Institutional Web

UKOLN’s ISC support for the institutional Web management community aims to encourage the development and growth of a sustainable community of practice in order to maximise the benefits which can be provided by institutional web services.

Key areas of work we are currently involved in include:

  • Our Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) series of events for this community are well-positioned to exploit the benefits of collaboration and sharing, implementing best practices and providing opportunities for innovative developments.
  • Legal issues, including the ‘cookie legislation’.
  • Web accessibility
The annual Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) series of events was launched in 1997 to support those with responsibilities for providing and developing institutional web services.  The IWMW 2012 event was held in the University of Edinburgh on 18-20 July and attracted 172 participants as well as a remote audience who viewed the live video stream. Note that the key resources from the event are now available, which includes access to recordings of the plenary talks and the accompanying slides.
The power of the Web is its potential in maximising access to information and services to people, without the need to use specific applications or devices. In addition a goal is to provide access to people who may have a range of disabilities.

Although initial work focussed on promoting the benefits of use of WCAG guidelines, there is now a growing awareness of the limitations of these guidelines and the need to provide more user-focused approaches to the development of web services. Recent work in this area has highlighted the importance of the BS 8878 code of practice and illustrated how it may be used in the context of institutional repositories.

In addition a paper on Web accessibility metrics for a post digital world described how “as we move towards a ‘post-digital’ world where use of the Web becomes normalised, there is a need to address Web accessibility measurement challenges within a wider real-world context” and went on to “propose that metrics should draw on aspects of user experience to provide a more meaningful, real-world measure of the impact (or not) of accessibility barriers and therefore priority in addressing them“. 

As described in a post published in May 2011 recently drafted legislation covering use of cookies on web sites is requiring those with web management responsibilities to develop appropriate responses to the legislation.

An article on The New Cookie Laws: How Aware Are You? was published in JISC Inform in March 2012 which was based on work carried with a small group of university web managers in documenting best practices for conformance with the legislation.

Accessibility - Legal

The Innovation Support Centre is funded by the JISC, managed by UKOLN and hosted by the University of Bath.