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A Problem Shared: Understanding shared services and the drive for efficiency in scholarly communications

UKSG's 2011 one-day conference will focus on shared services in scholarly communications

London  ()

Shared services are increasingly talked about in the scholarly communications sector, where prominent examples include centralised or consortial procurement (e.g. NESLi2) and collaborative cataloguing (e.g. OCLC).  Sharing of processes or technology is often considered to be more easily implemented in the public sector, where competitive barriers are lower, but publisher enterprises such as CrossRef have also deployed the model successfully, and many library vendors' systems provide the basis for shared service delivery.

Shared services are usually developed in order to improve quality, streamline functions and save money.  With severe funding cuts beginning to take effect in higher education, organisations such as SCONUL, HEFCE and JISC, as well as individual universities and libraries, are planning to broaden the implementation of shared services in order to achieve new cost savings.  Publishers and suppliers are also experimenting further with collaborative approaches to business challenges, such as ORCID for author identification.

This one-day UKSG conference, chaired by David Sommer, will look back at lessons learned from past collaboration, both within and outside the scholarly communications sector, consider the likely impact of current ventures, and explore how else all stakeholders in the scholarly information supply chain can work together and make better use of shared services to achieve new efficiencies in the future.  Our programme of speakers includes:

  • Ken Chad on the pressure points in scholarly communications that shared services can relieve (both locally and globally), the main issues that drive their implementation, and the need for sustainability of projects
    Anne Bell, university librarian at the University of Warwick, and chair of the SCONUL Shared Services Steering Group, on new HEFCE- and JISC-sponsored shared services for electronic resource management
    Colin Cram, procurement consultant, on the history of shared services and lessons that can be learned from other sectors
    Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen, Finland's deputy national librarian, on the progress of various shared services within the EU
    Speaker to be confirmedon procuring and implementing the UK's first 'unified resource management' (URM) system, and sharing data at the network level
    Mike Taylor, principal investigator at Elsevier Labs, on collaborative science, ORCID, and how publishers might best pursue shared services in future.

The event will include a "Question Time"-style discussion with delegates having the opportunity to submit questions in advance, as well as during the debate.  The programme allows plenty of time for networking and will close with a drinks reception.

Who should attend

The conference attracts a strategic audience of decision-makers from libraries, publishers and scholarly information community suppliers. We recommend you attend if:
•  you wish to broaden your understanding of a concept that will become increasingly relevant
•  you are likely to be involved in implementing shared services for any part of the scholarly information supply chain
•  you will be affected by the introduction of shared services, either as a user of those services or as a supplier to those users
•  you seek examples of how shared services have been successfully implemented to date
•  you have an interest in shaping the future of shared services in our sector.

Editorial Contact:
Tracy Gardner