Content Strategy Group

This group leads our drive for change on the cost and accessibility of content so that it properly reflect its value to the institution. It collaborates with other stakeholders on the strategic direction for the sector and is an active advocate for change. 

Over the next few years, the group will be working on:

  • models for journal provision post-transitional agreements.

  • on-going support for the drive towards an open research culture.

  • current negotiations with publishers.

  • creative approaches to the provision of monographs and the development of a sustainable model for etextbook provision.

We will also be seeking opportunities for collaboration on knowledge sharing and discovery.

Group membership

  • Phil Brabban, Library Director, Coventry University (Co-chair)
  • Robin Armstrong-Viner, Swansea University (Co-Chair)
  • Chris Banks, Imperial College London
  • David Beales, Brunel University
  • Ewa Cepuchowicz, University of East London
  • Anna Clements, University of Sheffield
  • Jane Harvell, University of Sussex
  • Liz Jolly, The British Library
  • Nicholas Lewis, University of East Anglia
  • Annette Linton, Swansea University
  • Lisa McLaren, SCONUL
  • Regina O'Brien, Lancaster University
  • Ann Rossiter, SCONUL
  • Emma Thompson, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Hannah Whaley, University of Dundee 
Edinburgh Napier University




Credit: Alice The Camera/Cambridge University Libraries

Current Projects

The future of subscriptions: The group is working closely with colleagues in Jisc, RLUK and others across the library community and beyond to shape the future of subscriptions in the UK and explore the scope for developing collective collecting approaches. This is particularly timely with the publication of the Jisc Critical Review of Transitional Agreements; renewed pressures on budgets; and the slow pace of change towards open access internationally. The group held a Content Forum meeting in early February where there was lively debate about the short and longer-term options on subscriptions and the group will continue to work through the implications of this debate and equitable and sustainable options for the sector.

Rights Retention: The group is also working on the development of rights retention policies and is holding an event to explore progress across the UK towards their adoption and how any barriers might be addressed. 

Content Forum

The group is also responsible for the SCONUL Content Forum which meets annually bringing together library leaders from across the sector to explore strategic questions of common concern.  In recent years, the Forum has provided a venue for discussions on the scope for the development of collaborative collections; challenges on the provision etextbooks and other digital teaching materials; on key content negotiations; read and publish deals and open access policy. 

These events are open to all heads of service at SCONUL member institutions and their senior leadership teams and are free to attend. To hear about future Content Forum meetings, sign up to our newsletter here.

For resources on content and collections, see our Knowledge Hub.