The Future of Informs and the Virtual Training Suite

Posted April 11th, 2011 by Angela Joyce

JISC funding for Informs and the Virtual Training Suite will come to an end at the end of July 2011.

As part of the removal of central funding for Intute in July 2010, we conducted a full review and market research to help us investigate the possibility of introducing a subscription model for the Virtual Training Suite and Informs.  We regret to inform our users and contributors that no realistic alternative funding model for either service has been identified.

Our investigations told us that institutions would be willing to pay for Informs and the Virtual Training Suite in principle, but given the current economic climate and the reduction in library budgets these services are unlikely to be regarded as a priority.  As a result, the number of subscribers would not provide enough income to continue in their current form.  Therefore, in consultation with the Informs Advisory Group and JISC, the following ways forward have been agreed.

  • We will investigate releasing Informs as open source software so that it can be installed and run locally in your own institutions.  This work is in its early stages, but we will provide more information throughout the next few months, and full documentation will be made available to make the transition as easy as possible.
  • We will keep Informs running at Mimas until December 2011 to allow users to move to the open source version or find other alternatives.  Until this time all tutorials will work as normal, and helpdesk support will be available.
  • The Virtual Training Suite site will be available until July 2012, but the tutorials will not be updated beyond July 2011.
  • All Virtual Training Suite tutorials will be individually available to download and reuse from August 2011.

 

We would like to thank all Informs and Virtual Training Suite users and contributors for their support during this difficult year.  We would particularly like to thank those of you that took the time to speak to us, offer feedback and complete our survey.

For more information, please see the FAQs on the Informs and Virtual Training Suite websites,  and please contact us if you have any concerns.  We have also made the market research report and the Informs Technical Review available on Intute.

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