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Project web site

Programme area
On demand publishing

Contact details
Ms Freda Carroll, Project Coordinator
Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX
Phone: 01482 465966 Fax: 01482 466205

Mr John Kennedy, Technical Coordinator
Library, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, BT37 0QB
Phone: 01232 366235 Fax: 01232 366917

Project description

as of May 2nd 1997


The Follett Report recognises the extreme difficulties now faced by students in gaining access to books and other learning materials. The Eurotext project aims to develop a collaborative, inter-university, electronic resource bank which will significantly enhance student access to learning materials relating to the European Union and to European integration.


Most HE institutions offer courses with a European dimension. However, students frequently experience difficulty in obtaining access to the required materials, especially in institutions without European Documentation Centres. Lecturers themselves also spend a great deal of time tracking down the documentation which they need to use in their teaching. The Eurotext project will benefit both groups by providing a single source of the key documents in a wide range of topic areas. In the first instance this will be mainly official documentation, but it is hoped to expand the coverage in the future.

Lecturers and students will be able to access the core database via the World Wide Web. It will also be possible for lecturers to combine documents obtained from Eurotext with locally-produced materials, perhaps in a Web environment or as a printed course pack. Eurotext will also point to related information resources, allowing students to explore more widely for relevant information.

An important aspect of the project is the involvement of academic staff. A network of expert academics will take responsibility for selecting the key learning materials to be made available via Eurotext, and in this way it is hoped to address the problem of obtaining inter-institutional agreement on what constitutes the essential documentation.

The key benefits of Eurotext will therefore include:

  • improved access to learning materials relating to the European Union;
  • decreased pressure on conventional library holdings;
  • efficiency gains in the preparation of academic programmes;
  • encouragement of independent, active learning through the development of innovative models for the provision of learning materials in an electronic environment.

Major deliverables

The major deliverables can be summarised as follows:
  • a pilot system providing key documents on a minimum of six topics relating to the European Union;
  • a full national service providing key documents on a minimum of fifty topics;
  • a demonstrator at each of the initial cooperating institutions showing the potential of individual lecturer or module home pages as a means of integrating pre-selected learning resources within a broader information environment;
  • a demonstrator CD-ROM version of all or parts of the Eurotext database.
It is planned to have the initial pilot service available in the first half of 1996. The project as a whole has been funded for three years.


The University of Hull is the lead site in the consortium, which also includes the University of Ulster and the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside. The Eurotext system itself will be based at Ulster, while coordination of the project and of the network of academic selectors will be done at Hull. Each of the participating institutions will both select materials and trial the use of the service in the pilot phase. Other institutions will then be invited to participate.

The project also enjoys the support of the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, which will handle copyright clearances, and of Sun Microsystems, which has provided the basic hardware for the project.

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The Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) was funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
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