The Academic Information Repository (AIR) was developed as
a by-product of the recent re-development of the website for the Institute of Educational Technology (IET). We recognised that to put the user at the centre was to provide a frictionless method for users to manage their content.

Interface design

One of the challenges in developing web sites when inside an educational context is trying to establish who owns the content. To be clear, I am not referring to marketing blurb about how great our university is, I am referring to a mix of content types including research projects which are owned by Academics, REF submissions which are owned by the Institute in consultation with Academics and the marketing blurb which is owned by the Institute in consultation with the university etc etc.

I consider every academic to be a brand – or potential brand. Academics tend to be highly regarded in their own field and have a reputation, an persona and an identity. They have publishing interests too and must ensure that all their output is known about by those with an interest. AIR was developed as a content management portal to provide Academics with easy access to ‘their’ content. They could connect their university persona to their social media output, their publications and media events such as radio appearances.

It is hoped that by providing the academic community with a resource such as this it will be easier for academics to maintain consistency when telling the world of their achievements – avoiding blogs which appear neglected or Twitter accounts which lack a recent post.

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