UKOLN Informatics

Expertise in digital information management

Topic: News

Closure of UKOLN Informatics

📥  News

It is with sadness that we announce that UKOLN Informatics will cease to operate on 31 July 2015. UKOLN Informatics fulfilled UKOLN’s commitments to projects such as the DCC (Digital Curation Centre) and CCMDIR (Community Capability Model for Data-Intensive Research) following the cessation of its core activity, the Innovation Support Centre, in 2013.

The reason for the closure is largely one of sustainability, or rather the lack of it. It was initially hoped that the unit would build up momentum with a portfolio of new projects, but the funding climate meant it was not possible to set this up before the UKOLN Director moved on. Therefore there was no project to replace CCMDIR when it ceased in 2014, and the remaining DCC staff were put at risk of redundancy on an annual basis due to the timing of funding extensions. Since the research interests of UKOLN were unique at Bath, the unit could not be aligned with another group within the university, and efforts to transfer the unit to another institution did not bear fruit.

As a result of this collision of circumstances, the University of Bath will withdraw from the DCC consortium at the end of July 2015 and close UKOLN. Alex Ball will take up a new position within the university as Research Data Librarian, while the other staff are on notice of redundancy.

Aspects of UKOLN’s work will continue beyond Bath. The DCC goes forward as a collaboration between the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow; the International Digital Curation Conference will be held as planned in 2016 and no doubt beyond, and a refreshed editorial team will take on the International Journal of Digital Curation. Looking further back, Ariadne, the Web magazine for information professionals, has a new home at Loughborough University Library.

The timing of this closure is unfortunate. We believe that issues of digital information management, whether involving research data or cultural heritage collections, will become more relevant to society, not less. The skills and expertise nurtured by UKOLN over its 38 years are exactly those needed in today’s networked and data-driven world. It is therefore to be hoped that UKOLN may one day be revived to tackle the new issues and challenges that arise. But for now at least, it is time to say goodbye.


Farewell to Manjula Patel

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We bid a fond farewell to Manjula Patel, who takes early retirement today following the successful conclusion of the CCMDIR (Community Capability Model for Data-Intensive Research) project. Manjula joined UKOLN in 1998, having already worked for the University of Bath for nine years, making her one of our longest serving members of staff. With Rachel Heery she wrote the seminal paper on metadata application profiles, and she was involved in many high profile projects such as DELOS, eBank/eCrystals, and I2S2. She will be sorely missed around campus.

We wish Manjula a long and happy retirement.


Farewell to Liz Lyon

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Dr Liz Lyon, UKOLN Director, leaves us at the end of this year, for a new position as Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences. Liz has led UKOLN at the University of Bath for over ten years, and has overseen many successful partnerships such as the Digital Curation Centre and Microsoft Research.

We would like to wish Liz well in her new role and look forward to exploring new opportunities with the iSchool at Pitt.



📥  News

Welcome to the UKOLN Informatics blog! This is the place where you will find the latest news about our research and pointers to new publications. We will also let you know where you can hear us present our work, and about events we are organizing, so do please come and say hello if you have the opportunity.