The long-term risks of not developing and innovating in our library services (loss of relevance for the library’s services; student, teacher and researcher dissatisfaction; the inability to further innovate because of the ‘chilling’ effect of out-of-date technology) outweigh any risks internal to the project. Through work done so far, we are confident that we have sufficient skills and experience among team members to undertake each of the deliverables. The project has support from the most senior level of university management.
Our main concern is around the licensing of our data, some of which is supplied by third-parties.1 We will ensure that mechanisms are put in place during the development of our APIs, that ensure we conform to any licensing agreements and have a sufficient body of data that we own to make the project worthwhile. IPR issues are further addressed below.
As always, there is a minor risk that team members may be absent during the project due to illness, but this will be mitigated by close collaboration on work packages and sharing of responsibilities.
We have worked on Jerome, experimentally, for the last four months and have resolved many of the initial questions that might arise in a project like this. From the point of view of our ICT systems, many of the technological and related cultural changes (i.e. the use of No-SQL rather than relational databases) are being worked through and positively demonstrated in our work on Total ReCal.
We hope to achieve a number of objectives through the deliverables of this project. If we find we have been over ambitious, we will prioritise the release of bibliographic data and the development of sustainable, supported APIs. The public-facing search portal and personalisation engine can be completed post-project, based on the achievements of our other deliverables.
In line with the RDTF report, the Jerome project has recognised that “change is vital if library catalogues are to retain relevance and visibility in the wider networked discovery environment.” Similarly, we also understand there is a business case for making our library services data available in open and standardised ways and will derive a number of indicative use-cases from those provided in the Open Bibliographic Data Guide to inform our business case.
The proposed project receives the full support of the University Librarian, and concords with the Library’s strategic aim to develop innovative and student-centred services, responsible to new ways of thinking and doing, and which support the Student as Producer agenda.
The proposal is born out of lessons learned from the Learning Landscape project, Total ReCal, JISCPress and our investigative work on Jerome so far. We are committed to developing and improving our virtual research, teaching and learning environment and see our work on Jerome as fundamental and integral to this commitment.
We will engage in a number of ways to communicate with stakeholders throughout the project (blog, Twitter, conferences, case studies) so as to ensure that our work is widely known, understood and supported.
We will demonstrate the value of innovation around library data to all stakeholders, in terms of how they express our virtual Learning Landscape, improve the effectiveness of communication across the university and contribute to a more efficient use (and re-use) of data.
The University of Lincoln can demonstrate that past JISC-funded projects have led to sustained services that continue to benefit our staff, students and the wider community.
- Including MARC records sourcd from national libraries via Z39.50 services (though not directly from OCLC); e-book MARC records from commercial vendors; journal TOCs via RSS. [↩]