co-ordinate the contact group and orchestrate awareness raising events within institutions.
5.11 Particular value will be attached to proposals which:
5.12 Further details regarding this programme area can be obtained from Richard Heseltine, University Librarian, Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX: tel 0482 465436, fax 0482 466205, email email@example.com
6.1 The Follett Report recommended that funding should be provided through JISC to encourage the development of networking navigation tools and the growth of local subject based tools and information servers.
6.2 The main outcome will be to raise awareness of networked information resources, to explore the issues associated with running large scale services, and to ensure community involvement in developments at national and international levels.
6.3 It is not enough to launch a research and development programme designed to produce demonstrator systems. The danger in this is that the outcomes will achieve poor visibility and that little practical impact will be made. The exploitation of networked information resources is a permanent task and goes beyond research and development. It is therefore intended that a series of centrally funded initiatives should be taken with the aim of creating a national infrastructure capable of generating significantly more widespread use of networked information resources. Awareness and training is critical in this area but is not included in the list of activities, since it will be funded under other budget lines. The principal activities to be supported by the programme will be:
6.4 In order to achieve these objectives, four actions are proposed:
6.5 Further details regarding this programme area can be obtained from Derek Law, Director of Information Services, Kings College, The Strand, London WC2R 2LS: tel 071 873 2139, fax 071 872 0207, email firstname.lastname@example.org
7.1 FIGIT has decided to set up a separate working group to co-ordinate a range of supporting activities which underpin the main programme areas and other recommendations of the Follett report. Some of these activities were specified in the Follett report: it is anticipated that others will arise as the initiative progresses.
7.2 Network access and tariffs [summary para 354]: The Follett Report recommended that the funding councils should collaborate in securing access, at most advantageous tariffs, to advanced data telecommunication networks. Although this recommendation was aimed primarily at the JISC's Advisory Committee on Networking (ACN), there will be a need to commission activities to stimulate debate on and articulate community requirements which will then be referred to the ACN.
7.3 Monitoring development of standards [summary para 356]: The Follett Report recommended that JISC should monitor the development of standards. Although JISC's Standards Working Group is concerned with monitoring the development of standards, FIGIT intends to commission studies related to its own programme.
7.4 Feasibility study of Arts and Humanities Datacentre [summary para 362]: There has been growing support in recent months for the creation of a data centre to provide improved access to the wide range of electronic datasets which are now being produced in Arts and Humanities disciplines. Concern has been expressed that many valuable datasets generated in the process of research are not being preserved or made generally available. The Follett Report recommended that there should be a feasibility study of the creation of such a data centre. This study, which has been funded by the JISC's Information Services Sub Committee, is now underway and will report in the autumn. The matter will then be taken forward by a joint ISSC/FIGIT committee which will make specific proposals for action.
7.5 CURL database [summary para 363]: The Follett Report recommended that the funding councils should provide funds through JISC to support the continued development of the CURL database, its conversion to an on-line public access catalogue (OPAC) and its operation as a national service. FIGIT will initiate negotiations with the CURL Management Committee in September with a view to securing a cost effective arrangement on behalf of the community. A study will then be commissioned to determine the best approach to making the database available to the HE community.
7.6 Retrospective Conversion [summary para 364]: The Follett Report recommended that the funding councils should commission a study to establish whether a national retrospective catalogue conversion programme is justified. JISC has commissioned UKOLN (The Office for Library and Information Networking) to undertake a study and a report is expected in late Autumn 1995.
7.7 Integrated bibliographic databases [summary para 365]: The Follett Report took note of the fact that no systems exist to enable lecturers, librarians, bookshops, publishers and students to share information about books and other materials adopted in particular courses or modules. information flows between the various agents are often weak and there is much replication of the same bibliographic information in different contexts. The Follett Report took the view that a more systematic, managed approach could deliver significant efficiency gains, and help to ensure that the right books are available to students at the right time and in the right place.
7.8 It is proposed to develop a statement of functional requirements as the basis of bids for the development of a small number of demonstrator systems. Further details will be announced in a future JISC circular.
7.9 Library Management Systems [summary para 367]: In connection with library automation systems, concern was expressed in the Follett Report that there is still inadequate understanding on the part of both librarians and systems suppliers of the potential use of systems for the generation of management information, particularly in the area of the analysis of stock acquisition and usage. It was recognised that with the emergence of a new generation of library systems, equipped with modern software tools for the generation of management information, an opportunity exists to make progress in this area.
7.10 It is therefore proposed to commission a study leading to the formulation of guidelines to the generation of appropriate management information. This will take account of work already underway in this area, by, for example, NAG and BIC, and will also link with the initiative being taken to develop a common set of performance indicators for university libraries. It is not proposed to design or build an "ideal" management information software module or system.
7.11 FIGIT also envisages the need for studies in the following broad areas as the initiative progresses:
7.12 Expressions of interest are sought in any of these areas. The identification of other important topics that may have been omitted from this list would be welcome.
7.13 Further details regarding this programme area can be obtained from Lynne Brindley, Librarian & Director of Information Services, British Library of Political and Economic Science, London School of Economics, 10 Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HD: tel 071 955 7218, fax 071 955 7454, email Brindley@lse.ac.uk
The Follett Implementation Group on Information Technology of the JISC aims to ensure the cost effective implementation of the IT recommendations of the Joint Funding Councils' Libraries Review through a coherent Libraries Initiative. It will encourage widespread involvement of higher education institutions and other agencies, both within and outwith the sector, in order to exploit and deliver IT products and services to enhance the quality of information services in support of teaching, learning and research. It is envisaged that the Group will be in existence only for the three year implementation period.
The objectives of the Follett Implementation Group on Information Technology are as follows:
Ms Lynne J Brindley
(Librarian & Director of Information Services, British Library of Political & Economic Science, LSE)
Ms Philippa Dolphin
(Head of Library and Information Services, Thames Valley University)
(Director of Educational Services, University of Ulster)
Dr Richard Heseltine
(University Librarian, University of Hull)
Dr Andrew Jordan
(Head of Computing Services, University of Huddersfield)
Mr Derek Law
(Director of Information Services, Kings College, London)
Mr Ian Winkworth
(Director of Information Services, University of Northumbria at Newcastle)
Professor Charles Oppenheim
(Head of Department of Information Science, University of Strathclyde)
Dr Alan Robiette (Director of Information Technology, University of Warwick)
Professor Mike Tedd
(Department of Computer Science, University of Wales, Aberystwyth)
Mr David Cook
Ms Alice Colban
Ms Alice Frost
The Programme Director will be charged with taking a lead in the development, promotion and full implementation of the recommendations, working closely with FIGIT to:
1. FIGIT does not wish to be prescriptive about the details of the full bids that will be supported in due course under the initiative and will look to institutions to make proposals for the most effective means of meeting the programme objectives. In evaluating bids, however, the following general criteria will guide funding decisions. Special evaluation criteria applying only to particular programme areas are included in the relevant sections.
2. Institutions submitting proposals will need to display a high degree of knowledge of the problems facing libraries in the HE community and the potential for utilising IT in alleviating these problems. High priority will be given to ensuring that the products of the programme are effectively implemented and provide benefit throughout the higher education system. To this end most projects will be on a large scale and/or display potential for scaling up into full services for wide use across the academic community. Proposals will need to identify potential benefits to the HE community and a basis for assessing such benefits, and details for implementing them as deliverables, must be included in the proposal.
3. Competence in project management to fulfil the aims and objectives of the project particularly in the management of partnerships and consortia and the control of project resources, will need to be demonstrated.
4. Given the importance of maximising the number of institutions involved in the implementation and dissemination of the benefits of the programme, bids from consortia of departments or institutions will be encouraged. This applies especially to projects where transportability and common standards are crucial. Liaison with outside organisations such as other funding bodies, publishers and equipment suppliers will also be encouraged. There is no limit to the number of consortium-based bids in which an institution may participate, but only one non-collaborative project will be supported in each institution.
5. Bids from consortia, drawn from either within or outside the academic community, must identify a lead HEFC or DENI funded institution which will be responsible for the management (including financial control) and delivery of the project. Shared funding and other agreements with partners which can be seen to offer overall benefits and economies in the deployment of JISC funds will be encouraged, but will need to be shown formally with the breakdown of the total project cost. Such arrangements should not be at the expense of the main objectives of HE.
6. Projects are expected to have the active support of the participating institutions' senior management. Priority will be given to projects where institutions themselves propose to commit funds and personnel.
7. Where appropriate, proposals should demonstrate awareness of the work of other related initiatives and services in the academic community (such as CTI centres, TLTP projects) and indicate their relevance. Equally, adaptation and use of experience drawn from developments in Europe, the United States and elsewhere will be welcomed.
8. Projects will be expected to demonstrate a range of relevant performance indicators on which the project should be judged.
9. JISC's funds are allocated annually by the funding councils, and they are effectively obtained by a deduction from the block grants which would otherwise have been paid direct to institutions. This has consequences for the pattern and composition of the awards which can be made:
[Index of Circulars] [Meta-index of Papers, Reports and Circulars]
The Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) was funded
by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
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