Distribution and maintenance of this unique 100 million word annotated corpus of written and spoken, modern British English is carried out by IT Services on behalf of the BNC consortium. The BNC is available under licence world-wide, together with SARA, a special-purpose text-retrieval system also developed by IT Services.
OSS Watch informs and advises the UK further and higher education community about open source software and open standards. It facilitates co-operative OSS activities through the development of best-practice guidelines, and out-reach activities aimed at OSS strategic planners, developers and users. It offers a web-based clearing-house for up to date information, focussed assistance for institutions and software projects, and investigative reports. OSS Watch is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).
The Oxford Text Archive collects, catalogues, preserves, and distributes digital materials to support research and teaching in all fields of literature, languages, and linguistics. Based at IT Services since 1976, the OTA currently holds several thousand resources produced in over twenty languages, representing more than two decades of international scholarship.
The OTA offers a free and secure repository for a range of digital resources: from bibliographic databases and language corpora, to high resolution images and digital audio. The OTA has world-renowned expertise in the creation and manipulation of textual data, in particular the transcription and encoding of primary sources to produce scholarly digital editions.
The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) was originally established in 1987 with the goal of creating a community-based standard for text encoding and interchange. It published the definitive edition of its Guidelines with a set of SGML DTDs in 1994, and the TEI is now internationally recognized as a critically important tool, both for the long-term preservation of electronic data, and as a means of supporting effective usage of such data in many subject areas. It is the encoding scheme of choice for the production of critical and scholarly editions of literary texts, for scholarly reference works and large linguistic corpora, and for the management and production of detailed metadata associated with electronic text and cultural heritage collections of many types.
In 2000, the TEI was reconstituted as member consortium, and now has over 50 institutional members, supported by four core sites in Norway, America and the UK. In 2002, it published a new revision of the Guidelines and the associated DTD files, with the major change being that everything is available for use in XML as well as SGML. New working groups have been set up, and the TEI is moving forward rapidly in many areas.
The University of Oxford is an institutional member of the TEI, and the UK host of the TEI is based in the Oxford e-Research Centre, and there is considerable expertise in the use of the TEI in IT Services, the Bodleian Libraries, and elsewhere in the university.
Projects or individuals in Oxford who want to find out more about the TEI, get advice on how to use it, or participate in the work of the Consortium are warmly invited to visit the website or contact:
The Leverhulme Foundation has awarded the University of Oxford a Research Project Grant to edit the diary of William Godwin, which was purchased by the Bodleian Library with the generous assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. The project commenced in October 2007 and will last for three years. The project is being directed by Dr. Mark Philp (Oriel College, Oxford) from the Politics department. More information about William Godwin and the project can be seen on the page announcing the project.
The InfoDev team in IT Services is providing technical support, creation of maintenance for the project's TEI schema, a subversion repository, a project website, and design of a website using an XML database. Dr James Cummings is the IT Services staff member managing technical development for this project.
The Holinshed Project wants to co-ordinate a new fifteen volume edition of the Holinshed's Chronicles to be published by Oxford University Press. Funding from the University of Oxford's Fell Fund has enabled a pilot proiject. This is developing a parallel text edition of the two versions of the Chronicles published in 1577 and 1587. This will enable all interested in the Chronicles to make comparisons between the two texts, and provide an essential tool for the later full edition. Although the differences between the two versions are generally acknowledged (both in terms of content and the ordering of material), there has been no systematic study of the variations. The Early English Books Online-Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP) have given us permission to make use of their text of the 1587 edition, and have also created a new 1577 edition using a grant from the University of Oxford's Fell Fund. The texts are broken down into their component parts, paragraph by paragraph, and linked to the matching element in the other edition.
IT Services created a java web-app which allows the Holinshed editors to compare the two underlying texts. A fuzzy-matching algorithm compared the paragraphs in advance and then allows a user to make new matches, delete existing ones, or confirm those that have been automatically found. From this a static HTML edition is generated. IT Services staff that worked on this include Dr James Cummings, Sebastian Rahtz and Arno Mittelbach.
The First World War Poetry Digital Archive is an online resource for teaching, learning, and research of Great War Poetry, including images, audio, and video, developed in a JISC-funded project by Dr. Stuart Lee of the English Faculty and IT Services. The Web Design Consultancy (WDC) designed and developed the project website and designed the interfaces for the public contribution mechanism and display of the collection. WDC also provided graphic design for posters, postcards and other promotional materials.
Republicans without Republics is an overarching academic framework that hosts a variety of research projects and researchers exploring the politics, mobilisation, political philosophy, and ideology of republicans and their associations in different arenas, eras, and contexts. The project is led by Karma Nabulsi, Fellow in Politics at St Edmund Hall, Director of the MPhil in International Relations, Department of Politics and International Relations.
WDC designed and built the project website, arranged hosting domain registration. WDC provided training to the project members, enabling them to maintain the site and enabled the display of video and audio on the site.
The Bridging the Interoperability Divide (BID) project used the principles underpinning the JISC e-framework to build interoperability between 3 repository systems: SRB, Fedora and ASK. The implementation helped join escience, academic publishing and learning/ teaching practice communities by creating a joined-up set of repository services. The project focussed on demonstrating interoperability across the federation for the following services: harvesting (OAI), federated search (SRW), authentication (Shibboleth), metadata management (MODS/ METS), identifiers, and discovery (OpenURL). The project also created a client for authenticated bulk upload (ingest service) into an institutional repository. The project is led by Oxford University Library Services in partnership with the Computing Services and the Oxford e-Research Centre.
The Digital Certificate Operation in a Complex Environment (DCOCE) project was funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and is part of the JISC's Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting Programme. The project was based within the Research Technologies Service at the University of Oxford Computing Services in collaboration with the following partners:
- Manchester Information and Associated Services (MIMAS)
- Athens Devolved Authentication Service (at EduServ)
- Systems and Electronic Resources Service at Oxford University Library Services (SERS, OULS)
- Oxford e-Science Centre (OeSC)
- Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC)
The eIUS project aims to gather and document concrete evidence of how e-infrastructure is, or is planned to be used as a facilitator of the research process across all major disciplines. This is not simply an information gathering project but rather is intended to broaden participation in the use and future development of e-infrastructure services. The project's overall objectives are to: develop a deep understanding of the e-Infrastructure services that are currently available in the UK, as well as how they are used by the research community in all major subject disciplines; establish a self-sustaining community process to contribute to this shared understanding during and beyond the lifetime of the project; and contribute to the International e-Framework Initiative whose primary aim is to facilitate technical interoperability within and across education and research through improved strategic planning and implementation processes. The project was led by IT Services in collaboration with the Oxford e-Research Centre (OeRC) and NCeSS (Manchester).
The objective of the ENRICH project was to create a base for the European digital library of cultural heritage (manuscript, incunabula, early printed books, archival papers etc.) by integration of existing but scattered electronic content within the Manuscriptorium digital library. This was achieved through enriching metadata, and coordination of heterogeneous metadata and data standards.
- creating a profile of the Text Encoding Initiative schema, with documentation and training materials, for manuscript description;
- writing a conversion system to TEI from records created under an earlier initiative, MASTER;
- assisting with OAI harvesting, and relationship between TEI and other metadata standards.
The main aim of the Evaluation of Shibboleth and PKI for Grids (ESP-Grid) project was to investigate how Shibboleth offers solutions to issues of GRID authentication, authorisation and security. It also reappraised the use of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) within the UK e-Science Grid and Grids in general and provided a roadmap for integrating the e-Science Core Programme Production Grid within the JISC middleware infrastructure programme.
The project undertook a critical review of the Grid authentication and authorisation infrastructure. The initial stages of the project reviewed the requirements identified by the Global GRID Forum (GGF) and related bodies within the light of practical experience within the UK e-Science community and projects. The second stage involved evaluating how well PKI and Shibboleth met those requirements. Finally the project investigated how the results of these studies should be deployed within a Grid context and developed a prototype of how the UK e-Science Core Programme Production Grid could co-exist within the JISC infrastructure programme.
Intute Arts and Humanities was the UK's primary point of access to online arts and humanities resources. Intute Arts and Humanities managed a database of evaluated online resources of use to researchers, teachers and students in literature and language; history, archaeology, and classics; philosophy; religion; creative and performing arts. In addition to its database of resources, Intute offered free online tutorials for evaluating Web sites, an email alerting service, and MyIntute (developed within the RTS), which enabled users to collect and embed metadata from Intute records directly within their own Web pages. Part of the national Intute service (formerly RDN) the Arts and Humanities group was led by IT Services in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University. The service evolved from the Humbul Humanities Hub, based within IT Services since the early 1990s. Intute Arts and Humanities received funding from the JISC and the AHRC until 2009.
The aim of the Shibboleth-aware Portals and Information Environments (SPIE) project was to demonstrate the use of Shibboleth in providing integration between institutional and national information environments, especially via enhanced portals and portlets.
The project built upon the outcomes of earlier nationally-funded projects relating to the development of access management functionality within the JISC Information Environment and instititions, notably the Subject Portals Project (SPP) and the Digital Certificate Operation in a Complex Environment (DCOCE) project. Over two years the SPIE Project delivered a combination of evaluation reports, demonstrators, and toolkits as outcomes from investigating the issues related to the integration of access domains.
Transferable outcomes from the project also included a Shibboleth-aware Stanford WebAuth Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication mechanism; piloting Shibboleth with AthensSSO; enhanced integration between uPortal and the Subject Portals Project within the context of institutional Single Sign-On, WSRP (Web Services for Remote Portals) and Shibboleth.
Xaira is the name for the XML version of SARA, the text searching software originally developed at IT Services for use with the British National Corpus. This version has been entirely re-written as a general purpose XML search engine, which will operate on any corpus of well-formed XML documents. It is however best used with TEI-conformant documents. The Xaira Project received funding from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation.
IT Services was a partner in the RDN Subject Portals Project, with particular responsibility for developing the access management framework (allowing authenticated access to Athens-protected resources). The portal demonstrator test functionality which gave access to distributed humanities resources within the JISC collections and beyond.
IT Services has been actively involved in a number of projects funded under the JISC VRE Programme. In the first phase of the Programme (2004-2007), IT Services contributed to: Building a VRE for the Humanities (led by Professor Alan Bowman, Humanities Division, University of Oxford); the development of a VRE for the Integrative Biology pilot e-Science project (led by Professor David Gavaghan, Oxford University Computing Laboratory); and the SAKAI VRE Portal Demonstrator project (led by Professor Robert Crouchley, Centre for e-Science, University of Lancaster). Work on VREs contintues at the Oxford e-Research Centre.
The project 'Discovering Babel: enhanced language resource discovery', was part of a wider programme of activities to bring the latest technologies for finding and sharing data to the Oxford Text Archive. The project was funded by JISC, as part of the Infrastructure for Resource Discovery programme.
This project enhanced and upgraded the resource discovery mechanisms of the OTA to ensure that it continued to offer free services to researchers in response to their needs, and to ensure that the technical infrastructure of the OTA was in line with the latest good practice in the Resource Discovery Task Force vision, by providing persistent URIs and sharing metadata via OAI-PMH.
The Supporting Data Management Infrastructure for the Humanities (Sudamih) Project addressed a range of requirements for the more effective management of data within the Humanities at an institutional level. A number of reports and training materials were developed. The project was funded by the JISC under the 'Managing Research Data' programme.
VIDaaS is a project of two halves. The 'DaaS' part developed software to enable researchers to build, edit, search, and share databases online; the 'VI' part involves the development of an infrastructure enabling the DaaS to function within a cloud computing environment.
For researchers, the DaaS will enable you to add, edit, search, and share the data you gather during your research. It is an online service accessed via a web interface, so you can work on your data from any computer with an Internet connection. Collaborating with other researchers will also be easier, as multiple editors can work on a single database. Acess controls will enable you to decide exactly who gets permission to do what. You can import existing databases in common formats (such as Access) in order to breathe new life into old projects or work on them further. If you want to share your research data with your colleagues, or even the general public, you can open the data up with a flick of a switch - a simple generic search interface enables others to search the database. Because the DaaS will be provided as a central service, your data can be securely backed up, and restored in the event of disasters.