Industrial Relations in Plans for Research Computing

At a ‘Town Meeting’ looking to put the final touches to a Strategic Plan for the UK Research Computing Ecosystem, hosted by University College London on July 8, there was notable discussion about who the stakeholders are in the process.

Are users ‘first among equals’? Does it undermine the currency of this initiative if it is seen to be too close to industry when lobbying?

Lobbying is clearly an important part of the process to implement the Strategic Plan: the executive people that hold purse-strings need to be persuaded that this is a priority. So, can the Board that produced the plan collectively hit the right buttons with government ministers, industry executives and research funding decision-makers? (more…)

How to Measure and Understand Usage / Impact of Digital Content

JISC sponsored a workshop under the title “Digital Impacts: How to Measure and Understand the Usage and Impact of Digital Content” at Jesus College, Oxford earlier in 2011.

The question of how we can measure and understand the usage and impact of digital content within the education sector is reflected by the substantial investment that goes into the creation of digital resources for research, teaching and learning.  Content creators, publishers as well as funding bodies are being asked to provide evidence of the value of the resources they’ve invested in. How do we go about defining value and impact? Which metrics should we adopt to understand usage? When is a digital resource a well used resource?

This one-day event explored these issues and showcased the work of the JISC-funded Impact and Embedding of Digitised Resources programme. Speakers included: Melissa Highton (Oxford University Computing Services), Brian Kelly (UKOLN), Dr Jane Winters (Head of Publications, IHR), Professor David Robey (Oxford e-Research Centre), Paola Marchionni (JISC), Dr Eric T. Meyer (Oxford Internet Institute), and  Dr Kathryn Eccles(Oxford Internet Institute). The workshop was aimed at:

  • content creators and publishers
  • Information professionals and content managers in charge of maintaining and developing digital collections
  • librarians, archivists and institutional staff involved in digitisation efforts
  • researchers and research directors interested in learning about alternative methods of measuring impact
  • representatives of funding and evaluation bodies
  • early career researchers concerned about ways of demonstrating the impact of their online activities
  • those interested in understanding the impact of distributing materials online

Further details are available at the Oxford Internet Institute.

Eduserv covering Virtualisation and the Cloud

Eduserv still have some places available for their Symposium this year.

Virtualisation and the Cloud: Efficiency, shared services, impact and effectiveness is to be held on 12 May 2011 at Royal College of Physicians, London. The event aims to provide a platform for institutions to explore this field among peers having been organised for benefit of the HE/FE sector.

This is likely to be an opportunity to hear about the latest developments in the University Modernisation Fund (UMF) shared services in cloud computing infrastructure project, as well as come away with an understanding of the strategic role of virtualisation and the cloud in the delivery of shared IT services. Current and future directions in the provision of cloud solutions, within academia and beyond, will be covered, as will impacts on efficiency and cost effectiveness.

There are two keynote speakers, Simon Wardley from Leading Edge Forum and Armando Fox, an author of the position paper “Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing”. Other speakers include Chris Cobb (Pro Vice Chancellor, Roehampton University), Phil Richards (Director of IT, Loughborough University), Kenji Takeda (Senior Lecturer, University of Southampton) and Terence Harmer (Technical Director, Belfast e-Science Centre).

You can find out more and register for a free place through Eduserv’s Symposium page.