Jisc regularly reviews the services that it funds, to ensure they deliver value for money, quality products and to test their sustainability for the future. A services portfolio review takes place annually and in May 2009 the future funding of Jisc services, including Intute, was considered in order to identify the funding priorities for the academic year 2010/11. As a result it has now been decided that funding to the Intute service will cease in its current form from 1 August 2010.
Professor David Baker, Deputy Chair of Jisc and Chair of the portfolio review process says, “Intute started in 1996 as the Resource Discovery Network, a cutting edge approach at the time to help librarians bring together quality resources online. The service pioneered one of the first online searchable catalogues for academic information and virtual training resources. In 2006, Intute launched as a service.
“As Jisc services reach the end of their existing funding cycle it is always intended, wherever possible, that they move from being fully funded to being part-funded or fully sustained by other sources. In 2007, Intute’s funding was renewed and the service was given five years to establish funding from alternative sources. However, without a clearly identified alternative funding stream the continuation of Intute in its current form is therefore not considered viable beyond July 2010.”
Professor Baker added, “The review process, deliberately involves researchers, academics, information professionals and senior policy makers from across education and research. Through this process the committee members concluded that the current Intute model is too complicated and costly.
“Technology and user behaviour has evolved and the Intute model has not been able to keep up with those changes. Intute could not be considered a priority in the context of Jisc’s remit to develop innovative technology services to support UK colleges and universities in addressing the demands of the next decade. This, combined with the pressure being exerted as a result of the current economic climate, means it has been necessary to make this decision.”
Jisc and Intute are considering whether limited aspects of the current content could be sustained through different routes perhaps using social networking channels.
Professor Baker concluded, “Working with Intute has given Jisc valuable insights into how educators and researchers access online resources which will be taken into future projects and services. It is a tribute to Intute, its predecessors and its people that the service pioneered the use of online searchable academic resources.”
Visit the Intute website for further information on future arrangements.