Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence

Annex A

Research Libraries Network


Memorandum of Understanding

  1.  The seven sponsors of the Research Libraries Network (RLN) working jointly as the RLN Funders' Group are pleased to announce their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

  2.  The establishment of the RLN reflects the sponsors' joint commitment to promoting world class research across the UK. Focusing on information infrastructure and dissemination, it is consistent with their shared goals of supporting research innovation and collaboration, recognising the crucial links between research and enterprise which are of benefit to the entire UK community.

  3.  The RLN will be set up in the course of 2004 for a set period of three years in the first instance. A statement of the mission and scope of the RLN and terms of reference for the Funders' Group and Advisory Board are set out in the following annexes.

  The establishment of the RLN will be supported and led by the RLN Executive Unit. The RLN Executive Unit will be accountable to the Funders Group (see Annex C for terms of reference), and strategically advised by the Advisory Board (see Annex D).

  4.  The RLN executive unit will provide unified and focussed strategic leadership to create a cohesive national framework, or network, of the existing interdependent information providers. It will promote the development of comprehensive sustainable approaches to help meet the developing information needs of professional researchers and to provide fast-track access nationwide to cutting-edge supporting technologies.

  5.  The MoU affirms existing collaborative relationships between the UK higher education funding bodies and the national libraries, and establishes the basis on which they will work together as the RLN Funders' Group. The group comprises representatives of each of the seven sponsoring bodies listed below:

    —  Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

    —  Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC).

    —  Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).

    —  Department for Employment and Learning (DEL), Northern Ireland.

    —  The British Library.

    —  National Library of Scotland.

    —  National Library of Wales.

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