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Annual Report 2007/08: Projects
Repositories / digital preservation

A UCL Video Data Archive for Human Communication
UCL Library Services worked as a technology partner in this project which was funded by UCL Research Challenges 2007 and led by a cross-disciplinary group of researchers linked to the UCL Centre for Human Communication. The UCL Video Data Archive for Human Communication is a digital archive where audio-visual data on real life human communication for spoken and signed languages can be searched, accessed, edited and analysed for research purposes.

Work on the following projects continued in 2007/08; all except the final project in the list are now completed:

The LASSO (LEAP Aggregated Search Service On-line) project was the third phase of SHERPA-LEAP, the London Eprints Access Project, and began in March 2007. One of the main aims of the project was to design and implement a single interface to allow cross-searching of the content of all the eprint repositories involved in SHERPA-LEAP.

The aim of the EMBRACE project, which began in May 2007, was to enhance the repositories involved in SHERPA-LEAP. This included the development of a tool to embed citations and other information into the text of eprints. The project also investigated issues around the advocacy of repositories of digital assets. The project was completed at the end of October 2008.

RIOJA (Repository Interface for Overlaid Journal Archives) was funded by the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), as part of its Repositories and Preservation Programme. RIOJA was a partnership, led by UCL and involved four other universities in the UK and the USA. The main aim of the project, which began in March 2007, was to investigate issues around quality assurance in papers deposited in eprints repositories, focusing on astrophysics and cosmology. The project was completed on 18 March 2008.

Identity Project
UCL was a partner in the Identity Project, which began in November 2006 with the aim of investigating issues around authenticating access to networked resources. It was funded by the JISC as part of its e-Infrastructure Programme, and complemented work being carried out in-house in collaboration with UCL Information Systems on Shibboleth, the system of user authentication that UCL has introduced. The project was completed on 30 October 2007.

LIFE Phase 2 was a European collaboration between the LIBER Access and Preservation Divisions. Its aim was to identify economic models for the curation of digital assets and their long-term digital preservation. Phase 2 of the project, which began on 1 March 2007, firmed up the models developed in Phase 1, tested the models on a further range of assets - including the Open Access repositories in their UCL-led SHERPA-LEAP partnership, and compared the costs of digital versus analogue preservation. The project was completed in June 2008.

UCL Library Services was a partner in the 2-year StORe – Source-to-Output Repositories project which was funded by the JISC Digital Repositories Programme and was led by the University of Edinburgh. The project was completed in August 2007.

UCL Library Services was a partner in MIDESS (Management of Images in a Distributed Environment with Shared Services). This was a 2-year project, which was funded by the JISC Digital Repositories Programme and was led by the University of Leeds. The project was completed at the end of August 2007.

19th Century Pamphlets Online
UCL Library Services is a partner in this project will provide online access to some of the most significant collections of 19th century pamphlets held in UK research libraries. The digitisation of around 23,000 paper copy pamphlets, which focus on the political, economic and social issues that fuelled the great Parliamentary debates and controversies of the 19th century, will provide researchers, students and teachers with an immensely rich and coherent corpus of primary sources with which to study the socio-political and economic landscape of 19th century Britain. It is scheduled to be finished in March 2009. The lead site is the University of Southampton and there are nine other partners in this project.

UCL Special Collections

Generous support from the UCL Futures programme has allowed the Library to undertake some very important work:

  • The Mocatta Jewish Pamphlets collation comprising 157 volumes, which were cleaned and conserved in preparation for future digitisation
  • 734 issues from the College Collection Periodicals, including early issues of Pi, the College Newspaper started in 1946 were conserved and re-housed in new preservation boxes
  • Over 5000 photographs from the College Collection, which includes the first photograph of the Wilkins building taken in c. 1850, were conserved and re-housed in new preservation boxes

Other highlights from the programme to preserve Special Collections materials and make them more accessible include the conservation of 14 rare printed books. The work was undertaken by outside professional conservators and MA conservation students from West Dean College, University of Sussex and Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts.

In addition, since March 2007, 21 volunteers, including a large number of UCL students, have cleaned 2347 books and made 423 phase boxes for the rare books housed in the Special Collections Strong Room.

MASC25 Phase 3
At the end of Phase 2 of the MASC25 project, collection-level descriptions of special collections were available via a web-enabled database. The special collections were from printed material held in member libraries of the M25 Consortium, and the University of London. Phase 3 of the MASC25 project extended the remit by including non-HE libraries, and any other new members, of the M25 Consortium. The project was completed at the end of September 2008.

E-resources - specialist subject coverage

UCL Library Services is participating in the EU funded Network of European Economists Online (NEEO) Project. Drawing on digital repositories in 16 partner institutions, the Project aims to create a portal and service providing free and open access to leading research in the field of economics from across Europe. UCL is leading the Awareness & Dissemination work-package and providing advice and documentation on intellectual property rights. The project began in September 2007 and will run for 30 months. The Director of UCL Library Services is a member of the Project Management Board.

NLH Specialist Libraries
Continuation funding was awarded by the NHS National Library for Health (NLH) for the provision of project management and information specialist support towards two NLH Specialist Libraries (Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases and Neurological Conditions) for three years in the first instance. Two three-year fixed term Information Specialist posts are being funded to provide information specialist support from the Royal Free Hospital Medical Library, UCL Library Services.

The NLH Specialist Library for Neurological Conditions was formally launched at the annual meeting of the Association of British Neurologists on 15 November 2007.

The NLH National Service Framework for Quality Improvement was piloted by the UCL libraries at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital. A pilot survey took place at the Royal Free Hospital in February 2008. Feedback through the pilot has had an impact on the final version of the standards, issued in March 2008 , which are expected to be rolled out across NHS England in 2009.

E-resources - support for teaching & learning

E-books projects
Building on the success of SuperBook, the Library is participating in two more projects aimed at evaluating e-book usage. This, along with feedback from users, will inform both immediate purchasing decisions and the continuing development of UCL’s e-resources strategy.

The JISC national e-books observatory focuses on a small number of course texts in business and management studies, engineering, media studies, and medicine. UCL is heavily involved, with the Library represented on the Project Board and hosting a roadshow in February 2008, UCL CIBERundertaking the evaluation, and UCL staff and students responsible for around 10% of over 20,000 responses to a national survey. The results will allow us to compare patterns of usage at UCL with those at over 120 other UK institutions.

By contrast, a partnership with Cambridge University Press provides access to a significant number of titles in just two subject areas. The 650 e-books that CUP have made available cover medicine and related fields and law, and one of the aims of the project is to compare uptake by medical students (who spend a considerable amount of time at hospitals away from UCL) with that of their less peripatetic counterparts in Laws.

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Last modified 14 January 2010

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