February 2010

UK Legal Deposit Consultation (deadline 1st March 2010)

The UK Government’s Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) is inviting responses to a Proposal on the Collection and Preservation of UK Offline and Microform Publications and UK Online Publications (Available free of charge and without access restrictions)

The online document is a republication of the consultation document in commentable form.  As well as supporting comments for each paragraph, it provides a unique URI for each paragraph in the original document, which you may use as reference links in any online discussion you engage in about the consultation.

Chapter 1 provides general information about legal deposit and the legal deposit advisory panel (LDAP) proposals while Chapter 2 describes the consultation process.  Annexes A-F set out the main themes and questions:

Annex A: Proposals for Offline and Microform Publications
Annex B: Proposals for Online Publications
Annex C: Online Content to be Published
Annex D: Impact Assessments – Intervention and options, analysis and evidence
Annex E: Further Details on Territoriality
Annex F: Further Details on Harvesting Process

Finally, Annex G provides a summary of the consultation questions.

Closing date for responses is Monday 1 March 2010.

Results of Digital Preservation Costs Survey now available

I am pleased to announce that the findings from the Keeping Research Data Safe 2 (“KRDS2) survey of digital preservation cost information are now available on the KRDS2 project webpage.

One of the core aims of the KRDS2 project was to identify potential sources of cost information for preservation of digital research data and to conduct a survey of them. Between September and November 2009 we made an open invitation via email lists and the project blog and project webpage for others to contact us and contribute to the data survey if they had research datasets and associated cost information that they believe may be of interest to the study.

13 survey responses were received: 11 of these were from UK-based collections, and 2 were from mainland Europe. Two further potential contributions from the USA were unfortunately not available in time to be included.

The responses covered a broad area of research including the arts and humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences and research data archives or cultural heritage collections. Each survey response is approximately 6-8 pages in length.

A summary analysis plus individual completed responses to the data survey that provide  more detail, are available.

We have also made the revised versions of the KRDS2 activity model available to download.

We aim to release the KRDS2 report via JISC in March following peer review and final editing. Further supplementary materials from KRDS2 will also be placed on the project webpage in March.

You will also notice that we have recently undertaken a major website re-design and made additions, should you wish to browse other information on the web site.

HEFCE and JISC Funding for 2010 and beyond

The Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) is one of the major public funders of teaching and research in UK Universities. It is also the major funder of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) providing around 75% of the recurrent core budget and the majority of its capital funding. So its announcements on funding are hugely important for the UK university sector.

HEFCE have recently released Circular letter number 02/2010 Funding for universities and colleges in 2010-11 setting out the implications of government cuts to its budget from August 2010.

The majority of press coverage following the release of the circular, has focussed on the implications for teaching and the reduction to the number of funded student places for the next academic year.

However the circular also sets out a number of key decisions and cuts in other areas of HEFCE support namely:

“£294 million in special funding for national programmes and initiatives, such as the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the development fund for employer engagement. This compares with £316 million in 2009-10.” [approximately 7.5% reduction]

And under Capital funding it notes:

“reprioritising and rephasing of the funding for JISC, including the open and educational resource programme, will release a further £27 million”

Note “The decisions taken by the Board do not take account of the £600 million reduction in the higher education and science and research budgets by 2012-13 announced in the pre-Budget report on 9 December 2009”.

The JISC annual budget is around £82 million recurrent core and £33 million capital.

JISC is hugely influential in many areas of UK HE and FE including open access, digital preservation, e-learning and digital libraries amongst others. Any reduction to its core funding and capital programmes will be significant for many in the sector and beyond.  In January, JISC postponed all current capital funded calls and invitations to tender (ITTs), pending the HEFCE board decision.