Leeds opens front line on unpublished texts

January 10, 1997

Education's grey literature is getting organised.

Preprints and reports on education and training that have not yet appeared in printed journals, and perhaps never will, are to be collected and published on the Internet by Leeds University Library.

Library staff will catalogue the preprint and grey literature in the same systematic way as they already catalogue printed journal articles in the field.

One of the first articles to be archived is a critique of Ofsted research on reading in London primary schools, by Peter Mortimore and Harvey Goldstein.

The Leeds library is home to the British Education Index, a bibliography of education and training which grows by more than 5,000 references a year. The new Internet resource, called Education-line, will be indexed according to the 7,500-term British Education Thesaurus, which is the source of the terminology used in the BEI and several other education databases.

Documents on the Internet have a habit of disappearing or changing address. But the Leeds site will be a genuine archive and not just an index to items which have appeared elsewhere.

"What we are trying to establish is not links to things but the things themselves, and have them well organised," said project officer Sam Saunders.

Education-line, launched at last week's North of England Education Conference in Sheffield, is the latest to bear fruit of the electronic library (eLib) projects supported by the funding councils' Joint Information Systems Committee.

Among the organisations supporting it are the British Educational Research Association and the National Council for Educational Technology.

During its 18-month establishment phase it will be freely available over the Internet at www.leeds.ac.uk/educol.

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