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FIDDO: Focused Investigation of Document Delivery Options

Project web site

Programme area
Supporting Studies

Contact details
Dr Anne Morris, Project Co-ordinator,
Department of Information & Library Studies, Loughborough University, Loughborough
Phone: 01509 223073 Fax: 01509 223053

Neil Jacobs, Project Manager, Department of Information and Library Studies, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU
Phone: 01509 222177

Project description

as of May 6th 1997


The FIDDO Project is concerned with the study of options, methods and the management of document delivery. Its principal aim is to disseminate objective and reliable data on which the library and information community can make informed decisions about the ability of electronic and other document delivery services to provide material economically and on time.


A range of issues, challenges and decisions confront the manager of the modern library and information service. The pressure to use dwindling resources more economically, the growth in numbers and variety of information users, and the demand for a 'customer based culture' all converge to present a formidable burden. Moreover, what is almost always lacking for effective management is reliable, timely and complete information on which to base judgements.

In the realm of document delivery, several services, both conventional and electronic, general and specialised, are already in operation having evolved in a variety of ways and for a range of reasons. There is a fundamental need for an objective and independent examination of electronic document and article delivery to derive and indicate what may be an optimal scenario for this type of service. In short, what appears to work best, where and how across a range of domains and institutions. Crucial factors are how library managers and, importantly, end-users react to these services. The FIDDO project is seeking to discover useful data by applying experimental techniques to part of the existing scenario.

The project entails an analysis of document delivery models including comparative assessment of existing and potential services together with 'traditional modes'; evaluation of their impact on library policies and operations, and the response of end-users. The evaluation work undertaken on the project includes usability assessments of the EDDS at Loughborough University, and subsequent user testing at one of four collaborating university test sites where there is a good match between the subject coverage of the service and the academic interests of the user population. In keeping with the character of the project, output from the study is disseminated (and updated) electronically as well as by more 'traditional' means.

Key deliverables

  • An overview of EDD research & services. A report describing and comparing the various electronic delivery services currently available and being developed.
  • A continually updated General Advice Point on the Internet acting as an information resource for library managers.
  • A report on the current usage of document delivery services within most of the UK academic libraries.
  • Workshops/seminars for library managers on document delivery offering practical advice on setting-up and developing services.
  • Reports and papers assessing document delivery services across a range of subject areas and evaluate their impact on library policies and operation.
  • A set of detailed guidelines for library managers intending to implement electronic document delivery, including: pricing policies, ordering, delivery and payment protocols, marketing and promotion and cost/benefits associated with electronic delivery.

Partners and their roles

As the lead partner, Loughborough University provides the principal research and co-ordination team through its Department of Information and Library Studies, and the Department of Computer Studies. Test site access is provided by the following collaborating partners:

  • Loughborough University
  • Leicester University
  • Nottingham University
  • Nottingham Trent University

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