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Students gather for the NUS and Amnesty International Student Media Summit

Nus Org - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 18:00

The two-day event aimed at student aspiring to careers in media and journalism brought together some of the industry's most prominent speakers such as Emily Maitlis, Evan Davis and Owen Jones.

Categories: NUS news

Proposed GCSE reforms could be detrimental to many students

Nus Org - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 12:10

NUS vice president Joe Vinson explains why the Government's planned reforms to GCSE’s (the most significant set of reforms in the history of these qualifications) could be detrimental to students, and offers advice to GCSE students on their next steps. 

Categories: NUS news

A record-breaking year for A level results strengthens case against AS level reforms

Nus Org - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:32

With the highest number of students ever accepted into higher education today, the AS level reforms in 2015 will be harmful to students' studying in the future.

Categories: NUS news

More universities to benefit from lower cost, high-quality data archiving

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:53
7 May 2014

Jisc today announces with Arkivum Ltd that five of its member universities, Queens University Belfast, Gonville & Caius, UCL, and the universities of Leeds and York, have purchased the Arkivum data archiving service via the Janet Data Archive Framework Agreement which was announced 14 January 2014.

The five universities are the first to purchase the Arkivum service via the framework agreement, which enables fast and cost-effective archiving for research and education. Under the terms customers of Jisc’s network, Janet, benefit from pre-negotiated, preferential pricing and a fully managed, easy-to-use service, through a single supplier framework. It also allows all qualifying organisations to procure the archive service quickly without the administrative overhead and costs of an EU compliant competitive tender.

Rhys Davies, director of IT at the University of Leeds commented,

"The Arkivum service will allow us to provide a long term guaranteed data archiving service to researchers with virtually no up-front capital investment and no infrastructure to manage locally. The Janet framework agreement gives us confidence both in the quality of the service on offer and its value for money.

We have also benefitted from being able to use the standard contract for the service, which has been reviewed and approved as part of the comprehensive procurement process undertaken by the Janet Brokerage service on behalf of the sector."

Dan Perry, director of product and marketing for Jisc’s network Janet said:

“In a world with massively expanding data storage requirements it is great to see universities quickly realising the benefits of cost-effective, long-term data storage with Arkivum through the Janet framework. This demonstrates the power of Jisc to understand and aggregate the needs of the sector, work with partners and deliver the solution.”

Jim Cook, CEO Arkivum added: 

“I’m thrilled that the framework agreement is benefitting Gonville & Caius, Leeds, York, UCL and also Queens Belfast universities. Our aim is simple; we want to offer the most competitive and cost-effective data archiving service that guarantees the integrity of your data, no matter how long you choose to archive it for.

Through the framework agreement institutions are guaranteed to receive competitive and pre-negotiated prices based on the total size of the Janet community and not just the size of their particular institution.”

Categories: Universities

Historical medical books database gets a boost from Jisc and Wellcome Library partnership

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:51
25 March 2014

Today the Wellcome Library and Jisc are pleased to announce that they have strengthened their successful working relationship by signing a new three year agreement for the digitisation of more than 10 million pages of 19th century published works. 

These are focused on medicine and related disciplines and drawn from university and other research libraries across the UK.

The Wellcome Library is one of the world’s major resources for the study of medical history and provides access to a growing collection of resources relating to contemporary medicine and biomedical science in society.

The Wellcome Library is digitising its 19th century collections. Jisc will support the digitisation of complementary collections which are housed within universities to create a comprehensive online resource for the history of medicine and related sciences. The Wellcome Library will also provide support to allow non-university research libraries to participate in the project. Open access to all of the content will be provided across multiple platforms, including the Wellcome Library’s website, the Internet Archive and through Jisc.

By collaborating on the creation, dissemination and aggregation of digital content the charities will streamline the provision of digitised historical medical content by deploying common standards, infrastructure and best practice.

The project will significantly increase the availability of digitised text for teaching learning and research. The project is being undertaken in partnership with a number of higher education and specialist libraries, co-designed with Research Libraries UK (RLUK), and informed by an academic advisory group.

Simon Chaplin, head of the Wellcome Library said:

“We are building on the success of the US-based Medical Heritage Library, which already has over 50,000 digitised books online – our project will add significantly to this. For the Wellcome Library, this forms part of a bigger project that will digitise over 50 million pages of historic medical books, archives, manuscripts and journals by 2020.”

Stella Butler, chair of RLUK and chair of the academic advisory group for the project said:

"RLUK is delighted to be working with Jisc and the Wellcome Library on this important project which will make a step change to the availability of research resource for humanities scholars enabling important projects in areas such as medical history, ethics and the social sciences.”

Lorraine Estelle, Jisc’s executive director content and discovery and divisional CEO Jisc Collections said:

“By working with the Wellcome Library and the Internet Archive to aggregate dispersed medical collections of books and pamphlets, we are building the UK’s research capability in the most sustainable way. 

High quality digitisation allows text to be liberated from its page, and the resulting data enables new forms of research inquiry. The project also meets the increasing demand, from our customers, that traditional content should be made digital for use and reuse.”

Categories: Universities

Healthcare excellence gets boost from free research journal trial

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:49
1 May 2014

The opportunity for healthcare professionals to read cutting-edge research has been given a boost today by an agreement between Jisc and scientific journal publishers. 

A year-long pilot will allow staff working across the NHS in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland free trial access to some of the most respected medical and scientific journals so they can read for themselves the latest trials and research. This is good news for evidence-based healthcare and will give healthcare professionals the opportunity to weigh up the latest developments in the study of disease.

A steering group comprising representatives from the UK academic sector, Jisc, NHS Education for Scotland and the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is overseeing this pilot. The publishers who have agreed to take part include: AAAS, Annual Reviews, Elsevier, IOP Publishing, Nature Publishing Group, Oxford University Press, Royal Society of Chemistry and Springer.

Lorraine Estelle, executive director content and discovery and divisional CEO Jisc Collections said:

“Jisc is committed to opening up research so that academics and clinicians can read the latest studies and develop a broader understanding of disease and treatment. This work is supported by the government-commissioned Finch report into research availability which recommended that more research journals be available to healthcare professionals.”

Chair Dr Paul Ayris said on behalf of the steering group:

“Practitioners in the NHS will benefit from the content that is being made available in this pilot, based on the recommendations of the Finch Report. Access to high quality information is key to good clinical practice and patients can only benefit from the well-informed clinical community that will result from this work.”

After the trial period of a year the steering group will determine how to take forward future opportunities for NHS staff to access research journals. NHS practitioners should contact their trust or Health Board librarian for information on the trial.

Categories: Universities

Aurora2 dark fibre communications research service to power the future internet

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:48
8 May 2014

Jisc is pleased to announce the launch of Aurora2, our new national dark fibre research and development platform. 

The internet is built on fibre optic cables which are installed by the telecoms companies. Until light-emitting equipment is connected to the fibres they are ‘dark’. These fibre cables run under our cities and carry the internet services that we use every day. Aurora2 will also use these cables, but with its own dedicated fibres which will allow researchers to test new ideas without running the risk of disrupting the internet we all rely upon.

The network is funded jointly with the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and will enable researchers to develop the underpinning communications technologies for the future internet.

Dr David Salmon, research support unit manager, strategic technologies for Jisc’s network Janet said:

"We are delighted to be able to work with our funding partners and research colleagues to implement this important new facility. It will form the foundation of a very rich multi-layer environment now emerging in the UK within which new network techniques and technologies can be investigated.

The funding commitments give us a stable forward-look for the next five years, which in turn will encourage strong collaborations to form and exploit the facility to develop these techniques and the applications that will make use of them"

The new network will offer programmable transmission parameters, dynamic reconfiguration into multiple sub-networks and the ability to handle multiple transmission formats simultaneously.

The 5 year contract for Aurora2 has been awarded to UCL as prime contractor for a consortium comprising them and their partners at the universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Southampton. Aurora2 will provide access to a dedicated dark fibre network connecting these universities, with the possibility for onward connection to European and worldwide research networks.

Aurora2 can be configured remotely and dynamically enabling rapid and flexible configuration changes. Researchers in the UK, with a requirement to use the network, will be able to access it directly by placing equipment at consortium sites and connecting remotely using the Janet Lightpath service.

National dark fibre infrastructure service director, Professor Alwyn Seeds from UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering said:

“We are delighted that the EPSRC and Janet have enabled the creation of the new national dark fibre infrastructure service. This will enable UK researchers to remain at the forefront of technology research for the future internet. UK photonics and UK electronics are large industries with annual revenues of £10 billion and £29 billion respectively.

We will be working with leading UK companies to transfer technologies developed with the aid of national dark fibre infrastructure service into new products and services. The benefits to the UK economy will be correspondingly large."

National dark fibre infrastructure service technical director, Professor Dimitra Simeonidou from University of Bristol said:

"NDFIS will be a platform for experimentation and collaboration across ICT disciplines and user communities. The platform will use software defined network control principles and, as such, will be fully programmable by experimenters and end-users. 

Internationally, national dark fibre infrastructure service will be the first experimental infrastructure of this kind and will generate new exciting opportunities to pioneer the development of hardware and software technologies for future communication systems"

As well as supporting research on the future core optical network which underpins the internet, Aurora2 will also enable research with experimental city-wide networks, such as the Gigabit Bristol network. It will also enable interaction with research on wireless access networks like 5G, the successor to 4G.

Jisc is committed to supporting Aurora2 to continue enabling researchers to shape the future of the internet.

Categories: Universities

Last chance to register for the Summer of Student Innovation 2014

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:47
19 May 2014

Light bulb moment? Apply by 30 May 2014 for £5k to develop your digital technology idea to improve student life.

17 further and higher education (FE and HE) student teams are already registered for this year’s Summer of Student Innovation, hoping for the chance to create technology solutions that could change the education landscape forever.

The Summer of Student Innovation is a Jisc co-design programme with RLUK; RUGIT; SCONUL; UCISA and ALT. Successful entrants will receive a £5,000 grant from Jisc to develop their education technology ideas, with the aim of improving students’ creative design, research, entrepreneurial and project management skills. The teams will also attend a series of nine innovation workshops between July and September.  These events are designed to show off work in progress, offer the opportunity to learn from relevant experts and discuss ideas with other teams.

To enter, students must submit a two to five minute video pitch on the Jisc Elevator website alongside a short summary and a 300-500 word description which includes details on the benefits of their idea and its impact on research and education. To be considered for funding entrants must hit a target of 250 votes before 10 June 20141. Voting is open to everyone but votes must come from ten different FE and HE institutions.

The winners’ ideas will be showcased later this year to FE and HE IT directors, learning technologists and librarians offering them the chance to learn more about the benefits of these newly-developed technologies.  

To enter your ideas and encourage your fellow students to vote for your suggestions visit the Jisc Elevator website or follow #studentideas on Twitter.

  • 1 Voting period extended from 30 May 2014. Deadline for submission remains as 30 May 2014.
Categories: Universities

Jisc and ProQuest enable access to essential digital content

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:46
20 May 2014

A new agreement for a national license between Jisc and ProQuest will enable access for the UK higher education community to two major digital archives: Early European Books Collections 1-4 and The Vogue Archive.

Providing access to almost 25,000 rare and often unique books, Early European Books is a key resource for those with a strong research interest in the period from 1450 – 1700, delivering a wide variety of primary sources from one of the most fascinating and influential periods in Western history and has been developed in collaboration with a range of major European libraries.  Very few libraries have access to such a large corpus of works as Early European Books offers and researchers and students will now be able to view this material wherever and whenever they choose.

Updated monthly with the most recent edition of the magazine, The Vogue Archive gives researchers of fashion, photography, advertising and history access to the entire publication run of the US edition of Vogue magazine, back to its first issue in 1892.  Fashion marketing students will be able to research the history of a brand identity by viewing every advertisement featured, whilst researchers in cultural and gender studies can explore themes such as body image, gender roles and social tastes from the late nineteenth century to the present day. The collection contains over 400,000 pages, reproduced as high resolution full colour images, along with very rich indexing and metadata.

We champion the use of digital services and solutions in UK colleges and universities and working with ProQuest to make these archives available to researchers will help us achieve this aim.  Having both of these products available on the one ProQuest platform will enhance efficiency in accessibility which will benefit both the students and those teaching them.

Lorraine Estelle, executive director content and discovery, Jisc and divisional CEO Jisc Collections said:

“We are committed to making scholarship as accessible as possible across UK institutions and are thus very pleased to ensure all libraries can have access to Early European Books and the wealth of material it contains. We have long seen the potential of The Vogue Archive to support education across many disciplines – not only those with a focus on fashion – and look forward to it being a well-used resource in higher and further education.”

Stephen Brooks, senior director for literature and the arts at ProQuest said,

“This agreement is great news for researchers and students across a range of disciplines; providing them with access to a vast collection of new, digitised content. We are incredibly passionate about meeting researcher needs around the world and this partnership is a valuable and effective way for us to achieve this goal. We applaud Jisc for its recognition of the potential for these resources to impact research in the UK and will continue to work closely with Jisc and the higher education community to support its use of Early European Books and The Vogue Archive.”

Categories: Universities

Disabled learners celebrate changes to copyright law

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:45
2 June 2014

Today Jisc welcomed reforms to copyright law that expand the ability of ‘authorised bodies’, including colleges and universities, to copy work and make it more accessible for disabled people. 

It does this by removing previous legal restrictions on what can be copied and by whom.

All disabled people, regardless of impairment, are now covered by the legislation where their impairment affects their ability to access work on an equal basis to someone without the impairment. The previous law restricted the exception to visually impaired persons only. This brings the law more in line with the Equality Act 2010 definition of disability and means, for example, that students with dyslexia are now covered by the exception. 

All copyright work is now covered, including recordings of performances and broadcasts, film and video clips.

Betty Willder, legal information specialist, Jisc Legal said:

"Universities and colleges, as authorised bodies under the reforms, can now make more materials than ever accessible to disabled students. They can for example now subtitle a lawful broadcast or a video clip for disabled learners, where there is no commercial alternative available, without risk of infringing copyright.

These changes are a positive step forward in bringing copyright law up-to-date with the digital learning environment and accessibility needs."

Alistair McNaught, senior adviser, Jisc TechDis said,

“These changes are of great significance to library and disability staff in higher and further education. They can now support learners more quickly and confidently because the law is more inclusive and much clearer.

Ideally, learning materials and textbooks should be created so they are accessible at source for all learners. I hope these reforms will increase demand from staff and students thereby putting more pressure on suppliers to do just that.”

Jisc is providing support and guidance for UK colleges and universities on the changes.

Categories: Universities

Still time for the education and research sector to beat powerful malware threats

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:44
13 June 2014

Jisc and the National Crime Agency (NCA) are today reminding UK computer users that there is still time to protect themselves from the GoZeuS and CryptoLocker malicious software (malware) threats.

On Monday 2 June, the NCA announced that an international operation had temporarily weakened the global network of infected computers, providing a two–week opportunity for members of the public to rid themselves of the malware and help prevent future infection.

That two week period ends at Midnight on Tuesday 17 June. Before then, individuals and businesses can take full advantage of the criminal network’s relative weakness by updating security software, running system scans, and checking that computer operating systems are up to date. 

Those in the education and research sector can find tailored information on the Janet Computer Security and Incident Response Team (CSIRT) blog.

Andy Archibald, head of the national cyber crime unit, NCA, said:

“This is about taking a few simple steps to keep your money and personal information in your hands, rather than those of international criminals. While there is never a bad time to maximise your online security, and it is something we should all do regularly, acting now can provide unprecedented levels of protection from these types of malware. If you haven’t already, we urge individuals and small businesses alike to take action this weekend.”

Tim Marshall, executive director technology and infrastructure, Jisc and divisional CEO Janet, said:

“The internet is crucial to modern life and particularly to those in the education and research sector. So we are pleased to work with the NCA to help make digital technologies for education and research safer.”

Members of the public who think they have lost money through malware such as GoZeuS and CryptoLocker should report it.

Categories: Universities

Student innovators scoop grants to develop fresh ideas

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:43
19 June 2014

The 20 winners of this year’s Summer of Student Innovation competition have been announced today. 

Winning teams will develop digital technologies to improve every aspect of students’ experience, from work-planning and making sure they eat well to improving exam performance and boosting employability.

The winning students will each receive an award of £5,000 from Jisc to develop their ideas into tools that can be used by fellow students, colleges and universities. They’ll also attend a series of summer schools to help them develop their project management and entrepreneurial skills and give them an opportunity to learn from experts in digital technology.

Dr John Shemilt, director of ICT, Imperial and Summer of Student Innovation steering group member said:

“It is fantastic to see such great ideas put forward this year, building on the success of last year’s competition. It gives a real insight into what the students see as important. I’m looking forward to the autumn showcase event, it will be rewarding to see how these ideas have grown and been developed by the students.”

The competition attracted dozens of entries from further education, undergraduate and postgraduate students and 8,400 votes from 160 institutions as their peers voted on the Jisc Elevator website.

The winning ideas will be developed over the summer and presented to universities and colleges later in the year. This will give the students a chance to pitch their ideas and offer individual universities and colleges an early opportunity to adopt these new technologies.

This is the second time the Summer of Student Innovation competition has been run. A number of the 2013 winners have successfully developed their concepts and have seen them start to take off both in the UK and overseas: several of these have been selected by Jisc to receive further development support. Call for Participants’  Matt Terrell comments:

“We are just adding the finishing touches to the new website being launched late this summer, while fast approaching another milestone - registered users from 200 different institutions. The grant enabled us to speed up our development process, and working with Jisc has provided us with many useful connections.

I am very excited about this year’s competition winners as there are some interesting ideas and innovations, many of which I can see being adopted by students and institution staff as early as next year, if not before.”

The Summer of Student Innovation is managed by Jisc and is a co-design project with Research Libraries UK (RLUK), Russell Universities’ Group of IT Directors (RUGIT), the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL), Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) and the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).

For more information visit the Summer of Student Innovation web pages. To join the conversation on Twitter, use #studentideas

Categories: Universities

Prestigious honorary college fellowship for Sal Cooke, director of Jisc TechDis

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:43
17 July 2014

The Myerscough College board of governors is conferring an honorary college fellowship on Sal Cooke in recognition of her ‘outstanding career in the use of pioneering technology, particularly within the education sector.’

This is the highest honour that the college can bestow and is given to inspirational people from the world of business, sport, entertainment and education.

Professor Stephanie Marshall, chief executive of the Higher Education Academy, said:

“This fellowship  is very well-deserved and I’m delighted that Sal has been recognised in this way.  I have worked closely with her over the years and her commitment and enthusiasm is second to none. Through Sal’s leadership Jisc TechDis has made a remarkable impact on the learning experience of thousands of students and I congratulate her on this achievement.”

Sal has taught in schools, further and higher education. In the early 1980s, she was seconded as the curriculum manager for the Yorkshire and Humber regional centre where she was to introduce technology to the curriculum of further education colleges as technology moved from the BBC computers to the first PCs.

As a result of the success of this project, Sal was seconded to Becta and subsequently other organisations, where she worked with partners such as the BBC, the funding councils and the Learning & Teaching Subject Network (a precursor of the Higher Education Academy). This led to working at the Department of Education and Skills as an adviser where she was integral to the creation of the e-learning strategies in higher and further education.

In 2000 Sal was asked to sit on one of the Jisc committees and took a lead role in the formation of the Jisc Regional Support Centres and was chair of their UK board for the first three years. Sal became the director of Jisc TechDis, the Jisc advisory service that provides advice on technologies for inclusion, when it re-located to the Higher Education Academy office in York ten years ago.  Sal continues to bring vision, energy and enthusiasm to the role, working to promote the use of technology for independent learning, working and living, wherever she can. This includes more recently, within the charity sector, as currently she is a serving trustee of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.  

Stephen Rigby, Chairman of Myerscough College Corporation, presented Sal with her fellowship at the Myerscough higher education presentation of awards ceremony which took place on the afternoon of Thursday 10 July 2014. Sal said:

“I was quite overwhelmed and pleasantly shocked when I received the letter from Myerscough. I feel that although this is a tremendous honour, I have to acknowledge that much of what I have achieved is down to the excellent teams and colleagues that I have had the pleasure of working with, throughout my long and varied career."

Categories: Universities

TNP’s innovative networking services available to education

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:42
31 July 2014

The Networking People (TNP) and Jisc are pleased to announce TNP’s appointment to the nationwide telecommunications framework, a service from Jisc. 

This will bringing innovative high-capacity connectivity to further education (FE) and higher education (HE) institutions and research organisations across the UK. This provides these organisations flexibility with access to TNP’s range of innovative and cost-effective point-to-point wide-area network solutions.

The new framework began on 20 June and runs for four years until 19 June 2018. Split into two lots – namely, managed transmission services and dark fibre – it may be used by further and higher education purchasing consortia, specialist colleges and research council establishments in the UK. The framework enables the purchase of transmission services including leased circuits, dark fibre, wide-area Ethernet and xDSL.

“We’re committed to providing our community with the best value services to suit business needs,”

said Steve Kennett, head of operational services at Janet: a part of Jisc.

“Our framework makes it possible for the research and education community to save time and money when purchasing a range of transmission services. There’s no need for customers to go through the procurement process unless they wish to run a competition between suppliers that we have shortlisted and evaluated. Imagine the time that saves.”

Chris Wade, commercial director at TNP, said:

“This agreement further demonstrates TNP’s real commitment to the public sector and to education in particular. Users of the framework will be able to benefit directly from our experience in designing, building and supporting higher education based networks. In addition to cost effective leased line solutions, TNP offers the ability for customers to own their own infrastructure, reducing operating costs and leveraging existing investment with the option of using alternative technologies.

We allow much greater flexibility and long-term sustainability, which we know is sorely needed in the education sector. We’re thrilled to have received this recognition on a national scale, validating TNP as a major player within the UK education sector.”

Categories: Universities

Connecting the future: Onyx Group named on prestigious telecommunications framework

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:41
6 August 2014

Data centre and IT infrastructure specialists Onyx Group have been awarded a place on the telecommunications framework, a service from Jisc, to supply IT connectivity solutions for the UK education and research sector. 

This comes just weeks after being confirmed as official cloud computing suppliers to the UK public sector through the G-Cloud 5 framework.

As experts in the connectivity field, Onyx Group were one of the first providers of business-to-business broadband in the UK upon their inception back in 1994. Onyx already possess a rich portfolio of higher education clients such as Heriot Watt and Newcastle University and are looking to expand further into the market by making their services available via the framework.

As one of only 18 companies approved by the framework in the UK, Onyx Group will now be able to offer education bodies a range of connectivity solutions in a simplified and more cost-effective way. Procured on behalf of UK education and research, companies are now able to purchase a range of connectivity services from Onyx via the framework without having to go through the lengthy procurement process.

Neil Stephenson, chief executive at Onyx Group, stated:

“Being awarded a place on the framework is testament to the high quality service delivered by our team over the last two decades.

With our network ranked in the top 1% of connected networks worldwide and powering our robust wholly-owned national infrastructure, we are perfectly placed to provide education bodies with a resilient and secure solution."

The telecommunications framework agreement enables the purchase of transmission services including leased circuits, wide area ethernet and xDSL. Billed under managed transmission, the framework may be used by higher and further education purchasing consortia, specialist colleges and research council establishments in the UK.

“Onyx Group is committed to helping research and education bodies benefit from high speed, reliable internet connectivity and the framework makes it possible for us to offer these solutions in a faster and more cost-effective manner”

continued Stephenson.

“Having passed the tough and rigorous assessment process carried out by Jisc, institutions can purchase services confident that they are working with the very best.”

Steve Kennett, head of operational services, Janet: a part of Jisc, said:

“the partnership between Onyx and Jisc will continue to support our vision for the UK to be the most digitally advanced education and research nation in the world. Working with trusted partners like Onyx ensures Jisc maintains value and quality for our sector”

Categories: Universities

Researchers welcome access to Science Classic archive

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:40
21 July 2014

AAAS and Jisc are pleased to announce an agreement which will give researchers, teachers and learners free access to over 100 years of peer-reviewed scientific news, commentary and cutting-edge research. 

The Science Classic archive will be available to staff and students in UK higher and further education and the research councils.

Founded in the late 19th century on $10,000 of seed money from the American inventor Thomas Edison, Science is now the largest paid circulation peer-reviewed general-science journal. The archive runs from its 1880 foundation until the online version was launched in 1997 and includes historically significant articles on the human genome, breast and colon cancer genes, and the Bose-Einstein condensate in physics.

Lorraine Estelle, executive director digital resources, Jisc and divisional CEO Jisc Collections said:

 “With this agreement Jisc is pleased to be able to make more high quality research available free of charge to researchers, teachers and learners in UK universities and colleges. This purchase will save institutions money and increase the ability of institutions to provide their users with the best materials for research, teaching and learning.

It also adds to the significant investment that Jisc has already made in journal archives for UK institutions over the last decade, adding over 160,000 articles to a collection of over 3.75million articles already purchased on behalf of institutions.”

Beth Rosner, the publisher of Science, said:

“We are very pleased to provide researchers in the United Kingdom with access to the Science Classic archive, which delivers peer-reviewed scientific research and commentary from 1880 until 1996. Our partnership with Jisc will help advance the research capabilities at UK institutions of higher and further education by providing full-text access to this prestigious source of research knowledge.”

Categories: Universities

Wellcome Library and Jisc announce partners in 19th century medical collections digitisation project

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:38
30 July 2014

The Wellcome Library and Jisc today announce nine partner institutions whose holdings will be digitised and added to the UK Medical Heritage Library, an online resource for the history of medicine and related sciences. 

Six university libraries have joined the partnership – UCL (University College London)University of LeedsUniversity of GlasgowLondon School of Hygiene & Tropical MedicineKings College London and University of Bristol – along with the libraries of the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and the Royal College of Surgeons of England

Approximately 15 million pages of printed books and pamphlets from all ten partners will be digitised over a period of two years and will be made freely available to researchers and the public under an open licence. By pooling their collections the partners will create a comprehensive online library. The content will be available on multiple platforms to broaden access, including the Internet Archive, the Wellcome Library and Jisc Historic Books.

The project's focus is on books and pamphlets from the 19th century that are on the subject of medicine or its related disciplines. This will include works relating to the medical sciences, consumer health, sport and fitness, as well as different kinds of medical practice, from phrenology to hydrotherapy.

Works on food and nutrition will also feature: around 1400 cookery books from the University of Leeds are among those lined up for digitisation. They, along with works from the other partner institutions, will be transported to the Wellcome Library in London where a team from the Internet Archive will undertake the digitisation work. The project will build on the success of the US-based Medical Heritage Library consortium, of which the Wellcome Library is a part, which has already digitised over 50 000 books and pamphlets.

Simon Chaplin, Head of the Wellcome Library, said:

"We are pleased that these nine institutions have chosen to add their valuable collections to the Medical Heritage Library. As well as our partners Jisc and Research Libraries UK, we will be working closely with our Academic Advisory Group to produce an online resource that is both a repository for a superb wealth of content and an effective research tool for a broad range of users."

Peter Findlay, digital portfolio manager, Jisc, said: 

"We are delighted that the Wellcome Library team has been able to identify such valuable collections, which will be digitised to a high standard, freed from the confines of their original format and made openly available for teaching, learning and research. By working closely with the partner institutions to build the UK Medical Heritage Library, we are converting books into searchable data so that users can explore every aspect of 19th-century medicine and develop new insights into this period of unprecedented medical discovery."

The UK MHL initiative started in 2013 when the Wellcome Library embarked on a project with the Internet Archive to digitise their collection of 19th-century medical books. The project was extended earlier in 2014 with the support of Jisc and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. It was co-designed with Research Libraries UK and is informed by an Academic Advisory Group to ensure that the best collections are included.

For the Wellcome Library this forms part of a larger ambition to digitise and make freely available over 50 million pages of historical medical books, archives, manuscripts and journals by 2020.

Categories: Universities

Professors Maguire and Trefethen announced as Jisc trustees

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:36
1 August 2014

Professors David Maguire, vice-chancellor of the University of Greenwich and Anne Trefethen, pro vice-chancellor and chief information officer at the University of Oxford, have been appointed as Jisc trustees.

They bring much expertise to the strategic leadership of Jisc and are welcome additions to the Jisc board. The expertise we have on, and oversight exercised by, the board is crucial to Jisc’s governance model and the determination of our strategic direction and priorities to sustain digital advantage for UK education and research.

David, since his appointment to the University of Greenwich in 2011, has been working to ensure quality and raise standards. He is widely published on computer mapping and geographic information systems and has almost 20 years of experience of working in the IT industry, experience he will bring to Jisc in his new role. He said:

"I am very pleased to be joining Jisc at this important stage in its evolution.  Jisc member organisations have much to contribute to the development of technology and are avid users of new and existing tools and technologies. I hope that I can introduce some of my experiences from the academic and commercial worlds into Jisc's strategic activities."

Anne is an internationally respected thinker on data-intensive research and the future of data curation. She has been chief information officer at the University of Oxford since 2012, having joined the university in 2005 to set up the e-Research Centre.

She has previously worked with Jisc on Neurohub a project which supported neuroscientists to efficiently and effectively use existing e-infrastructure. She said:

"I am delighted to join the Jisc board. As a community, we have been fortunate to enjoy the benefits of Jisc for over 20 years and I looking forward to working with Jisc and the board through this time of transition. We are all facing challenges in higher education institutions as we embrace digital technologies making the services of Jisc of even greater importance."

Professor Martin Hall, chair of the board of trustees, said:

“I am very much looking forward to working with Anne and David and welcome them to Jisc. Their roles will be key in overseeing the change and continuing development of Jisc to ensure it makes its crucial contribution to the UK higher education, further education and skills sectors efficiently and effectively.”

Categories: Universities

Free Janet Certificates for those affected by OpenSSL 'heartbleed' bug

JISC news - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:34
8 April 2014

Jisc is pleased to announce that those universities and colleges affected by the Open Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) bug, dubbed 'heartbleed', will be able to obtain replacement certificates through Jisc’s Janet Certificate Service for free.

SSL allows websites to demonstrate their authenticity to users. Most universities and colleges in the UK use OpenSSL for this process. Yesterday the heartbleed bug was detected in OpenSSL. Jisc’s Janet Certificate Service provides certificates in order to authenticate your website. This service is designed to speed up the process of requesting certificates for .ac.uk and .gov.uk domains and for other domains owned by UK universities and colleges. This service normally carries a fee of up to £35.

Affected universities and colleges are advised to follow the technical advice to protect their websites issued by Jisc-funded service, computer security incident response team (CSIRT).

Tim Kidd, operations director, said:

“As a trusted advisor to the education and research sector we are pleased to be offering advice and assistance to those affected by this issue. As well as technical advice we are offering affected universities and colleges replacement certificates free of charge. Any university or college affected and requiring a replacement certificate, should contact service@ja.net.”

If you have been affected by the heartbleed bug, and as a result need to replace SSL certificates, then please visit our community group to find out how to obtain yours for free.

Categories: Universities

Separating the AS and the A level will harm students' progress

Nus Org - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 15:23

NUS Vice President (Further Education) Joe Vinson explains how the current AS level and A level structure helped him and others through post-16 study.

Categories: NUS news

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