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Visual and Sound Materials Portal Scoping Study and Demonstrator


									Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)

Visual and Sound Materials Portal: Scoping Study and Demonstrator Project

1. The JISC wishes to commission a project to scope the requirements of a portal to serve both
   visual and sound materials1 for the UK further and higher education sector, and to build a portal
   demonstrator based on the recommendations of the scoping study.

2. The deadline for receipt of tenders is 1300 hours GMT on Friday 29th July 2005. Funding of up to
   £40,000 (inclusive of VAT and related travel and subsistence) is available for the scoping study.
   Further to review of the study, £160,000 (inclusive of VAT and travel and subsistence) will be
   made available to build a portal demonstrator and to develop related policies and future
   requirements. On award of the contract the JISC will make a commitment in principle to both
   phases; however phase two will be dependent on the outcomes of phase one.

3. The expected start date for the project is Thursday 1st September 2005. The project is expected to
   last between 14 to 18 months.

Aims and Objectives

4. The aims and objectives of the project are:
      • To scope an appropriate architecture and functional specification for a visual and sound
          materials portal taking into account the JISC funded PIXUS image portal project solution;
      • To take account of the wider context, for example, approaches being developed by
          search engine providers, the emerging network of interoperable digital repositories, other
          service providers and software solutions;
      • To test the feasibility of serving both time based media and images from a single portal
      • Assess the usefulness of new technology that has become available and how far it might
          meet user needs; and where possible to test and implement new technology based on
          web services and standards such as JSR168;
      • Test the embedding of the demonstrator portal within different user environments, for
          example, university and college portals or web environments;
      • Consider the range of relevant community (further and higher education and public sector)
          originated collections alongside formally published material that could form the basis of a
          collections strategy for the portal;
      • Conduct user evaluation;
      • Propose a content licensing and IPR structure suitable for such a portal;
      • Develop business and sustainability models suitable for future services.

5. The main deliverables of the project are:
      • A scoping study for the portal;
      • A robust and scalable portal demonstrator interacting with a cross section of collections;
      • A set of supporting policies;
      • A report with recommendations on the potential architecture and scope of a future portal

    Within this ITT, visual and sound materials refer to time based media and image collections

6. The project will take part in two phases and the aim of each phase is defined as follows:

            i)      Phase one: Scoping Study. A detailed scoping of the functional, technical and
                    content requirements of a visual and sound materials portal with a view to a
                    potential long term service for the post-16 education sector. The intended
                    outcome is to provide a body of evidence and to identify a way forward. In
                    particular it should specify the scope of the proposed phase two demonstrator.

                    The outcomes of the scoping study will be reviewed by the JISC to determine the
                    desirable scope of the proposed second phase demonstrator. This review point
                    will decide on whether it is feasible to build the demonstrator.

            ii)     Phase two: Portal Demonstrator. To implement further and test out the findings
                    of the scoping study by producing a robust and scalable portal demonstrator,
                    paying particular attention to testing the feasibility of the portal in general, looking
                    at functionality, usability and user requirements.

7. It is anticipated that the successful bidder will undertake both phases of work. However,
   progression to phase two will be dependant on review of the outcomes of phase one.


8. The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) is a committee of the UK further (FE) and higher
   (HE) education funding bodies that, through the funding of services and the management of
   development programmes, aims to help and facilitate institutions in their use of the Internet and
   other Information and Communications Technology (ICT) applications.

9. One of the JISC’s key objectives is to build an online information environment that provides secure
   and convenient access to a comprehensive collection of scholarly and educational material. This
   is based on the Information Environment (IE) Technical Architecture
   (, which specifies a set of standards and
   protocols that support resource discovery as part of learning, teaching, and research activities.
   JISC is developing components within this architecture to test out and promote the use of these
   standards and to help provide appropriate services to the community.

10. The Visual and Sound Materials Portal Scoping Study and Demonstrator Project will be part of the
    Portals and Presentation Programmes. These programme areas are focused on addressing
    issues within the presentation and fusion layers of the JISC Information Architecture. These are
    set out in the diagram below.

11. There is a broad range of ongoing relevant work that will need to be considered as part of this
    work. A list of relevant work is set out in Annex A.

12. In the area of still images in 2003, JISC funded the PIXUS ( project based
    at SCRAN (Scottish Cultural Resource Academic Network, to develop an
    image portal demonstrator within the JISC Information Environment2.

13. The main deliverable of the project was an image portal demonstrator that enabled users to cross-
    search around 700,000 images held in seven separate image collections. The collections that
    formed part of the image portal demonstrator were from SCRAN, the Arts and Humanities Data
    Service – Visual Arts, the Wellcome Trust, Bristol BioMed, The Art Museum and Image
    Consortium (AMICO), Resources for Learning in Scotland (RLS) and the British Geological
    Survey. The PIXUS demonstrator was well received and the final report and recommendations
    can be found at Most of these
    recommendations have been incorporated into the specifications of this ITT and further
    information can be found at Annex B.

14. In the area of time based media, a user requirements study for a moving pictures and sound portal
    ( was conducted in November
    2003. This highlighted the fact that users are interested in finding relevant resources across
    multiple formats and that there is little awareness of which collections are available to the further
    and higher education community. It concluded that a portal in this area would greatly increase
    awareness and use of moving pictures and sound content and its use in higher and further

15. There is merit therefore, in serving both image and moving pictures and sound media types from a
    single portal platform. This project will need to build on the above developments as well as new
    technology and trends. For example, new standards that allow the embedding of portal services
    within different environments have come to prominence. These help to deliver a more seamless
    experience to users and allow services to be tailored to organisational priorities and goals. Tools
    have been developed to allow stand alone portal services to be accessed in an integrated way
    from within an institutional portal or other web environments. Standards that support this have
    emerged such as JSR-168 for local embedding within institutions and Web Services for Remote
    Portals (WSRP) for the use of portal services remotely.

16. It is envisaged that a portal in this area should point users not only to JISC licensed material
    ( but also to free community collections from publicly
    funded programmes such as the BioScience Image Bank
    ( and public sector resources such as those
    funded under the NOF-digitise programme3 and the JISC Digitisation Programme
    ( There is significant activity in the
    creation of digital repositories for different types of materials to support learning and research and
    it will be important for a portal to be capable of interacting with digital repositories. This cross-
    disciplinary discovery across a mixed economy of collections would significantly enhance the use
    of this material in learning, teaching and research. By using open standards, a portal would allow
    collection owners to provide access to their resources via alternative routes, creating awareness
    of these across HE/FE.

17. This invitation to tender invites proposals to scope the requirements of a portal to serve both visual
    and sound materials. Based on the recommendations there is the further requirement to build a
    portal demonstrator for both these media types for the UK further and higher education sector.

Terms of Reference

i)     Phase one: Scoping Study

     NOF-digitise materials can be found through EnrichUK (

18. The scoping will require investigation of the following areas and questions:

Portal Content

19. The study should identify potential content that might be served via a visual and sound materials
    portal that is relevant to the further and higher education community. This should consider:

        •   JISC licensed collections, publicly funded and commercial content; the previous PIXUS
            Image collections and other collections owned by the education community See Annex C;
        •   Investigate linking to and searching external relevant reference tools and other online
            sites where images are presented (e.g. virtual exhibitions);
        •   Work being funded by JISC in the area of time based media and images, specifically: the
            Digital Picture Project ( being undertaken by the Arts and
            Humanities Data Service - Visual Arts;
        •   Two recently commissioned studies in the area of Community Image Collections
            ( and Medical Image
            Collections. ( Contact
            details for this project can be found at Annex D;
        •   The Moving Pictures and Sound: Future Programme Collecting Requirements and
            Priorities. This project is undertaking a study into the appropriate future collecting areas of
            the JISC Education Media Online (EMOL) Programme ( Contact
            details for this project can be found at Annex D.

20. For all of these aspects of work the successful bidder will need to consider the associated issues
    of content interoperability, for example the protocols and standards used, or are absent. The study
    will need to take into account the Information Environment standards
    ( It will be essential to consider
    copyright and related digital rights management issues as well as relevance of the content for
    learning, teaching and research.

Portal functional and general requirements

21. The scoping study should look to address the following issues to help define the functional
    priorities of the demonstrator portal:

        •   The Information Environment standards as the basis for interoperability, for example OAI-
            PMH for harvesting and Z39.50, SRW/SRU for cross searching;
        •   The baseline portal specification (
        •   The metadata schema implemented by the PIXUS Image Portal to facilitate browsing and
            searching across the collections, including cross-disciplinary use;
        •   Metadata standards being commonly used for time based media (e.g. Dublin Core, METS,
            MODS, etc);
        •   How to reach a common core metadata set to support cross collection searching,
            browsing and displaying of results;
        •   The level of quality assurance for metadata required and how to develop a quality
            assurance methodology;
        •   The feasibility of the portal cross searching and harvesting metadata about visual and
            sound materials collections within FE and HE institutions. This would need to look at
            collection and item level metadata of physical (e.g. analogue, audio video, etc) and digital
        •   Implications of format on whether or not content can be streamed. It would be very difficult
            to try and stream MPEG1 and MPEG2 content, and the ideal choice for streaming is
            MPEG4. Therefore, the implications of format and variable delivery options of content
            need to form part of the scoping study;
        •   Embedding at the presentation layer using standards such as JSR-168 and web services
            (WSRP, Web Services for Remote Portals) and to consider other ways in which portal
            services might be embedded. The work of the Contextual Resource Evaluation
            Environment (CREE) project ( should be taken into

            consideration. It is envisaged that the demonstrator project should work with 2 other
            institutions on this part of the project;
        •   Newsfeeds and other associated services that might add value to a portal service that
            goes beyond cross searching;
        •   Curriculum mapping, for example the UK Educational Levels from the Scottish Credit and
            Qualifications Framework (SCQF -;
        •   The recently funded study: Moving Pictures and Sound: Functional requirements of a
            future Education Media OnLine (EMOL) service. Contact details for this project can be
            found at Annex D;
        •   Would it be useful to access real-time and post download editing tools from the portal?
        •   Investigate how to provide a guaranteed reference service (such as persistent URLs);
        •   The implementation of searching and browsing options. See Annex E for further
            searching and browsing options;
        •   JISC information environment portals have either cross searched or harvested metadata,
            but in the JISC User Requirements Study for a Moving Pictures and Sound Portal
            (mentioned earlier) users have indicated that they want to be able to download resources
            from a repository of content to deposit content for sharing and to use editing/manipulation
            tools. Consideration needs to be given to the role of the portal in providing this
            functionality and in particular how this might relate to other services such as Education
            Media On line (EMOL) or the JISC learning materials repository, JORUM
        •   One of the primary functions of JISC portals as they are currently defined is to cross
            search metadata from multiple content providers. The project should consider the value of
            building portal services also based on metadata and full content integration. To what
            extent could this process be streamlined such that users are offered a more seamless end
            to end service from discovery to delivery?4 This also relates to the Access Restrictions
            and Download section below;
        •   Developments within the existing JISC service portfolio that the portal might use or
            complement. There are relevant developments and services, for example, at EDINA
            (, MIMAS (, British Universities Video
            and Film Council (, AHDS ( and UKERNA
        •   Collaboration of search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc) with content providers in providing
            search services for visual and sound materials. See Annex F for further information;
        •   The project should investigate other software tools to navigate, mine and retrieve visual
            and sound materials other than metadata, for example Content Based Image Retrieval
            Service (CBIR);
        •   The utility of transcription/speech recognition technology should be investigated as part of
            the portal service;
        •   To consider terminology services that the portal may interact with to aid retrieval, for
            example subject, name and other classifications and authorities. It will be worthwhile
            considering folksonomy5 approaches, the JISC funded Geo Xwalk
            ( and HILT ( projects;
        •   The information environment service registry ( and how the proposed
            demonstrator should interact with it.

Portal Software Options

22. Software components and solutions that could cater for the discovery, delivery and access to this
    material need to be assessed. Where possible existing portal frameworks and technology should
    be used for the portal. The scoping study should consider:

        •   What software from the current portal developments could be deployed for a visual and
            sound materials portal. These include portlets and portals developed with JISC funding,
            for example the Subject Portals Project (;

  A draft JISC IE discovery to delivery reference model has been produced by UKOLN
  Folksonomy definition: (

          •   What other software products and tools, open source6 and proprietary, are available and
              recommend an architecture for the portal. [Note that open standards must be used];
          •   The PIXUS Image Portal software. Technical documentation can be found at

User Interface and Display Options

23. The scoping study should look to develop an approach for the demonstrator user interface and
    consider usability. Some issues that will need to be taken into account are listed below:

          •   The recommendations from the studies conducted in the JISC Presentation Programme.
              A range of interface and presentation issues will need to be examined; e.g. usability,
              personalisation, customisation, navigation, visualisation, presentation of results of
              searches and the branding issues associated with public and commercial content;
          •   The display of content origin and statement of rights attached as part of the search
              results. This point also relates to the Access Restrictions and Download section below;
          •   Plug-ins to view time based media;
          •   Presentation issues in light of the portal functions embedded in different user
          •   Integrated results sets across collections/formats;
          •   Display of the results of searches as thumbnails and links to the main image or film and
              sound clips;
          •   Additional options of displaying search results using tiled file formats or with only a link to
              the images (for distance learners);
          •   Switching between brief and full metadata descriptions where they exist.

Access Restrictions and Download

24. If the portal is to deliver a rich user experience the seamless access to both the metadata and the
    image, sound or video clip will be important. These needs and the associated issues they raise
    should be considered in the scoping study. In particular the following areas need taken account of:

          •   UKERNA and the JISC have invested work in developing a specification for a content
              delivery infrastructure to operate with Super Janet
              ( One of the key factors driving this
              has been to work out how bandwidth intensive content like moving picture and sound
              resources could be handled over the network, particularly given the varying bandwidth
              available to institutions and individuals, depending on their point of access. Consideration
              on how this network architecture needs to be taken into account by the portal and how the
              portal can be intelligent to the issues of networking and caching of moving picture and
              sound content will be necessary;
          •   Authentication requirements for the portal need to be addressed. In particular ATHENS,
              Single Sign On ( and the implications of Shibboleth
              ( The portal should consider how to handle
              searches where access to some resources will require users to authenticate themselves
              and others not. The portal should have mechanisms to make sure that users are not
              presented with information that might misrepresent resource availability;
          •   Accessibility via Web browsers including Netscape version 4, Internet Explorer version 4
              or above, Firefox 1.0 and Opera 7 or above, and other standards-compliant Web browsers
              should be considered. Suggestions of alternative means of presentation through other
              technologies, and how they may be of value, are welcome. For images, end users should
              not need to install browser plugins in order to access resources available via the portal.
              For time based media, end users should not need to download multiple plugins beyond
              the following commercially used display platforms (Quicktime, Windows Media Player and

    See JISC Open Source Policy attached to this ITT

Users, audience and stakeholders

25. The scoping study should offer a preliminary analysis of audiences and their requirements that will
    help to inform how a portal project might proceed. It will be important for different options and
    approaches be set out rather than the recommendation of one particular route. The following
    issues need to be taken into account:

         •   There is a need to build on the earlier user requirements study for a moving pictures and
             sound portal and other relevant research and to consider user needs in the determination
             of the portal requirements;
         •   It will be important to consider the audience, for example, teachers, intermediaries,
             students or researchers. Who should the audience be? Should there be a primary
             audience? And what might the portal need to do differently to address the needs of each
         •   An analysis of stakeholders and what their interests are will help to inform how to develop
             the portal.

Scoping Study Deliverable:

26. The scoping study will set out an assessment of the issues outlined above, and others as
    appropriate. The scoping study should:

         •   Form a detailed report that specifies the requirements of the demonstrator project phase;
         •   Propose an architecture for the portal demonstrator;
         •   Identify an iterative development methodology, which includes review/evaluation,
             multidisciplinary teams and clear stages of software maturity;
         •   Look at issues in sufficient detail to be able to inform whether it is feasible to take forward
             a potential long-term service and, if so, to recommend a series of steps and highlight
             priorities, for example, the short-term demonstrator that forms the second phase of work
             within this ITT. A possible pilot phase might then be required beyond this to further test
             out priorities before any robust service specification can be defined.

27. It is expected that the proposed demonstrator will enable further scoping. For example, a number
    of the issues above might be further assessed in a demonstrator where they can be tested.
    Bidders are invited to propose a study methodology to effectively deal with the range of issues.


28. Phase Two will follow after a review of the outputs of the scoping study. Progression to the second
    phase will be dependent on the review. It is envisaged that the review of the scoping study will
    take place over a period of six weeks.

ii) Phase Two: Portal Demonstrator

29. The second phase of this project will be informed by the findings of the scoping study.

30. The demonstrator will need to be a robust and scalable implementation. It will offer a working
    example of what a visual and sound materials portal might deliver and how it would operate.

31. It would need to further test out the findings of the scoping study in terms of user requirements,
    interaction with a cross-section of potential collections and technical functionality to help highlight
    the issues associated with their implementation and delivery of a portal service in this area.

32. As part of the demonstrator it will be important to:

         •   Develop a draft collections policy. This should include a strategy to increase the range of
             content available via the portal. A fully comprehensive list of potential collections is not
             expected, but a methodology should be used that will offer a robust overview of what
             collections are available to inform priorities and key criteria for a collection policy;

        •    Develop draft licence models for the use of relevant content taking into account the
             existing model licence that has been developed for JISC Collections
        •    Consider issues of sustainability and scalability related to the future development of the
             portal and to examine the level of user support that would be required for a full portal
        •    Propose a range of appropriate business and sustainability models that could be
             considered by the JISC.

33. The project will be expected to spend a minimum £15,000 (including VAT) on commissioning an
    external evaluation to:

        •    Work with two institutions from the higher and further education sector to assess user
             experience in different user environments;
        •    Carry out consultation to receive feedback on the demonstrator and assess the needs of
             the user community for a full portal service;
        •    Assess the ways in which visual and sound materials might be used within learning,
             teaching and research across HE and FE. For example, the lightbox that the PIXUS
             Image Portal developed addressed ways in which users save images;
        •    To identify benefits, gaps, strengths, weaknesses, risks and opportunities for a full portal

34. The aims of the demonstrator are:

        •    To build a robust and scalable visual and sound materials demonstrator portal;
        •    To test feasibility of serving visual and sound materials from a single portal platform;
        •    Embed and test the demonstrator portal within different user environments;
        •    To conduct user evaluation and investigate search techniques amongst learners teachers
             and researchers;
        •    To provide a set of supporting policies;
        •    To stimulate and advance further thinking;
        •    To produce a report building on the scoping study that makes recommendations on the
             architecture and scope of a future portal service.

Demonstrator Deliverables:

35. A demonstrator interacting with a cross section of collections, providing an assessment of
    functionality and user reaction. There may be a level of simulation in providing the demonstrator;
    however, the intention is for the demonstrator to involve real service interactions where possible.

36. A final report documenting the experience of implementing the demonstrator and reports on the
    user evaluation. The report should include a set of user requirements; a draft functional and
    technical specification for a portal service; a draft collections policy; a draft content licensing and
    IPR structure and a set of recommendations for future development including sustainability and
    business models.

37. At this stage it is recognised that some of the assessment of future requirements will be limited but
    the study should attempt to garner information to help inform future decisions.

38. Any software developed should be documented and made available for further use by JISC.

39. The associated project website should remain live for 3 years as per the JISC project
    management guidelines (see Terms and Conditions of Grant below). The portal demonstrator
    should remain fully functional for 24 months after the end date of the project.

40. Further background information can be found at Annex G.

Terms and Conditions of Grant

41. Projects will be expected to follow the normal JISC project management guidelines
    (, adherence to good project management practices, regular
    reporting and participation in meetings as appropriate. JISC’s Terms and Conditions of Grant
    ( must be adhered to by all projects. Bidders are advised
    to read these carefully prior to submitting a proposal. Specific project management guidance for
    projects can be found at: (

42. A general guide to bidding for JISC funds can be found at: (

Reporting/ Management

43. Responsibility for this project will lie with Balviar Notay, Portal, Presentation and Resource
    Discovery Programme Manager (email:; or tel: 020 7848 2670).

44. The contractor will be expected to agree a programme of work and timetable with the Programme

Intellectual Property

45. Funding is conditional upon the outputs of this work being made freely available for widespread
    dissemination by the JISC, in perpetuity. Suitable licensing arrangements for any software that is
    produced as part of the project will need to be agreed.

Accessibility Issues

46. In line with Government legislation and social exclusion initiatives, JISC is committed to providing
    resources that are accessible to a diverse range of users. In order to achieve this, all software and
    IT resources including the project web site should meet good practice standards and guidelines
    pertaining to the media in which they are produced. Advice and recommendations for ensuring
    that IT based systems, tools and resources are accessible by all can be found in the resource
    section of the Technology for Disabilities Service (TechDis, Further
    advice and consultancy is available from the TechDis Centre itself.

Data Protection and Confidentiality of Data

47. Project leaders must take account of the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and should
    consult with their institutional Data Protection Officer regarding the possible implications of their
    proposed project.

Funding available

48. The funding available for the first phase (scoping) is a maximum of £40,000 (including VAT, travel
    and subsistence). Pending the review, a further £160,000 (including VAT, travel and subsistence)
    will be made available to build a Visual and Sound Materials Portal Demonstrator and to further
    refine future requirements.

Timescale for the project

49. The awarded project should commence work on 1st September 2005. The timescale for the project
    is between 14 -18 months. Phase one is intended to be 3-4 months and phase two 11-14 months
    within this timescale. The project completion date should be no later than 28th February 2007.
    Proposals must clearly state the expected length of the project and its phases within the timescale

Format of Proposals

50. Proposals should clearly identify:

        •   the scope of the project;
        •   background and rationale for the proposal with explanations of the key elements involved;
        •   the proposed methodology(ies) to be used throughout the project including management
        •   how the project will ensure a wide participation and engagement from legal professionals,
            content creators, content owners, access providers, and prospective users;
        •   a detailed work plan with milestones and deliverables (this should address the
            requirements set out above as well as clear dissemination plans and risk analysis);
        •   the organisations involved in the bid, identifying the lead institution/organisation (in the
            case of a consortium bid) and the proposed contribution and responsibilities of each
        •   the staff to be used in the main areas of work, together with detail of their relevant
            expertise and experience;
        •   the costs of the project, broken down into different phases as appropriate and outlining:
                o the relevant rates and time commitment for each member of the team to be
                     employed on the project,
                o justification of any software or hardware purchases required;
        •   confirmation of the proposed project timetable and start date; and
                o a completed cover sheet (see Annex H) including full contact details for the
                     project leader.

51. It is recognised that the requirements are wide in scope. Bids should propose a methodology that
    addresses these issues realistically and in sufficient detail within the time and financial limitations.
    For example, some of the requirements may only be partially investigated in the scoping study and
    then will require further implementation and testing in the demonstrator phase.

Criteria for evaluation of tenders

52. Selection will be based on a the following criteria (in no particular order):

        •   Clarity and feasibility of the development plan;
        •   Suitability of proposed methods;
        •   Commitment to undertake the phase two demonstrator, depending on the outcomes of the
        •   Compliance with and understanding of the statement of requirements;
        •   An understanding of the challenges involved in developing a demonstrator;
        •   Quality of solution offered;
        •   Relevant experience of the tendering organisation and proposed personnel;
        •   Awareness of current and past relevant JISC developments;
        •   Analysis of risks to successful completion;
        •   Value for money.

Submission of Proposals

53. Proposals of no more than 18 single-sided A4 sheets, typeset in Arial or a similar font at 10 point
    size, should be submitted, as one unbound hard copy. An electronic copy, in Word or Rich Text
    Format, should also be submitted via email as one file or a zipped folder. The deadline for
    submissions is 1300 GMT on the 29th July 2005. Both hard and electronic copies should arrive
    by the deadline. Proposals must include the completed cover sheet (see Annex H) in addition to
    the 18 page limit. CVs may be attached as appendices to the 18 page proposal and should be no
    longer than 2 sides of A4 each.

54. Faxed proposals, or late proposals in either format, will not be accepted. Bidders are advised not
    to rely on first class post for next day delivery of the hard copy.

55. If the bid exceeds the page limit guidance, evaluators will be advised to disregard information
    provided beyond the indicated page limit.

56. Each bid must be accompanied by letters of support from an authorised senior manager at each
    institution/organisation named in a bid. The support letters do not count towards the 20-page limit.

57. The hard copy and electronic copy of the bid including appendices and letters of support must be
    received by the deadline stated. Proposals must be sent to:

        Nike Holmes, JISC Executive, Northavon House, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QD (tel:
        0117 931 7427;

58. An expert evaluation panel will be established to review the bids and recommend funding. JISC
    will endeavour to notify all bidders of the outcome of the evaluation process by Monday 22nd
    August 2005. JISC reserves the right not to award a contract. Depending on the outcome of the
    marking of proposals, face to face presentations from bidders may be requested.


59. General enquiries about this invitation to tender should be addressed to Balviar Notay (tel: 020
    7848 2670; email:

60. Enquiries regarding the bidding process should be addressed to Nike Holmes (tel: 0117 931 7427;

Annex A
Relevant work within JISC Portals and Presentation Programmes

        The Portals Programme (
        aims to develop a view of the nature and role of a portal within the context of the JISC
        Information Environment. The Specific objectives are to:

            •   Create a series of demonstrator portals in different areas (subject, format-based,
            •   Demonstrate possibilities and good practice in portal usage
            •   Discover how portals can and will be used across further and higher education
            •   Determine how portals can best serve institutions in making information resources
                available to their users
            •   Explore the role of portals in the key role of delivering content within and outside
                formal education as a means of controlling access to available resources

        The programme has so far developed stand alone portals and also discrete re-useable portlet
        functionality that works at a national and local (institutional portal) level as well as some
        supporting studies.

            •   Go-Geo Portal (
            •   PIXUS Image Portal (
            •   Connect Learning and Teaching Portal
            •   Subject Portals Project (SPP) (
            •   Contextual Resource Evaluation Environment (CREE)
            •   JISC User Requirements for a Moving Pictures and Sound Portal
            •   Xgrain/GetRef
            •   Institution-wide and library portal Case studies
            •   Library Portal Survey and Review

        The Presentation Programme
        ( aims to investigate and
        discover how different types of resources could be presented within a variety of web
        environments in ways that benefit users. This includes both presentation through dedicated
        web sites and the integration and embedding of resources into existing web environments
        such as an institution's web site. The programme has produced a series of studies in following

            •   Visualisation
            •   Usability
            •   Human Computer Interaction
            •   Personalisation within Presentation Services

Annex B
Recommendations from the PIXUS project

•   Continue evaluation with users, key stakeholders and other interested parties;
•   Develop a strategy for learning and teaching content within PIXUS;
•   Implement the ATHENS single sign-on;
•   Trial embedding PIXUS in an institutional portal;

•   Integrate more image collections;
•   Add a more comprehensive system for selecting which collections to search. Introduce a
    hierarchical subject classification (perhaps based on LOM standards), which would provide the
    scalability needed in this area if the number of collections is to grow. Add an interactive browser
    for this classification to the interactive web site;
•   Allow finer-grained access to different subject areas across collections and sub collections;
•   Trial a personalized RSS service;
•   Provide a guaranteed reference service, like a persistent URL service, to allow images to be cited
    though PIXUS;
•   Develop the non-image data, perhaps by being a delivery channel for other image services within
•   Develop a service for hosting otherwise orphaned image collections both from inside and outside
•   Add additional protocols for integrating image collections, such as SRW;
•   Develop a Content Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) module and trial with one or more CBIR

Annex C
Current searchable collections from the PIXUS demonstrator project:

    •   SCRAN
    •   Arts and Humanities Data Service – Visual Arts
    •   Wellcome Trust
    •   Resources for Learning in Scotland (RLS)
    •   British Geological Survey

Further possible content providers:

    •   CIE Content Contributions (
    •   Digitisation Programme (
    •   AHDS (
    •   JISC Collections (
    •   Learning and Teaching Programme (5/99) Content
    •   Higher Education Academy Subject Centres (

Annex D
Contact details for the Medical Images and Community Images Studies

Medical Images Study:
Rachel Ellaway
e-Learning Manager, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
MVMLTS, 15 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9XD
Tel: *0131 651 1749

The Community Images Study:
Jonathan Miller
Learning Technologist, Computing Services
Learning Technologies Group, University of Oxford
13 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6NN. Tel: 01865 283400

Contact details for the Collecting and Functional requirements Studies

Collecting Requirements Study:

Peter Phillips
Media Producer University of Southampton
Building 35-2005, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ Phone 023 8059 5329

Functional Requirements Study:
Alexander Roberts
University of Swansea
Library and Information Services, University of Wales Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP
Tel: +44 (0)1792 513239

Annex E
Some search and browsing options to be considered

To assess the feasibility of a number of search options and interfaces, as below:
• Searching of a single collection;
• Searching across multiple collections;
• The ability to search by subject area;
• The ability to search according to right of access;
• Support for both structured-controlled vocabulary searching, including nesting, and uncontrolled
    vocabulary searching;
• The ability to narrow (filter) and broaden searches after an initial request;
• The ability to integrate, or link to, appropriate thesauri as required to allow the discovery of
    alternate (similar) terms and spelling variants for keywords for use in searching;
• The ability to browse keywords and phrases;
• The ability to access and search collection level descriptions, making use of available services
    where possible;
• The ability to locate both digital and non-digital (e.g. bibliographic) resources across the
• To examine the issues of allowing users to save search results (i.e., subsets of time based
    material), either at the portal or locally. (Note: The PIXUS project developed a light box in which
    users were able to save their search results (thumbnails) and then download the file to their desk
    top. If the user then clicked on the image the user would be directed back to PIXUS);
• Develop a Content Based Image Retrieval module and trial with one or more CBIR services;
• Introduce a hierarchical subject classification (perhaps based on LOM standards);
• Allow collections to be split into overlapping sub-collections;
• To consider ranking options such as show free images first or show digital/non digital images first

Annex F
Relevant search engine developments

Google beta site (

Yahoo beta site ( editorial (
5466491.html) Editorial (

The Guardian editorial (,,1398432,00.html)

Annex G
Relevant collections, projects and services

•   Content Delivery Infrastructure Studies conducted by UKERNA
•   EDINA – Education Media On line (
•   Managing Agent and Advisory Service (
•   British Universities Video and Film Council (
•   JISC Digitisation Programme (
•   Spoken Word Project ( [is this
    the real url? Whayt about the jisc site? There is the jisc funded project]
•   JISC/Surf Project. The JISC are currently funding work in collaboration with SURF in the
    Netherlands in the area of moving pictures and Sound. The work will create a website of
    resources and portal services that focus on this area specifically for learning and teaching.
    ( Further documentation will be made
    available on request.
•   SURFnet Video Portal (
•   Click and Go Video (
•   Lifesign (
•   VIDOS (
•   Athens Developments(
•   Shibboleth Developments (
•   Handing on Tradition by Electronic Dissemination (HOTBED)
•   Online Music Recognition and Searching (OMRAS)
•   Blobworld – a system for content based imaged retrieval developed by the University of
    Berkeley (
•   The BBC Creative Archive (
•   An Image Archiving Study and a Sound and Moving Image Archiving Study will be issued
    shortly by the JISC. The project will need to take account of this work when it commences.
    [reference needs inserted]
•   Blinktv ref.
•   PictureAustralia ( is a free-for-use image portal for images
    about Australia.
•   Free Images can be found at the StockXchange (
•   Other free photo sites can be found by looking at Stock.Xchng's links page
•   Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) - Visual Arts ( is
    one of the hosts of JISC-funded image collections.
•   The Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) – Archaeology
    ( host collections comprising of some 5000
•   SCRAN (, the Scottish Cultural Resources Access
    Network, is a major collection of images licensed by JISC for use within Higher and Further
•   The Technical Advisory Service for Images (TASI), based at the Institute for Learning and
    Research Technology (ILRT), has built an Image Collections Registry. This is an extension of
    an existing TASI service listing digital image collections
•   The Higher Education Digitisation Service (HEDS and other
    appropriate agencies for a digitisation-on-demand service.
•   The ELISE projects have now ended, but the results are available at (http://www.exploit- The project built prototypes of systems to allow access across image
    collections held at diverse and remote sites.
•   The Focusing Images for Learning and Teaching an Enriched Resource (FILTER) project
    aims to encourage and enable the use of digital images in learning and teaching in UK Further
    and Higher education.( They have created an easy to use image
    database of learning and teaching resources (tutorials, Web pages, PowerPoint slides, etc)
    and supporting materials along with detailed descriptive records. The resources have been
    developed by practicing educators and are designed for use by the novice as well as more
    technically able practitioner.

•   Promoting Image Collections for Learning and Teaching in the Visual Arts (PICTIVA)
    ( projects. PICTIVA commissioned a series of learning
    and teaching materials based on collections held by AHDS Visual Arts. The materials aim to
    promote the creative use of visual arts digital images in the learning and teaching
•   The PSE Portal Service Embedder Project ( from
    the E-Learning Frameworks Programme ( has
    produced a WSRP toolkit that will allow for the Connect Learning and Teaching Portal
    services to be remotely implemented within institutions.
•   An Image Archiving Study and a Sound and Moving Image Archiving Study are in the process
    of being commissioned by the JISC and details of this work will be made available on request.
•   Multimedia Information Retrieval – Imperial College London. Daniel Heesch 2001-now: The
    NNk technique for image searching and browsing. (
•   Museums Libraries and Archives (MLA)
•   Blinkx TV and Video Search

Annex H

Cover sheet for proposals           JISC Invitation to Tender:
                                    Visual and Sound Materials Portal: Scoping
(NB: All sections must be           Study and Demonstrator Project

Name of lead institution/organisation

List consultants/partners, if any

Full contact details for primary contact



Length of project and Total cost to JISC over its life:

Proposed project start and end dates:

Outline proposal description


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