Andy Zelinger – the new Chair of the Standing Committee on Official Papers

I’m posting on the blog in order to say a rather belated hello, and to introduce myself as the new Chair of SCOOP.

First off, I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor, Andrew Coburn, for the excellent work he has put into helping develop the activities of SCOOP over the past few years. In reading Andrew’s “farewell” post last month I was struck by just how much SCOOP has achieved during his tenure. For my own part I have found the Print Still Matters website and the Relegation Guides to be very useful indeed.

A bit about myself. I work as Resources and Collections Librarian in the House of Lords Library. In essence my role is to lead the collection management and development of the Library’s information resources. As you would expect of a parliamentary library, official publications (and particularly parliamentary publications) in both print and online formats are central to our collection. Along with the Commons Library we are one of the few organisations that still hold a complete set of House of Lords Papers. We were recently involved in a project to digitize this material in partnership with the National Library of Scotland and ProQuest.

I have a strong interest in official publications. However, since becoming involved in SCOOP last year I’ve realised my knowledge pales in comparison to the expertise of SCOOP colleagues, and I’m looking forward to drawing on that wealth of knowledge in order to carry out the responsibilities of Chair to the best of my ability. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to discuss any issues related to official publications.

Andy Zellinger, Resources and Collections Librarian, House of Lord Library

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Brexit Brexit Brexit

There are some fantastic resources out there! In fact there is an awful lot out there! Below is not intended to be an exhaustive list but an introduction to some of the resources available at your finger tips…

From Parliaments/Assembly:

From the UK Parliament:   ‘European Union‘ and ‘Brexit: the next steps of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU‘ topic pages are a rich source of information.
Research Briefings produced by the House of Commons Library are very good at giving clear and concise explanations to complex subjects, for example, ‘Brexit: what impact on those currently exercising free movement rights?

Second Reading‘ the blog of the House of Commons Library has a page dedicated to Brexit.

SPICeBrexitWeekly  Weekly publication by the Scottish Parliament‘s Information Centre (SPICe) on the UK’s exit from the EU.

Brexit Update
 and blog from the National Assembly of Wales 

From Government:

The Department for Exiting the European Union is responsible for overseeing negotiations to leave the EU and establishing the future relationship between the UK and EU. You will find announcements and links to their publications, to include in full, the Prime Minister’s letter to Donald Tusk triggering Article 50.

Other resources: 

The History of the EU‘ timeline by Sally Mclaren, Inner Temple Library is particularly good. The timeline is clear, interactive, easy to navigate and not text heavy.  It is extremely useful to be able  to explore a complex subject in spacial terms. Links to relevant documents are available and the EU myths are delightful, for example, ‘EU forces farmers to give pigs toys’. A lot of time and thought has gone into this informative aid.

Brexit in Law pages from the UK’s independent fact checking charity, Full Fact.

The BBC published  ‘Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU‘ on the 29th March 2017.

There are many resources available online from academic institutions throughout the UK, too many to mention all but here is a flavour: the London School of Economics’ Brexit blog‘,  Queen’s Brexit resource guide,  Queen’s University, Belfast, European Futures,  University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Europa Institute and ‘Welsh Brexit/Brexit a Chymru‘, Cardiff University.

Hannah Chandler, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

 

 

Dandy Booksellers Ltd update

Further to our post in October we would like to reiterate that Dandy will continue to print and publish ALL parliamentary materials, you can set up standing orders or order ad hoc on demand.

We will also continue to publish Hansard bound volumes and expect the following in January 2017:

House of Commons 595 index, vol nos. 603, 604-609
House of Lords vol. nos. 764, 765, 767 and 768

Please contact us if you would like to set up an account:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7624 2993
Email: enquiries@dandybooksellers.com * http://www.publicinformationonline.com/about

Second Reading – the House of Commons Library blog

Second reading is a really useful, informative blog!  You can subscribe to the blog and, for example,  be alerted to a new publication,  a recent debate or relevant statistics (with links) from government, parliament and wider and be briefed about the issues and context. There are also posts on salient issues such as ‘Steel in crisis: timeline and events in Parliament‘, published on April 27 2016. Blog posts are a great way to get a brief introduction into what can be very complex subjects, some posts also have links to more in depth research briefings that the House of Commons Library and its research service produce.

Research briefings can also be searched on the UK Parliament website by date and subject and also by topic.

 

Hannah Chandler, Official Papers Librarian, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford

An update from TSO – autumn 2016 – “A new era in Parliamentary publishing”

From 1 April 2016, Parliament moved into a new era of producing its own documents and materials emanating from the House of Commons and House of Lords. From 1 April 2016, The Stationery Office Ltd (TSO) no longer produced House of Lords materials and only a limited range of Commons material is being produced until 1 January 2017 i.e. Commons Bills, Explanatory Notes and some Commons Select Committees.

From 1 April 2016, PDFs of parliamentary documents were made available by Parliament on the Parliament websites www.parliament.uk and/or www.data.parliament.uk . These documents do not carry ISBNs.

However TSO will continue to upload the parliamentary documents in PDF format to its online library Official Publications Online (OPO) www.officialpublicationsonline.co.uk and to continue to update the documents with the same range of ISBN numbers. The TSO Official Publications Online library collection remains in place and continues to be updated each day.  The TSO Daily and Weekly Lists include details of the PDFs uploaded to the OPO Library  www.officialpublicationsonline.co.uk  The collection does not include Bound Volumes.

For parliamentary materials published before 1 April 2016 and for Commons Bills, Explanatory Notes and some Commons Select Committees pre 1 January 2017, there is no change in supply from TSO. TSO continues to offer print format copies of these materials, including the bespoke services of sourcing and supplying parliamentary materials from its extensive archive, dating back to the 19th century.

It must be noted that the supply of House and Command Papers and Legislation Papers from TSO in print format, is not affected by the Parliamentary changes and the supply position from TSO remains unchanged.

As Parliament moves into this new era of printing internally, TSO continues to support those sourcing parliamentary materials, past and present.

For further information please contact TSO Ltd:

Email:  Officialpubsonline@tso.co.uk   : Phone 0333 200 2429

Responsibility for the information set out in this post lies entirely with The Stationery Office Ltd.

OFFICIAL PUBLISHING – PRINT? DIGITAL? Dandy offer both!

From April 2016 Dandy have continued to publish all House of Lords Papers, Bills and Hansard, a service not offered by any other publisher.  Dandy believe print still has an important role in library collections.  Let’s consider the recent Iraq Inquiry (also referred to as the Chilcot Inquiry) a twelve volume set published as HC 265, the Inquiry was announced in 2009 and was seven years in the making.  This report should be available in academic and public libraries in hard copy.

Dandy also believe in digital supply and the need to make official information easily accessible. Dandy offer through Public Information Online (PIO)* an excellent platform and search interface to over 100,000 parliamentary and government publications from the UK Parliament and devolved assemblies dating comprehensively from 2006/07 with the archive of certain titles going back to the 1950s.   The very latest publications are available on PIO as it is updated on an hourly basis.  Subscribers to PIO are entitled to a daily feed of information and Dandy also supply a weekly list of everything they publish.

Dandy gather together information, for example, all the pieces of evidence presented to Select Committees and provide them in a consistent consolidated pdf.  Whilst the Select Committees do have freely available public websites many are not friendly in the way they provide the evidence.  The evidence is an important part and many inquirers are more interested in the evidence than in the final report.  A recent example of this is:

Science and Technology Committee 6th Report. Evidence Check: Smart metering of electricity and gas Volume 2. Oral and Written evidence

This is available as one consolidated pdf on Public Information Online.  However, please see the Parliament website:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/science-and-technology-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/smart-meters-inquiry-15-16/publications/

As you can see the Written Evidence is in 45 separate pdfs.

Additionally Dandy consolidate non parliamentary key titles from departments like Office for National Statistics (ONS) Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Ministry of Defence (MOD), Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), examples being Construction Statistics 2016, Digest of United Kingdom energy statistics 2016, Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2015, Defence Statistics, Environmental Accounts etc.  Please see all the data tables associated with Environmental Accounts:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/environmentalaccounts/bulletins/ukenvironmentalaccounts/2016/previous/v1/relateddata

Each data set contains multiple spreadsheets.  We provide a 440 page print copy or fully searchable pdf, please note everything we publish appears on our PIO Shop to purchase as print copies:

http://www.publicinformationonline.com/shop/

Dandy have also been working with the University of Kent, digitising their collection and making them available via the PIO database.   The archive currently includes:

  • Army List 1969-2014
  • Air Force List 1970-2013
  • Annual Abstract of Statistics 1935-2014
  • Civil Service Yearbook 1960-2015
  • HMSO Annual Catalogues – 1922-1996
  • Navy List 1974-2014

Additionally, Dandy have digitised all House of Lords Papers/Bills, Command Papers, PGAs going back to 1955.  Dandy are currently digitising all Lords Papers/Bills from 1901-1955 – please note these papers are unavailable anywhere else.

The University of Kent view PIO as a reliable digital repository so are now discarding material that has been digitised – please see their statement:

At Kent we have been engaged in a review of our official publications collection and have been investigating ways to improve access to these materials whilst at the same time looking to save space for materials that are relatively low use in print form.  

Working in partnership with Dandy Booksellers we have donated some of our archive of House of Commons, Lords, Command Papers and Standing Committee Debates in order that they can be scanned and made available to us electronically. These materials will be added to the Public Information Online (PIO) platform which has major implications for discoverability and storage as they will be rendered easily accessible via our resource discovery layer. 

Mindful that any digitisation work would need to meet digital preservation criteria we worked with Dandy to ensure that the digital alternatives created were of a high enough standard to allow us to reconsider our print holdings. We are delighted with the quality of the digitisation and feel that this is a great opportunity to sensitively conserve our official publications heritage and would recommend any universities similarly reviewing their print holdings to consider this approach in order that we can create a comprehensive and high quality digital resource for all.

Dandy offer both a print and digital service which is unique to the market.  For more details on the digitisation project, PIO or any of the services that Dandy offer please contact Donna Ravenhill on

Tel: +44 (0)20 7624 2993
Email: enquiries@dandybooksellers.com          * http://www.publicinformationonline.com/about

Responsibility for the information and views set out in this post lies entirely with Dandy Booksellers Ltd,  a further blog post will be put up shortly about another source for these types of publications.

 

 

EPPI and BOPCRIS*: What happened next?

The Hartley Library at the University of Southampton has an extensive collection of printed British official publications, known as the Ford Collection.  The collection is named after the late Professor Percy Ford and his wife Dr Grace Ford who brought the initial collection, which we continue to build, to the University of Southampton in the 1950s.  The Fords compiled ‘breviates’ or ‘select lists’ of official publications, in seven volumes covering the years 1833 – 1983.   Their work was the impetus behind our later activities when technology and external funding enabled us to work collaboratively with other libraries  in order to provide a selection of full-text digitised British official publications, free for all to use.  Sadly, storage and delivery of such an immense amount of data is not without costs and we had to abandon our web services, EPPI and BOPCRIS, but we have worked to find ways to continue free access to the documents.

We are now moving the materials to Internet Archive.  We have established two subsets,  ‘British Parliamentary Publications’  and ‘British non-Parliamentary Publications’ .  These hold previously digitised EPPI and BOPCRIS papers, with some additional non-Parliamentary publications which have been scanned by the in-house Hartley Library Digitisation Unit (LDU).  In total, there are about 16,000 documents, including the full EPPI collection which comprises 13,700 documents.  Other highlights include some very hard-to-find older departmental publications, e.g. a 1991 consultation on aircraft noise, https://archive.org/details/op1278555-1001 .  Our current hope is to continue adding more non-Parliamentary materials from our collection, as we are aware that this is the area of least on-line provision.

We chose Internet Archive for many reasons, but here are just two.  For researchers, it is now a well-known source and is free for all to use.  For libraries wishing to share their open access digital collections, it offers a free and sustainable delivery mechanism.

An article with more detail has been submitted to Refer, the journal of the Information Services Group of CILIP.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact the University of Southampton Library Digitisation Unit by e-mail, digitise@soton.ac.uk 

* EPPI: Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland, 1801 – 1922  and BOPCRIS: British Official Publications Collaborative Reader Information Service

Joy Caisley
Law and Politics Librarian, Hartley Library, University of Southampton

SCOOP Online OP Showcase

Further to our earlier post on the changes to Parliamentary Publishing, there has been additional clarification from TSO on the status of House, Command and Legislation Papers: these are unaffected by the changes and will still be available in hard copy. Also unaffected are materials published before 1 April 2016.

It has also been confirmed that the although PDFs of parliamentary documents will no longer be assigned ISBNs by TSO. Other publishers, such as Dandy, have made the decision to attach their own ISBNs to the PDFs they supply.

With all these changes SCOOP thought that it would be timely and useful for all those dealing with Official Publications to be able to review the various online products available. With this in mind, on Wednesday 11th May  at CILIP HQ we will be holding demonstrations of TSO’s Official Publications Online, Dandy’s Public Information Online, and ProQuest’s Parliamentary Papers website. The session will start at 2pm and is open to anyone interested in online OP provision. If you would like to attend or have any questions, contact me using the form below.

Steven Hartshorne, Information and Enquiry Service Officer, Bolton Library and Museum Services / Secretary of SCOOP

Changes to Parliamentary Publishing in 2016

This year will see some fundamental changes to the way in which Parliamentary Papers are made available to the public and in light of this, we have been given permission to reproduce a statement issued by TSO on their future plans for the publication of hard copy Parliamentary Papers.

“After 31st March 2016, TSO/Williams Lea Tag will no longer be printing the full range of papers for the House of Commons and House of Lords own use.

However, we will still be printing House of Commons Bills, Explanatory Notes and some Select Committee Reports for the House of Commons until 31st December 2016 and at the same time continue to supply these materials in print format to our external customers.

The House of Commons Daily Hansard and Bound volumes will continue to be supplied, as now in print format, to our external customers.

After 31st March, 2016, The House of Lords Bound Volumes will continue to be supplied in print format to our external customers.  However, there will be no supply in print format of other House of Lords materials.

The TSO online library www.officialpublicationsonline.co.uk will be offered with more flexible options to purchase download of PDFs as a means of sourcing materials no longer to be supplied in print format.

Update newsletters will shortly be released confirming the arrangements for supply of House of Lords and House of Commons materials after 31 March 2016.  The newsletters will be issued to all TSO external customers (including suppliers) and the Chairs of the various “Library Groups” we support.”

Access to the electronic editions of Parliamentary Papers will continue to be available via the various online sources, such as the Gov.Uk Official Publications portal, the Publications and Records section of  Parliament.Uk, the TSO’s own Official Publications Online (referenced above), Dandy’s Public Information Online, and ProQuest’s Parliamentary Papers website.

Steven Hartshorne, Information and Enquiry Service Officer, Bolton Library and Museum Services / Secretary of SCOOP