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Memorandum of Understanding

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE BRITISH LIBRARY, ENGLISH HERITAGE, THE E-SIgenericNCE CORE PROGRAMME, THE JOINT INFORMATION SYSTEMS COMMITTEE, THE MUSEUMS, LIBRARIES & ARCHIVES COUNCIL AND THE NATIONAL ELECTRONIC LIBRARY FOR HEALTH

Aims and Objectives

The aim of this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to help cement a collaborative, cross-sectoral partnership to build a common on-line information environment.

The organisations listed above are committed to working together to achieve the aim of creating a common on-line information environment to support life long learning by developing and supporting common tools and services to provide access to, and delivery of, resources.

Background

Access to high quality on-line information and learning resources are essential to the citizen if we are to achieve educational excellence. Networked resources clearly offer a new potential for all, and have the advantage that they can be made available to those formally or informally engaged in learning. What is apparent however is that finding and using the right resources is not easy. Without the enabling role of a managed environment, the user cannot always be confident about the quality or relevance of the information they access.

A number of key public sector bodies recognise that parallel investment has taken place in the digital educational assets, infrastructure and services to support enhanced engagement with on-line resources for formal and informal learning. There is clearly a risk that without much greater common working our respective contributions in providing access to new digital resources will be limited to individual branded networks, and that users will not fully benefit from the central investment that has been made in these initiatives.

Therefore, a number of key organisations working to promote educational excellence through technology in the public sector have agreed to build on existing work to enhance access to on-line resources.

Specific Areas of Joint Activity

The organisations desire to establish a strategic partnership that is mutually beneficial given the significant common activities already undertaken. They have therefore agreed to work together, wherever possible and practical, in the areas outlined below. The parties agree to share information about relevant respective activities particularly in (but not limited to) these areas.

This memorandum records the intent of the listed organisations as of the date of signature, and delineates the areas in which the organisations expect to develop specific collaborative plans. The terms of the MoU outlines five areas of strategic importance for the organisations involved. This gives the respective organisations a manageable framework within which to situate future collaborative efforts.

In particular this partnership will include:

  1. collaborative development of a common distributed approach for storing, managing and delivering on-line content;
  2. procurement of common services where appropriate;
  3. research and development in critical areas such as web development tools, cataloguing and metadata, preservation;
  4. co-operation in creating and acquiring content (from third-party rights holders on appropriate terms) to promote wide availability;
  5. exploration of joint funding for UKOLN activities.

It is intended to enhance access to on-line resources by:

Through such a partnership, the organisations expect to:

 

 

 


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