DEFF coordination committee
DEFF steering commitee
From left to right:
The organisation of DEFF
Even though 2006 was slightly atypical as regards activities within the programme areas, the year was marked by the continuation of a number of earlier initiatives and the implementation of new and interesting projects. The following paragraphs provide an overview of the work in the programme areas, the DEFF secretariat, Knowledge Exchange and international cooperation in 2006 as well as the objectives for 2007.
The programme areas
In the area of e-publishing, dissemination of PURE continued. It was implemented in even more universities and an increased interest in the system was shown by institutions under both the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education. The Danish Research Database (DDF) underwent a consolidation process which resulted in the establishment of a cheaper and better base constructed on the basis of improved data from the universities’ systems. DDF’s project management also arranged for Danish research data to be exported to Google Scholar.
Information literacy was a significant action area and a number of projects dealt with various different aspects of the concept. The work involved is coordinated via the Library as an active learning partner project and resulted in a number of communication activities in the form of reports and a feature day in the autumn.
In addition to the more general issues related to information literacy and the library’s role in the learning process, a number of projects concentrated on the practical integration of information resources into the e-learning process (DELA, Edumedia and Digitev) and provided technical support in connection with the acquisition of information literacy (the Learning objects web and E-support tools for information literacy projects). However, there are still a number of copyright restrictions on the full utilisation of digital information for learning purposes. The absence of a satisfactory framework agreement for the scanning of information for teaching purposes continues to present problems.
User facilities continued to work on the implementation of a digital reference service for use in some libraries in collaboration with Biblioteksvagten (the Library Assistant). There was only a limited amount of activity in the portal area. However, Juraportalen and Bizigate have collaborated on an interesting project which allows licensed information through the portals. This joint effort to make available an academic licence service for the provision of licences could prove to be an interesting supplement to traditional institution-based information dissemination.
With regard to the purchase of licences, libraries experienced record turnover again this year. Part of the explanation for this is that the licence cooperation in 2006 also included consortia for the new health regions and, thus, all hospitals and general practitioners.
During the year, work began on a new structure which, amongst other things, is intended to replace previous academic networks and ensure improved service to small institutions. This work resulted in a new structure with two independent licence groups. The conclusion of a licence contract for the “The Danish National Encyclopedia” for, e.g., upper secondary schools represents a significant step for large Danish licence agreements.
System architecture activities were, admittedly, not coordinated via the programme group all year. However, work continued on specific projects and on the implementation of a joint organisation for the management of access to further education and research (DK-AAI). The dissemination of service-oriented architecture proved to be more difficult than expected but this was included in specific projects such as Fedora.
The secretariat’s activities were also affected by the changes and reorganisation. Two of the members of staff who had previously worked primarily on portals, the web site and e-publishing began work in the licence area. At the end of the year, two new members of staff were assigned to the secretariat to work on licences to replace two other employees who had chosen to seek new challenges elsewhere. The secretariat worked to set up an administration database for the licence area. This is intended to support the work of the secretariat and provide libraries with better service.
Turnover in the programme area for licences amounted to over DKK 100 million in 2006 and, with over 250 libraries and more than 175 products, this area represents one of the secretariat’s main tasks.
The working groups in the licence area were restructured during the year to replace the academic network. Active programme groups were sorely missed in the secretariat and this made it difficult to initiate and coordinate joint activities. The secretariat worked hard during the spring to formulate a new structure and, during the second half of the year, a great deal of resources were used on discussions and creating a basis for a decision on integrated searches.
In addition, the secretariat’s staff spent a good deal of effort on supporting the development of Knowledge Exchange and on establishing a new secretariat for Nordbib. They worked hard to create defined limits for DK-AAI and to secure financing for the organisation which was finalised at the end of the year.
A new model was devised for the Danish Research Database (DDF). This makes use of the new data and opportunities provided by the PURE systems and the result is a cheaper and improved base. As a result, the part of the research database that was used by institutions for reporting was abolished and, instead, the possibility of providing small institutions with alternative solutions such as Atira’s PURE system and DTU’s Orbit system was being considered.
The secretariat negotiated a contract on the scanning of the front pages of books for use in library catalogues and web pages. It also attempted to encourage contracts for scanning for e-learning purposes and for the digitalisation of Danish core periodicals.
During its first year, Knowledge Exchange has explored and evaluated a large number of topics and activities. All of these are given high priority in the development plans of the four partner organisations and are relevant and suitable for joint development and cooperation. In addition, Knowledge Exchange has worked with facilitation models for knowledge sharing which are able to accommodate organisations that differ greatly in structure, organisation, decision-making procedures and culture. Four action areas have been selected as the first Knowledge Exchange initiatives: Digital archives, licences, sustainability and strategy.
The objective is to create added value in connection with existing activities at a national level, to build confidence, promote interaction and create joint goals and to test different models for the generation of knowledge sharing and cooperation structures. Over the past six months there has been a great deal of activity and planning to establish these initiatives and the results are described below:
Experts from the four countries involved in the collaboration, i.e. Denmark, Germany, Holland and the UK, ran the workshop On Interoperability and Institutional Repositories together with representatives from the EU project, DRIVER. The workshop was held in January 2007 at SURF in Utrecht, Holland.
All four partner organisations work at a national level to obtain digital information by means of large international licence contracts. In September, an action plan was approved which included, among other things, benchmarking of licence contracts, joint invitations to tender, a joint licence register to support future licence contracts and joint activities as well as a workshop in which all four countries will participate in February 2007.
By means of application procedures, funding requirements, evaluation and dissemination requirements, all four partners attempted to ensure project results which would reinforce joint development, the application of standards and a satisfactory level of competence. In addition, they attempted to ensure that products meet the requirements of the future and that solutions are reusable. A JISC/SURF workshop and a DEFF workshop were held in 2006. In January 2007, a DFG workshop was held and a joint workshop on sustainability is planned for 2007.
Based on the vision for Knowledge Exchange’s role in and influence on the development of ICT in the scientific research and education environment, the main purpose of the Knowledge Exchange initiative is to contribute to the development of joint strategies and programmes within the partner organisations. In October 2006, Knowledge Exchange held a meeting in Berlin. The meeting was called the Decision Makers’ Forum. It was a round table discussion between the top management of the four partners and was based on the four new strategies. The meeting resulted in, amongst other things, a declaration of the vision for Knowledge Exchange, a roadmap for Knowledge Exchange, coordinated Knowledge Exchange briefing, inclusive engagement with the European Parliament, the European Commission, directorates, national and transnational funding organisations (such as NSF) and a plan to hold a Decision Maker’s Forum again in 2007. In addition, the board of directors of Knowledge Exchange has decided to conduct a comparative strategy analysis of the four partner strategies.
The organisational structure of Knowledge Exchange was changed in September 2006. Thus, the interests of the Knowledge Exchange initiative are served by the four partner organisations. They are responsible for its progress and the generation of new initiatives and activities together with a steering committee consisting of management representatives from the partner organisations. The task of the Knowledge Exchange office is to facilitate and support the partners. At a strategic level, a board of directors is responsible for consultancy and helps to identify correlations within strategies and development. This ensures the desired level of service in the research and education environment.
Knowledge Exchange launched a new web site in December 2006 at www.knowledge-exchange.info.
In 2006, DEFF participated in a number of international forums. In addition, the secretariat’s licence staff was in continual contact with mainly foreign providers and vendors who usually come to Denmark for negotiation meetings. The DEFF secretariat negotiates a large number of contracts annually on the basis of a portfolio numbering over 175 contracts. In 2006, contract volume exceeded DKK 100 million.
At the end of 2005, DEFF carried forward DKK 0,24 million to 2006. In addition, DEFF received a reverse transfer totalling DKK 2,02 million in 2006 from completed projects for which expenses were lower than expected. DEFF’s ordinary funding under the Finance Act amounted to DKK 17,3 million.
A total of DKK 12,7 million was spent on the six application areas. The distribution of funds between these application areas reflects the fact that, due to the reorganisation, fewer projects were initiated via the programme groups than in previous years. Expenses in the area of system architecture included two large grants for integrated search. One of the grants, amounting to DKK 1 million, was given to a collective enterprise related to joint data, and the other, amounting to DKK 1,9 million, was for the Primo consortium.
In addition to this, DKK 1,2 million was spent on operating costs and the further development of the Danish Research Database. The largest system architecture projects were related to Shibboleth and document delivery.
|Financial statements 2006||
|Carried forward 2005||
|Reverse transfer 2006||
|Costs – action lines|
|Licences (subsidy Ministry of Education)||
|Total costs action lines||
|Other expenses (conferences, travel etc.)||
|Secretariat (incl. rent etc.)||
|Carried forward 2006||
Costs that were not related to the application areas primarily included an expenditure of DKK 5,2 million on the secretariat (including rent etc). Subsidies totalling DKK 0,53 million were given to library systems partnerships under the Ministry of Education. Contrary to previous years, expenses for conferences, travel etc. were kept separate from the application areas.
Total expenditure amounted to DKK 19,5 million and DEFF will carry forward DKK 0.045 million to 2007.
More detailed accounts are available on DEFF’s web site (in Danish).
Following DEFF’s new organisation, new project groups will be established in 2007. The groups will be given the opportunity to continue their project work and create new action plans for a large number of tasks. Thus, there is a need to structurise the work on integrated search and this includes the coordination of document delivery and shared data. There is reason to assume that digitalisation and scanning for e-learning purposes will become important new action areas. In addition, discussions about publishing policies and initiatives in the area of open access will be obvious focus areas.
An important organisational task during 2007 will be the incorporation of upper secondary schools into the DEFF cooperation.
However, the most important task will be to create a positive framework for the cooperation that will benefit the organisation of the steering committee and the work of the programme groups but also the work with international partners and the collaboration in Knowledge Exchange.