Monday, 18 October 2010

Project Highlights for the coming academic year

An outline of what's in the pipeline.


We will have eight Fellows over the course of the year. The first, Ed Chamberlain, is already beavering away on "Digitisation-on-Demand in academic research libraries". We will have two Fellows working on a radical re-engineering of the info-skills curriculum to make it fit for purpose in a networked scholarly environment, and two working on using technology to support the work of a busy teaching library. And Isla Kuhn will be working on designing a one-day symposium on health-related information (see below for more information).


We have three interesting speakers booked for the Michaelmas Term.

On November 2 Professor Richard Susskind will talk about "The End of Lawyers?" He is one of the world's leading experts on the impact of information technology on the legal profession and has been an adviser to the Lord Chancellor's Department on IT systems for supporting the administration of justice. Given that librarianship is also an established profession that is being profoundly affected by information technology we thought it would be interesting to hear about his experience with his own profession.

More details at

On November 16 Dr Mark Patterson, Director of Publishing at the Public Library of Science (PLoS) will talk about "Re-engineering the Scholarly Journal". Open Access publishing will be one of the key areas of interest to the academic community in the coming decades and PLoS is a fascinating and successful enterprise in this area. Given that it's on our doorstep, it seemed like a good idea to hear about PLoS's experience so far and their thoughts about the future.

More details at:

On Devember 7 Simon Andrewes will give a talk on the subject of "Changing BBC News: the cultural, managerial and editorial challenges of adapting to a digital environment". Given that adjusting to the needs of a digital environment poses major problems for any established and successful organisation, we were looking for a speaker who could speak from experience. Simon Andrewes was formerly Head of Newsroom development at BBC News and is currently leading a project to deliver and implement a set of online tools to help BBC Journalism collaborate and share more effectively.

More details at:


The Arcadia Lecture: April 2011

The Arcadia Lecture will be given in April 2011 by Tim O'Reilly, the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, and the only publisher who can command the attention of Linux-kernel geeks. Tim has built O'Reilly Media into a leading publisher of computing-related books and a major conference-organising organisation on leading-edge technology issues. He is credited with coining the phrase 'Web 2.0' and is widely recognised as one of the world's most influential commentators on technology issues.

International symposium: health information in a digital world

In 2011 we plan to host a major one-day symposium on how online information and search is impacting on health care. As part of her Arcadia Fellowship, Isla Kuhn, will be working on this. The symposium will focus on most (though perhaps not all: a day may be a long time in politics, but it's just a blink in an academic timescale) of the following areas:

  • Patients

  • Practitioners

  • Researchers

  • Policy-makers

  • Mass media

  • Technology

  • More details will be available as we have them.


    Specification and development of an iPhone/Android App

    We plan to devote some resources to the development of an original, library-related smartphone App. If you're interested in helping imagine and specify an App, please email me (jjn1 at cam).

    The Arcadia Project Book

    We will be crowdsourcing a book based largely -- but not exclusively -- on reports by Arcadia Fellows, using an approach pioneered by the Dan Cohen, last year's Arcadia Lecturer.

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