Readers who have been conversant with the recent travails of UKOLN  will have been aware that Ariadne has been, to put it mildly, living in interesting times. The closure of the Jisc Innovation Support Centre at UKOLN at the end of July 2013 had signalled the demise of the publication with the total number of issues reaching 71, after a period of reduced numbers of issues per year. Whatever the facts of the matter, I would have found it very hard not to feel I had personally failed in the mission of maintaining what must figure as a significant publication to this community of professionals and as a repository of their considerable enthusiasm, expertise and experience.
I am delighted therefore to be able to inform readers and authors that my colleagues at the University of Bath Library (where Ariadne is produced) will be taking over the running of the publication with effect from 1 August 2013. I wish to thank those colleagues in the University Library and UKOLN who have worked to bring about this most welcome transfer.
Even more importantly, I would like to call upon the many supporters of Ariadne, readers and authors, to give my Library colleagues their whole-hearted support through suggestions for material and above all, of course, proposals for articles or, even better, drafts of articles you are thinking of publishing. While I recognise, and have seen for myself, the increasing pressure under which contributors now work and the increased difficulty these days in finding time to write articles, I would like to ask that you give thought to how you may be able to contribute. Any editors worth their salt will avow that of all the processes involved in the publication of an issue, obtaining content, the right content, remains at the top of their list of priorities. It is of course the aspect over which they have least control, and I have always retained a great regard for the many contributors who have offered me unsolicited material as the expression goes, and to whom I am ever grateful.
So, if you have ever been pleased by the appearance of your writing in Ariadne, valued information gleaned from colleagues’ articles or found the publication a useful source of reference, I ask that you seriously consider getting in touch with a proposal or just to discuss what you would like to write. If, when you have contributed an article, I have perhaps done you a favour or gone the extra mile, I would like to cash in that favour in favour of my University of Bath Library colleagues whom you can contact via the Ariadne Web form. (Equally, if you felt I made a hash of it, then you will be impressed by the new operator!) While my email account will terminate at the end of this month, do please remember that the contact Web form will continue to function.
Moreover, in order to keep up to date with developments, do not forget the Twitter channel operated by Ariadne or the fact that it also operates RSS feeds for forthcoming as well as newly published articles.
Inevitably, my sense of relief is mixed with sadness that I will not be working with the many contributors who have in my view made the publication the source of information and opinion it has become over its 18 years. In the 10 years of my watch, I have enjoyed working with so many different professionals who invariably were all united in the desire to communicate, explain and even enthuse; while on the rare occasions anyone ever tried to use the word ‘exciting’ I might repress it, there was no doubt in my mind of the commitment all those authors have to their material and their practice. It is my hope that they will continue to contribute together with many new authors and that readers and writers alike will continue to pass and write the word about and for Ariadne as she soldiers on.
- Chris Parr. “UKOLN hit by job losses as Jisc removes funding”. Times Higher Education, 9 May 2013 http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/ukoln-hit-by-job-losses-as-jisc-removes-funding/2003712.article
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