The road ahead emerging after JANET’s ‘technical first’

It has to be worth noting that JANET has delivered a “technical first for UK research and education” by switching up to 100Gbit/s. As so many budgets are being slashed, is this a real indication about investing in the future?

It is hard to dismiss. While other countries are rushing ahead for the ordinary consumer, the UK has the fastest speeds at the heart of research and education.

At the same time, we have to wonder about the future when another story is emerging that the Government might take the cuffs off HEI admissions. There seems to be real consideration being given for Universities in the UK to admit ‘additional’ students, over and above the allocation, that can pay for their places and maintenance without troubling the public purse – and in many cases not exactly troubling their parents’ wallet either… (more…)

Policy development promoting access to the knowledge economy

In February 2011, Searchlighter was identified as a subcontractor in a project application made to the INTERREG IVC Programme as supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

INTERREG IVC is part of the European Territorial Co-operation Objective of the Structural Fund policies for the period 2007-2013. The priority chosen by this project among the objectives of the INTERREG IVC programme, with its focus on interregional co-operation, is to improve the effectiveness of regional development policies in the areas of innovation and the knowledge economy, as well as to contribute to the economic
modernisation and increased competitiveness of Europe.

The exchange, sharing and transfer of policy experience, knowledge and good practices will contribute to achieving this objective. By promoting Europe-wide cooperation, INTERREG IVC encourages regional and local authorities to view interregional cooperation as a means of enhancing their development through learning from the experiences of others. This way, the successful experiences gained in the different regions can spread throughout Europe.

Within the priority chosen by the project, a sub-theme covering employment, human capital and education was the focus of the application, finding solutions to social and economic exclusion from the knowledge economy and how good policy practice applying practical solutions might overcome this.

With public authority partners coming from Italy, Estonia, Spain, France and Hungary, the result of the application should be known in June 2011.

Research and the Scholarly Communications Process

Searchlighter was commissioned in March 2009 to work as a partner on the Research and the Scholarly Communications Process project.

This was set up by the Research Information Network (RIN) to create an online resource to enhance the development of scholarly communications policy and practice.

The broad aim of the project was to support effective scholarly communications by challenging and supporting key stakeholders (especially funders, higher education institutions, libraries and publishers) to apply seven common principles set out in the RIN’s Research and the Scholarly Communications Process: towards strategic goals for public policy.

The means was the production, promotion and dissemination of a resource to be:

  • an aid to developing institutional policy in line with the principles set out in the RIN statement
  • the product of research and consultation, developed with and tested by stakeholders
  • designed to be dynamic and easily updatable.

The project was based in a belief that an articulation of the goals enables key players to develop a clear policy framework to support effective scholarly communications as a means to underpin high-impact research and effective knowledge transfer. The project addressed the challenge of the application of the seven identified principles.

The challenge was to devise a process to develop the resource’s content in concert with potential users, then devise and produce an appropriate format for delivering the content to those users. It sought to provide information not just for discrete groups of stakeholders but also to encourage reflection on how the agendas of different stakeholders might be aligned behind common goals and so resolve conflicts of interests.

The chief purpose for the resource was to provide guidance for relevant stakeholders concerning each of the identified principles constituting the Statement of Principles within RIN’s Research and the Scholarly Communications Process: towards strategic goals for public policy, and their roles in applying them. This included information on the state of current practice or the legacy of experience, or examples of innovative and effective practice. It left open the option to create a tool to enable self-auditing, for which users would be able to identify current practice by referring to defined benchmarks.

The Research and the Scholarly Communications Process document built on discussions which the RIN initiated with a range of stakeholders, notably from the library, publishing and research funding communities, with the purpose of identifying the fundamental goals for public policy relating to the scholarly communications process.

Currently, the Research Information Network are considering opportunities to publish and launch the work in the context of their current workload.