Web Magazine for Information Professionals


Linda Kerr introduces a project from the Access to Network Resources section of the eLib programme which takes a holistic approach to providing access to high quality on-line engineering resources.

EEVL [1] is approaching the end of its two-year funding from JISC as part of the eLib Project. We have applied for a further twelve months of precious funding to enable us to carry on providing and developing our services, to tie in with other three-year Subject Based Information Gateway projects such as SOSIG [2] and ADAM [3].

EEVL provides a free gateway to networked engineering resources, primarily for the UK Higher Academic community, however it is peculiarly gratifying to see from the log files that users from Greenland and Swaziland, as well as the USA Military Network have also accessed our site.

EEVL Logo The project is based at Heriot-Watt University Library and the Institute of Computer Based Learning, also at Heriot-Watt. An integral part of the project is the EEVL Team - subject specialists from Napier University, Imperial College London, Edinburgh University, the Nottingham Trent University and Cambridge University, who locate and describe websites for the database of engineering Internet resources. This devolved system has meant that EEVL has been able to build up the database quickly, but more importantly the project has had input from subject librarians who are also information providers to our target group. There is central “quality control” of resources, based on decisions reached by the EEVL Team. Each record is examined a second time before being made active. This model of resource location and evaluation is something we intend to continue in year three.

New Services on EEVL

As well as the main EEVL database described above, which currently contains nearly 2,000 records, we have added two others: a subset of the Recent Advances in Manufacturing [4] (RAM) bibliographic database produced by the Nottingham Trent University, and a Directory of the UK University Science and Technology Librarians Group (USTLG) [5]. We plan to bring online other databases in year three or before. We have also implemented a popular UK Engineering Search Engine [6]. This is based on Harvest [7] software, and indexes every word on the pages of the UK sites included in the EEVL database, up to a limit of 250 pages per site. There are currently 25,000 pages indexed, and the Harvest gatherer, which does the indexing, is run every month.


EEVL’s overall aim is to provide a service to the higher academic community which covers all the engineering disciplines, but which is tailored to the individual’s information needs.

And how do you find out information needs? EEVL completed an evaluation [8] of the project’s pilot stage and will hopefully extend this evaluation in year three. A series of sessions, introducing EEVL to engineering department staff and students at various universities, will also provide ongoing feedback on user expectations and requirements. Handouts from these sessions will form part of an online EEVL tutorial which will be made available at the EEVL site.

Future for EEVL

Our future plans at the moment depend on whether we receive third year funding from JISC, and fall into three areas - maintaining and enhancing the database of engineering resources and other existing services, introducing new services, and dissemination of information about EEVL in the form of training and publicity. Top priorities are developing a Harvest index to ejournals, and user customisable services.


  1. Project EEVL Web Site
  2. SOSIG Web Site
  3. ADAM Web Site
  4. RAM on EEVL
  5. UK University Science and Technology Librarians Group (USTLG)
  6. UK Engineering Search Engine
  7. Harvest Web Pages
  8. EEVL Evaluation Report

Author Details

Linda Kerr,
EEVL Project Officer
email: L.Kerr@hw.ac.uk
Tel: 0131 451 3572
Fax: 0131 451 3164
Address: Heriot-Watt University Library, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS