Jisc and CNI leaders’ conference – Monday 2 July 2018: registration now open

Digital technology is revolutionising research. At the same time, research processes and practice are modernising and these developments mean a new role for the library in supporting both the research institution and strategic requirements of the university.

Research is a global endeavour and supporting modern research requires changes at institutional, national and international levels.

The library has always been a key pillar in supporting the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge and – along with other actors – need to both adapt and lead change to achieve the aspirations of modern innovative research.

Digital will power new forms of research and open up new opportunities. Data will be a key driver in this, leading to increases in the speed of access to outputs, greater collaboration and sharing across disciplines. It will lead to more openness and transparency in the research process, generating more value and new discoveries, as well greater impact and trust.

Developments such as these will enable greater partnerships and collaborations, amongst researchers globally and with industry and society at large, helping meet the goals of knowledge exchange and those of policy makers, as well as delivering wider impact and benefits to society.

There are many challenges we face to ensure we can reap the full benefits, not least the skills required by researchers and those who support them in this technology driven landscape. How can institutions adapt to ensure they have the right skills, support and staff embedded across the research life-cycle?

All of this will radically change the nature of research and how the future library can not just support these developments, but is a driver to deliver them and the benefits they can bring.

The 12th biannual Jisc and CNI conference will bring together leading experts in digital scholarship from the US and UK to explore, and share leading international practice and policy, addressing these themes.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Adam Tickell, vice-chancellor, University of Sussex
  • Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s librarian, University of Oxford
  • Susan Gibbons, university librarian and deputy provost, Yale University
  • Dan Cohen, vice provost for information collaboration, dean of the libraries, Northeastern University
  • Roly Keating, chief executive, The British Library

As well as representatives from a further 20 international research organisations including Mellon Foundation, University of California, Berkeley, University of Manchester, University of Edinburgh and Wellcome Trust.


For more information and to book your place visit


Explaining how Jisc supports the e-resources management lifecycle

A new animation has been developed, which aims to explain more clearly to you, our services users and potential users, just how our services support your activities around e-resources management. Visit our ‘How we support e-resources management‘ page to explore the information about our services and activities. (Hover over any of the circles to find out more.)


Quick guides now available

We have also developed some quick guides covering key areas of the e-resources management lifecycle, in a little more detail. These areas are purchase and licence management; supporting discovery and delivery; tracking ongoing access; and finally collection evaluation and review. These are available from our Guides page.

NBK on the road

The NBK team are out and about, speaking at and attending lots of events over the next few months. Here’s where you can see us talk about the NBK:

23 April: NBK Community Roadshow, Staffordshire University 

9-10 May: CILIP Wales conference

24 May: WHELF Collection Development event

11-13 June: SCONUL Conference

13 June: WHELF/HEWIT colloquium

25-26 June: Interlend 2018

29 June: Share the Experience Collection Management day at the University of Edinburgh

4-6 July: LIBER annual conference

6 August: NBK Community Roadshow, Jisc London

9 October: NBK Community Roadshow, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh



Join Jisc at UKSG 2018

Jisc will be delivering more sessions than ever at this year’s UKSG conference in Glasgow. The scale reflects the breadth of our activities and where we are engaged on behalf of or in partnership with you, our members to deliver on your needs.

Our sessions include a number on open access from Liam Earney’s plenary with the National Library of Sweden on licence negotiation and the transition to open access to Chris Keene and Bas Cordewener exploring the challenges of open scholarship. Graham Stone explains the latest iteration of TERMS incorporating open access management alongside Peter McCracken from Cornell University and Jill Emery from Portland State University Library.

Other sessions demonstrate how Jisc is helping to support teaching and learning in FE and developing new funding models with a crowd-sourcing approach to digitisation. We also highlight how our analytics work is helping libraries to deliver impact through data visualisation initiatives. We also explore the negative impact for libraries and their users of poor quality metadata in the electronic resource supply chain. And finally there are two lightning sessions highlighting our approach to redeveloping our library support services and we present our Liberate service, an easy and affordable solution to managing access to digital content. We also have an additional session on delivering the NBK vision in partnership with OCLC and you can register for this special NBK session via Eventbrite.

See our Events page for full details of all our sessions and come and visit us during the conference at our exhibition stands 47 & 49. Come and speak to Siobhán Burke at the stand, where you can find out more about our transformation programme, and sign up to help us with our development to improve our services.

NBK beta resource discovery interface

We are pleased to announce the launch of a beta NBK resource discovery interface. At launch, this contains data from 43 NBK libraries, and over 6.8 million records. More libraries will be added during 2018, as their data is received and processed.

The beta resource discovery interface is primarily aimed at allowing contributing libraries to check and assess the processing of their data and the data matching procedure, and to give us feedback on how bibliographic and location data is handled. As we will be making changes based on this feedback, the NBK data handling in this beta interface should not be considered stable.

Contributing libraries will be sent information about how to supply feedback.

While other users are welcome to use the beta resource discovery interface, please be aware that neither the design, functionality, nor coverage reflect what will be available at the launch of the full NBK resource discovery interface in 2019. A separate project to design the NBK resource discovery interface will be running during 2018, and we are not currently requesting feedback on the design or functionality of the beta resource discovery interface.

If you have any questions, or are a library who would like to contribute to the NBK, please contact nbk.copac@jisc.ac.uk

Getting strategic insight from the HE library community: an update on the new Library Services Advisory Group

Our new strategic advisory group held its second meeting last month and is now fully up and running and in position to provide advice and guidance to Jisc on key developments that we are working on and engaging with on behalf of libraries.

Our chair is Mark Toole, Head of Libraries and Learning Resources at Nottingham Trent University and formerly the chair of the Knowledge Base+ Advisory Board. This was one of the groups from which this new group has emerged, the other being the Bibliographic Data Oversight Group (BIBDOG). To ensure that we had the most representative group we sought new members to ensure a variety of different institution types were represented, including Scotland and Wales. The group also includes representatives from our key sector partners and stakeholders: the British Library, RLUK and SCONUL. There are also members from Jisc whose responsibility is to update the group on Jisc activities and coordinate with other parts of Jisc, in particular our Open Access team. There is also coordination with other strategic groups such as the Jisc Collections Content Strategy Group (JCCSG) and the Collection Management Community Advisory Board ensuring we avoid operating in isolation and benefit from an open and shared, strategic approach. A full list of the group’s members is available on our Members page.

Among the key areas now recurring on the agenda are the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK) project and the Transformation of Library Support Services (TLSS) programme, including the redevelopment of the Jisc Collections website. The latest meeting was an opportunity to present our progress and get a steer on next steps. This is especially important where we will need libraries to actively work with us to achieve project goals, for example, supplying catalogue data to the NBK and working together to ensure that the data is as comprehensive, accurate and consistent as possible. We also presented a draft for comment of Jisc’s priority development goals for 2018 – 2022. This included a number of challenges for libraries and how Jisc could develop its services to assist in resolving those challenges. We have clear aims for this academic year so we sought feedback on new areas for 2018-19 such as use of analytics to improve student learning experiences and a potential role for Jisc to play in training around data literacy. On the data and analytics side, feedback was that libraries have useful data to contribute, for example, reading lists, and that this is an area that we should pursue. In fact, our Learning Analytics project is already exploring this and other library data. For training, partnering with SCONUL was a welcome suggestion and to develop communities of practice rather than Jisc developing and delivering training itself.

The terms of reference for the group are now available and you can also read the minutes from the first meeting in March 2017. The minutes for the December meeting will become available following approval at the next meeting later this year. Presentations from the meeting are available on the TLSS programme and NBK.

NBK Community Data Quality and Efficiency Task and Finish Groups

We would like to convene some funded community groups to look at issues and possible interventions that might be made to enhance the quality and efficiency of library bibliographic and holdings data.

As well as being of broad sectoral benefit, the objective of these groups will be to work on a set of structured challenges that will help to make the NBK data processes more efficient and the data in the NBK more effective. The challenges would build on the recently published ‘Understanding Collections Overlap’ report and the groups will be expected to creatively determine their own approaches and responses to relevant data issues.

In all areas the groups would be required to work closely and collaboratively with NBK service staff but it is anticipated that the issues in question will be ones that individual libraries will want to make progress on for their own benefit – as well as for the purpose of improving the quality and effectiveness of data across the sector and within the NBK.

A modest level of grant funding will further incentivise libraries to participate and will also ensure that Jisc is correctly positioned to use the outcomes as exemplars for the sector and to exploit the body of work as an NBK-related community resource.

Structured Challenges

The groups would be expected to coalesce around the following challenges:

  • How to optimise descriptive library metadata to most accurately describe collections for the purposes of the NBK?
  • What tools or support could Jisc provide to help a library identify, assess and upgrade records? (e.g. where there are inaccuracies, where they reflect older standards, or are incomplete)
  • What are the implications and conditions for libraries to accept a consolidated and enhanced ‘master record’ back into their local library catalogue?
  • How to work most effectively with different LMS systems in relation to the NBK and what is required in terms of information for vendors and peer support for solving technical issues?
  • What interventions would be most effective to optimise serials data for inclusion into the NBK?
  • How should the NBK toolkit/manual take shape and how should it be designed in terms of content and format so that it is most useful for the community?

Funding Available

Groups will be invited to bid for a grant that will go some way towards defraying the cost of participation – probably using a fairly low standard day rate. These grants will be negotiable depending on the number and nature of the groups proposed but would most likely be in the range of £10k – £20k per group.

Register your interest in participation

If you are interested in leading or participating in one or more of these groups, please send an email to: nbk.copac@jisc.ac.uk

The closing date for expressions of interest is: Friday 19th January 2018

The Task Groups kick off meeting will be held in London (venue to be confirmed) on Tuesday 13th February 2018

It would be helpful if you could state your role and affiliation and very briefly describe any specific interests you have in tackling library data quality issues. Please also insert “NBK Community Data Groups” in your subject line so that we can easily identify the nature of the message.

More details available here. (Clicking this link will download a Word document from the Jisc repository)

Over 40 libraries have contributed to the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK) so far. Will you be next?

We’re very pleased to report that we’re over half-way to our target of having 75 institutions represented on the NBK by the end of January 2018. We’ve just sent over our 40th and 41st institutions to be loaded onto the database, and we now have a great cross-section of UK HE and specialist libraries represented (see below for the full list), including some whose data was not previously available through Copac. And we have many more exciting institutions signed up to contribute over the next few months. Will you be one of them?

But our work is far from complete. Our aim by 2020 is to have every UK HE library included in the NBK, along with a healthy selection of specialist research libraries. This unprecedented scale and coverage will uncover the shape and scope of the national research collection. This will allow decisions to be made at a truly national level, while comprehensive local coverage will support robust regional and consortial decision-making.

So we’re issuing an invitation to all UK HE libraries to contribute their data. You may have been contacted already, but if you haven’t please don’t feel that you have to wait for us to contact you! With over 200 libraries to talk to we are very happy for you to initiate the conversation.

The NBK is provided as part of your core Jisc subscription, and there is no extra charge associated with contributing. If you would like to more information, please contact nbk.copac@jisc.ac.uk and we would be happy to discuss what it means for your institution.

If you’re ready to get involved now email nbk.copac@jisc.ac.uk and we’ll tell you what information we need from you and how you can send us your data. All of the supporting documentation is available on our contributor website https://contribute.copac.jisc.ac.uk (login with your usual institutional Shibboleth ID).

List of NBK participants, as of 20/11/17:

  • Bangor University
  • Birkbeck University
  • Bishopsgate Institute
  • British Library
  • British School at Rome
  • Cardiff University (plus NHS Wales libraries)
  • Hathi Trust
  • Institute of Ismaili Studies
  • Institute of Mechanical Engineers
  • LSE
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • National Trust
  • Northumbria University
  • Queen Mary, University of London
  • Royal Asiatic Society
  • Royal College of Music
  • Senate House Libraries (plus Bibliographical Society Library, Heythrop College, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Institute of Classical Studies, Institute of Historical Research, Wallace Collection, Warburg Institute)
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • SOAS
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Edinburgh (plus Royal Observatory of Edinburgh)
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Sussex
  • University of York (plus York Minster, National Railway Museum)
  • Wellcome Trust