Forty projects will share more than Pounds 13 million as part of the drive to boost the Distributed National Electronic Resource, the Joint Information Systems Committee's attempt to devise a coherent national online information resource for universities.
About Pounds 9 million will be spent on developing content and resources, such as virtual learning environments, electronic books, virtual languages, a range of archive content, and subject portals and gateways. The remainder will be spent on developing the DNER environment, including new subject portals and search and delivery services.
The DNER aims to provide a managed collection of resources and to enhance existing information resources.
The first programme area covers implementation and development of the DNER. Projects include the Electronic Books On-screen Interface (Eboni), led by the Centre for Digital Library Research at Strathclyde University, which will evaluate ways of publishing materials on the web to find the most effective way of representing information.
The Libraries Automation Service at Oxford University will lead the Java Access for Electronic Resources (Jafer) project. It will develop an "open source" Java toolkit that hides the technical aspects, allowing staff to concentrate on other areas.
Birmingham University will develop a mathematics portal, Nottingham University will oversee a nursing, midwifery and health professions gateway, and Manchester University will lead a physical sciences portal.
The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology's Click and Go video aims to provide a resource to stimulate the use of moving image archives in teaching and learning. The Television and Radio Index for Learning and Teaching (Trilt), led by the Open University, will encourage better integration of moving images with other resources.
The Artworld project, led by the University of East Anglia, will develop resources for teaching world art. South Bank University's Digital Image Database will digitise about 20,000 slides of buildings and architectural features.