Web Magazine for Information Professionals

Updated JISC Guides Are Now Available

Emma Beer describes the new JISC Resource Guides.

The huge growth in Internet resources to support learning, teaching and research can make the business of finding high-quality relevant resources both time-consuming and frustrating. JISC Resource Guides, and a dedicated team of Resource Guide Advisers across seven subject areas direct researchers in UK Higher Education to a selection of key, high-quality resources. The Resource Guide team aims to raise awareness of key resources through a Web-based and print-based Guide with a subject-specific focus, and through awareness-raising via presentations and series of workshops with a hands-on focus. Resource Guide Advisers work closely with the Resource Discovery Network hubs [1].

New guides

A suite of new Guides are available now and may be ordered for free over the Internet [2]. The Guide has been entirely revamped in format and in design and will provide an inviting addition to library display stands as well as assisting learners, teachers and researchers in higher education to find the best resources for their learning and teaching needs.

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) [3] is a publicly funded agency supporting higher and further education funding bodies within the UK. Its role is to support the use of information and communications technology through the provision of infrastructure, digital collections and services for resource delivery and discovery. The Resource Guides initiative evolved out of pilot studies of Resource Guides in the Social Sciences and the Arts and Humanities. These early Guides aimed to raise subject-specific resources as well as resources that were growing to support different aspects of ICT in the form of support, training, and advisory services. Having found that the Guides fulfilled a demand in these subject areas, the initiative grew to incorporate five subject areas.

Each Resource Guide Adviser provides:

Having been in post a year now, each Resource Guide Adviser has distributed tens of thousands of guides, has been involved in outreach activities and has by now developed a second updated and revamped Guide after an intensive Consultation Day in June with key representatives from our user community.

Expansion of the Initiative

The seven Resource Guides are:

Photo (91KB) : The new look JISC Resource Guide for Arts and Humanities
The new look JISC Resource Guide for Arts and Humanities

New Framework

The revamped design has been accompanied by a more user-friendly system of collating the resources across all seven guides. The resources are categorised under the following headings:

Bibliographic information

Searchable resources for sourcing and locating research material, including: abstracts, indexes, and tables of contents from journals, conference papers, proceedings, technical reports, standards, dissertations and research papers; library catalogue information; archive material; and current awareness services.

General reference

A range of resources for sourcing and locating reference material for learning, teaching and research needs.

Publications online

Publications, which include books, journals, pamphlets, abstracts, monographs and full-text articles that can be viewed online and saved for your reference. The level of access, e.g. full text, will depend on an institution’s subscription. Libraries hold information regarding subscriptions and access conditions.

Subject gateways

Subject-based catalogues of Internet resources, which have been selected, evaluated and classified by subject specialists in accordance with criteria designed to ensure resource quality.

Data and multimedia resources

These include digital mapping, datasets from governmental, national and international organisations, and a range of Web-based interfaces and tools for analysing data. Multimedia resources feature online images, film and video resources available for download.

Learning and teaching

Resources developed to support learning and teaching practices (including the provision of learning method case studies, advice, software and guidance on their integration into the curriculum) and also online self-learning packages and tutorials.

Support services

A range of services to encourage and develop the use of networked information within the education community. These services provide advice, information and training in the effective use of electronic resources and address the legal and organisational implications of using them.

As digital resources expand exponentially, the Resource Guides, updated every six months, provide an important time saver for information professionals and academics alike.

Once the new guides are disseminated much work will be focussed not only on outreach activities, but also on providing Web-based training materials for resources on each of the Resource Guide Web sites, to ensure that all Higher Education institutions in the UK are able to keep themselves updated.

Outreach activities

Further information about available outreach activities can be found on the back of each Guide, along with contact information for each Resource Guide Adviser.

Keeping Updated

It is possible to keep updated through the Resource Guide announcements list [4]. All Resource Guide Advisers have their own individual announcement lists to which you may also sign up.


  1. Resource Discovery Network http://www.rdn.ac.uk
  2. JISC Resource Guides http://www.jisc.ac.uk/resourceguides/
  3. The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) http://www.jisc.ac.uk/
  4. Archives of RG-ALL-ANNOUNCE@JISCMAIL.AC.UK, Superlist for RG- mailing lists http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/RG-ALL-ANNOUNCE.html

Author Details

Emma Beer
Resource Guide Adviser for Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities Data Service
King’s College, London

Email: emma.beer@ahds.ac.uk
Website: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/resourceguides/artshum/

Return to top

Article Title: “Updated Jisc Resource Guides Now Available”
Author: Emma Beer
Publication Date: 30-October-2003
Publication: Ariadne Issue 37
Originating URL: http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue37/beer/