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A year in Information Services...

Welcome to our review of 2010 in Information Services (INSRV).

Below, you can read about some of the key achievements of INSRV during the year. 

This year has seen a shift from our conventional Annual Report, to a less formal online review. In such turbulent and financially difficult times, this approach provides a sustainable way of reviewing the year in the Directorate.

The University's IT, Libraries, Media Resources and Advanced Research Computing services have, during 2010, become even more focussed towards our user community and our key strategic priorities – to be the best Information Services directorate for our University. We need to continue to respond to the changing needs of students, researchers and staff, providing affordable, high performing, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions to the University.

In this look back on the year, you can find out more about the different sustainability initiatives within INSRV, and what we do to support the research mission of the University.

I hope you find this a useful and illuminating read!


Martyn C Harrow, Director of Information Services

January 2011

If you have any comments about this online review, please contact




Planet Filestore 


Information Services leads in national green IT project

Information Services was awarded funding of £50k from JISC to carry out an internationally-leading study into more sustainable and cost-effective data storage.

Trevithick Library's 'Stiwdio Halcrow Studio' launched

Trevithick Library's 'Stiwdio Halcrow Studio' was launched to provide flexible working space for the Library's users.

Supporting Cardiff's researchers

INSRV provides a wide range of tools and services in support of the University's research community, to enable them to meet their research goals more easily.

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Procureweb AUPO website launched

The Procureweb team has developed and launched a new website for the Association of University Procurement Officers (AUPO).

INSRV for the NHS in Wales

INSRV supports NHS Wales libraries through the AWHILES (All Wales Health Information & Library Extension Services) partnership, providing health information to support education, training and patient care. 

Libraries making an impact in Europe

Information Services welcomed a number of librarians from across Europe to take part in a five-day knowledge exchange programme.

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Questionmark Perception 


Asking all the right questions!

Information Services, in partnership with University colleagues, reached the final stages of a phased roll-out of a tool to improve online assessment within Cardiff University.

Membership Categories and Entitlements

INSRV is contributing to the University's Membership Categories and Entitlements (MCE) work, to ensure our users can access the services to which they are entitled. 

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ORCA logo

ORCA and I-WIRE – supporting researchers and open access

Work continues on the I-WIRE (Integrated Workflow for Institutional Repository Enhancement) project to make it as easy as possible to deposit research publications into the institutional repository, ORCA (Online Research @ Cardiff).

IT support in the Julian Hodge Study Centre

The Julian Hodge Study Centre provides students with 24/7 access to IT facilities and group study spaces.

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One of the rare books collection 


Welsh rare books collection secured for the University and future generations

A major collection of 14,000 rare books, dating from the 15th century, was transferred to Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR) in May 2010.

Europe Day Quiz 2010

The Cardiff EDC (European Documentation Centre) held another successful and enjoyable quiz to celebrate Europe Day, and to promote awareness of the EU and countries within it. 

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Neurology video database

The Media Resources Centre, working with the School of Medicine, is creating a database of video recordings of neurology patients to help in learning, teaching and research.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Panel Review

Professor Martyn Guest (Director of Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff) participated in two panel reviews with America's National Science Foundation (NSF).

Supporting education in Sierra Leone

Continuing a partnership between the University of Sierra Leone and Cardiff University that dates back to 1999, Information Services' charity, EASL - Educational Awards in Sierra Leone - gained charitable status in June.

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HPC Wales logo

Welsh High Performance Computing collaboration launched

An all-Wales University supercomputing collaboration, designed to give access to some of the most advanced computer technology and skills, was officially launched in July.

Supporting international collaboration

INSRV's Heath Park Video Conferencing unit supported LION (Live International Otolaryngology Network), a live surgical broadcast linking surgeons in Cardiff to live surgery across the globe.

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Welsh ballads 


Bringing historic Welsh ballads to a global audience

Historic news once sung on street corners is now being promoted in a new online resource supported by INSRV.

Extending wireless network coverage at Heath Park

Wireless network connectivity has been further extended on the Heath Park campus to cover a further six buildings.

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Cardiff Portal logo

Cardiff Portal

Cardiff Portal, the newly enhanced and developed gateway enabling users to access web-based University services, was successfully launched to the University in September.

Bring the library to you with 'Ask a Librarian' live!

During the 2010 / 2011 academic year, INSRV is piloting a new chat enquiry service for library users.

National framework promoting information literacy in Wales

INSRV experts are playing a key role in the new Welsh Information Literacy Project which aims to raise the profile of information literacy and provide a consistent national framework.

New Systematic Review Network launched

A new network, to encourage collaborative and interdisciplinary working between University researchers involved in systematic reviews, was launched by INSRV in September.

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SURE logo

SURE - 10 years of leading evidence-based research

The Support Unit for Research Evidence (SURE) celebrated, in October, its 10th year of providing healthcare staff and policy makers with reliable evidence reviews.

New students get off to a great start

INSRV staff worked with colleagues throughout the University in a successful enrolment period.

New support for Skype launched

During October, University IT launched enhanced support for Skype, which provides low-cost, fully supported desktop videoconferencing to users across the University.

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National Student Satisfaction survey

Student satisfaction survey praises Cardiff's learning resources

Students voting in the 2010 NSS (National Student Satisfaction) survey have voted Cardiff the best in Wales, and fifth in the Russell Group, for learning resource provision.

SCOLAR furthers online access to key sources in the history of genetics

SCOLAR, Special Collections and Archives, has been awarded over £150,000 in grants from the Wellcome Trust to provide online access to the personal archives and book collections of key geneticists of the twentieth century.

Supporting a more sustainable University

The University-wide Sustainability Week during November provided INSRV with the opportunity to re-commit to promoting more environmentally friendly, and time- and money-saving, ways of working for all our users.

ARCCA reaches key user milestones

During 2010, Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff, ARCCA, reached a number of key milestones in its delivery of high performance and high-throughput computing services for University researchers.

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Trevithick Library

National design awards success for Trevithick Library

The Trevithick Library has won the 'smaller buildings' category in the prestigious SCONUL (Society of College, National and University Libraries) Library Design Awards.

Spam prevention during 2010

Preventing harmful emails from reaching our users, Information Services' email gateways rejected 645 million spam emails during 2010.

Cardiff's 3D books are a first for Wales

Using the same pioneering technology as the British Library it is now possible to see digitised rare books in 3D in Cardiff's Arts and Social Studies Library.

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