‘Statement of Intent’

The legacy of First World War in terms of social, economic and political global change cannot be overstated; it changed the individual’s view of society and their place within it with far-reaching effects into their future and our past. In the words of H.G. Wells: ‘This is the end and the beginning of an age’.
To mark this event is therefore a key landmark for custodians of cultural heritage and educators alike. The commemoration provides the opportunity for museums, galleries, archives, libraries, the creative industries, universities, colleges and schools to work together to provide a user experience made possible through innovative digital technologies that is as personal, rich and vivid as it is focused; an experience that offers the user the ability to contextualise their own understanding and customise resources in line with their own learning and research priorities.

To support specifically the JISC WW1 Commemoration programmes, but to eventually to support other digital content and service provision in education and beyond, JISC proposes to make clear its strategic and technical aims through this ‘Statement of Intent’.

Statement of Intent

Strategic Vision

UK students, teachers and researchers will have access to a wealth of unique and authoritative digital materials which are comprehensive, open and sustainable. These resources will provide an opportunity to interact with and create new and innovative forms of education and research around the First World War in order to build upon our nation’s body of knowledge of this period.

The commemoration of WW1 offers providers of publically-funded content a vital opportunity within the digital domain to provide a digital user experience that is personal, rich and vivid. This user experience should offer the user the ability to contextualise their own understanding and customise resources in line with their own teaching, learning and research priorities.

The WW1 commemoration also offers providers of digitally-funded content a framework ‘theme’, by which to explore and challenge some of the barriers that have previously impeded access to digital resources, be they legal, economic or technical, so that content remains accessible, relevant and malleable to user needs.

In achieving this ambition, public bodies working on behalf of education, cultural heritage and public-service broadcasting as well as funders need to work together to unlock the potential of the rich collections and in doing so, provide co-ordination so that expertise can be shared and maximum impact can leveraged from the ‘public purse’.

To this end, JISC is committed to:

  • Setting in place the building blocks to understand how academic audiences can play a formative role in an academic appraisal and reappraisal of themes, events and perceptions of WW1 and how this can be effectively represented through technological means to support innovative teaching, learning and research.
  • Understanding, gathering and evaluating evidence on the legal, economic and technical barriers in providing access and re-use opportunities and recommend methods of mitigation or circumvention.
  • Providing co-ordination, and where appropriate, sharing expertise so that maximum impact can be leveraged the most from the public purse and duplication of effort is avoided.

Technical Vision:

UK students, teachers and researchers will have easy, flexible and ongoing access to WW1 content and service through a collaborative, aggregated and integrated resource discovery and delivery framework which is comprehensive, open and sustainable.

JISC is committed to enabling the Vision of the ‘Discovery’ programme and aims to apply its principles and methodology in the delivery of the JISC WW1 programmes so that WW1 digital content resources are more discoverable both by people and machines. In doing so, we can make our data work harder, integrating and combining it in new ways that can add value for researchers, teachers, and managers of information assets within libraries, archives and museums.

Working to enable this Vision, JISC and its partners can go about building critical mass of discoverable content through opening up data, providing examples and communicating outcomes through the context of WW1. It is envisaged that this will offer the opportunity to test, monitor and evaluate the methodology and Vision against a ‘real world’ theme.

To this end, JISC is committed to:

  • Engaging key stakeholders across libraries, archives and museums – from directors to developers, those who have the power, the ideas and the will to make things happen;
  • Building a critical mass of freely available quality data that will inspire others to participate in opening up their own data and developing purposeful aggregations and compelling applications;
  • Exemplifing what can be done across domains if we work together to free data and explore how to make that data work harder
  • Communicating the direction and means of distribution through well-targeted events, exemplars, publications and forums.