as of May 2nd 1997
IntroductionThe 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.
DescriptionMost 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:
Major deliverablesThe major deliverables can be summarised as follows:
PartnersThe 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.
The Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) was funded
by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
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