[JISC] Weeknote 8/33

Due to the Easter bank holiday and the (wonderful) University of Bristol closure day on Tuesday this a very short week. It also had a strange feel to it as so many members of staff had extended their breaks and it felt a bit Marie Celeste like at times.

One nice side effect of this though was that I had three days in a row devoid of any meetings 🙂 This is almost certainly the first time this has happened since I returned to JISC. Most of my time though seemed to be filled with catching up on reading and admin as the next two weeks are going to be challenging time-wise. The JISC Conference next week is quickly followed by a further day of meetings in London and then a further three events that will mean I’ll be forced to snatch ‘real’ work time whenever I can – and that is likely to be evenings and next weekend.

It was good to catch up my reading though – JISC has commissioned a number of reports lately in areas I have an interest and as usual I found them equal parts challenging, thought provoking and frustrating. The frustration is born out of a long held discomfort with the format and style of most of our outputs. Things are starting to change but I wonder who we really think is reading these 50 page reports in full (apart from me!) and if we have to commission additional work to boil them down into something that will make an impact aren’t we doubling our workload? (This is hugely simplistic I know – there is value in the ‘big’ reports but I really do wonder about the impact they have.)

Like many other people I was also a bit distracted at times this week by the activity around the Digital Economy Bill/Act. I’m not going to comment any more on that other than to say I think it was a dark day for the British digital community.

Looking forward to JISC10 next week – since the conference ceased to be my responsibility I have found them an enjoyable experience – this will be my first (and probably only one) as a JISC employee with no direct responsibilities on the day(s). I intend to blog about it and will likely do some tweeting on the day as well as try and arrange some kind of meetup on the Monday evening. It is always good to catch up with people as well as meet Twitter folk face-to-face for the first time.

One thought on “[JISC] Weeknote 8/33

  1. Interesting comments about reading the 50 page reports in full 🙂 In several roles have had to read JISC central, program and (especially) project reports, often in full. Also am guilty of writing several reports/tomes myself that should on reflection have been much shorter and less … well, dull.

    Project reports do of late seem to be getting shorter and punchier. Often, not always, but often. Which is good. In the Virtual Worlds sector, the JISC M3 and Open Habitat projects are good examples of this. Shorter is better as the reader is not usually interested in reams of admin, methodology and (especially) introduction to the subject area. Shorter reports which are frank about what worked, what didn’t, and reasons why also seem more plausible.

    Funding applications for JISC monies have evolved, and have a page or word limit on them. Project report templates have evolved too, but unsure whether there is a page limit on them; maybe for consideration? (And yes, appreciate that some straightforward projects have little of general interest to say, while other, more experimental ones, may have a lot).

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