Monday, 16 June 2008

JISC Away Day part 1

Today was the first day of the annual JISC Away Day. Here are my very quickly typed up notes...

First up, Ron Cooke, the JISC Chair, gave an overview of some recent achievements and looked towards the future and JISC's role in the sector. Malcolm Read gave an overview of key challenges facing JISC and referred to recent market research (e.g. 100% of Russell Group unis have led on JISC projects but figures are lower for other institutions).

Particularly useful to hear from JISC Collections - have noted down the following to look up later: NESLI2SMP; Knowledge Exchange joint licensing; eBooks observatory; CASPER; extending licensing beyond HE (study ongoing); deals with Scottish HEIs. Also noted: JISC Publishers Action Group; paper ebook; Repositories UK; Flourish/TICTOCs as examples of the U&I programme; Emerge community; Web2Rights.

Attended a session on increasing the impact of JISC in the sector. The group discussed who we are trying to reach (funding bodies; institutions; change agents); what messages we need to get across (value for money, influencing strategy/policy); and how. I think an additional question might be when we engage with different stakeholders depending what we hope to achieve. Branding was a key topic and the need for brand management. It was agreed JISC also needs to work on improving understanding of JISC activities within the community, enabling feedback, and finding the right metrics to measure impact. Kerry mentioned that they are currently working on audience analysis to improve the web site - i.e. providing secondary routes to information. It was acknowledged that much of our information is written for experts - there needs to be a more basic level which is more contextual.

The group also discussed what is meant by impact. We need to distinguish between reach (e.g. hit on Google) and impact (affecting behaviour in the sector). What can we learn from service reviews? What can we learn from the Top Concerns work? What value does JISC add to the sector? Methods discussed included institutional visits; networks of moles/champions.

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