Meeting 3

The purpose of meeting 3 was to discuss the vision and reach a consensus so that a draft vision could be written. To ensure that this was done successfully, stakeholders needed to be invited to participate in the taskforce. Therefore for meeting 3 the following people were invited to the meeting:

  • Fred Guy – EDINA
  • Robin Murray – OCLC
  • Alan Oliver – Ex Libris
  • Joy Palmer – Mimas
  • Richard Wallis – Talis

Ian Russell of APLSP was added to the taskforce membership to provide a publisher point of view but was unable to attend the meeting Cliff Morgan of Wiley was invited in Ian’s stead but was also unable to participate.

The meeting started with a scenario planning session to help members think about the various factors that could have an impact on the resource discovery area. Paul Miller of Cloud of Data produced four scenarios for this session. These scenarios were purely fictional although Paul chose to use real organisations and people to ensure that the scenarios were relevant to the experience and knowledge of the taskforce members. These scenarios were designed to be used as an exercise to stimulate discussion and do not represent predictions or the views of any of the taskforce members or organisers.

12 members of the meeting were asked to submit their individual visions for what needs to be done with resource discovery infrastructure in the UK. These visions were used to help the taskforce members scope the outline of a vision. All vision authors were given the same brief but were asked to take their own perspectives or that of their organisations.

The following visions were submitted:

To help with discussions at the meeting, JISC produced a synthesis of these visions:

Notes from the meeting


Apologies were received from Martin Lewis, Richard Ovenden and Ian Russell


Rachel Bruce provided some context to members on work that had taken place. The Rightscom report was in its draft stage but does provide examples of national solutions including the Australian National Library. The need for ease of use for users was noted but a sophisticated deep system for researchers would also be required. It was thought that Google provides a simple interface and search which deals well with relevance but there was a need to recognise Google’s limits as it only finds popular searches rather than serendipity.

Scenario Planning

Paul Miller provided the group with a background to scenario planning. Paul had looked at four extreme views: the market; individuals, JISC and Google. It was thought that components of each of these views are likely to go ahead given their interdependencies. The tiering/polarisations of HEI’s was already happening and institutions would be looking at ways of differentiating themselves to attract more customers (i.e. students).

Personalisation was discussed and it was thought that extreme personalisation (i.e. wholly user driven personalisation) was not a fundamental role of education and research and that a universal mandate should not be implemented, rather adopt more of a strategic approach. It was noted that JISC would need to consider its role in terms of ownership as Google just acts as a facilitator and did not ensure that the ‘right’ content was available. JISC would also need to consider how to facilitate to emerging networks and how to respond to their complexity.

Discussion of individual visions with aim to reach consensus over priorities

Attendees discussed the individual visions and attempted to reach a consensus over priorities.
The discussions are summarised below.

  • It was thought difficult to deliver a compelling web scale presence and the term web scale effect was preferred.
  • Presence should not be seen as the one overriding element of any service.
  • The word ‘library’ could be seen as limiting, services could be provided by other stakeholders.
  • There should be a distinction between local and national level. Local solutions should be exploited. The term local needs to be carefully defined.
  • There was potential for efficiency gain in the area of cataloguing for archives and museums.
  • There was a role for national coordination of metadata but some fragmentation may have to be accepted.
  • The aim of the taskforce should not be to build one big portal but to provide the infrastructure that permits the building of relevant services by those who need them.
  • A possible role for JISC would be to promote the building of multiple services on the infrastructure.
  • Sustainability and business models must be considered.

Important areas to focus on were discussed:

  • Better evidence on usage and requirements of users needed.
  • Perspective from senior managers in the HE sector required.
  • Produce exemplars of services. Exemplars need to be overlapping in terms of data that is being exploited.
  • Interfaces with current services need to be built in partnership with a range of providers.
  • Quick wins through demonstrators and prototypes need to be identified in the next 18 months.
  • Ensure current data is optimised
  • Buy-in from libraries was deemed vital. A set of principles, outline tools and approaches, work around licensing issues and pilots to test would be required.

Models that would be required were discussed:

  • Data layer, framework with open content licences. All layers would need to be interdependent.
  • Licenses and protocol would need to be defined.
  • JISC should commission a UK delivery strategy and focus on exemplars. JISC should also be seen to have a brokering role
  • Value added and value for money of national services and provision of data should be defined.
  • The vision would need to take users into account.
  • Be aware that there are existing models and that the vision should look beyond existing technologies if necessary.
  • Partnership was seen as essential but an overall steer from a central body would be required.

Timescales were discussed and it was thought a high level vision should be focused on 2020. The next 18 months should involve progress on making data more available and a three year framework should be produced.  It was further suggested that work should be fronted loaded with exemplars and maybe have rapid innovation style call for libraries.

Summary of next steps and focus of next meeting

Attendees would like work to take place to synthesise what is happening now in and outside of the UK and how to fill the gaps between countries. The role of publishers needs to be captured and understand why they are not engaging with resource discovery.

The final Rightscom report would be circulated asap and the draft vision circulated in the Autumn with refinements added before the December meeting. It was thought an evidence gathering exercise would be required with user scenarios and what existing services there were. Members would like clarity on issues surrounding metadata, bibliographic records and sharing data.

The next meeting would be held at the beginning of December, date and venue to be confirmed.