About the blog

This blog has been set up as part of the JISC TechWatch service. The aim is partly practical: we often need to provide minor updates to our published reports, say if there are new developments in a particular area or someone writes to tell us something we didn’t know at the time of publication. However, we also intend to be a little more pro-active and we will be commissioning short pieces from people who can provide a ‘helicopter view’ of what’s going on in universities and colleges.

A note on the blog’s title:
The more literary amongst you may have noticed that the title of the blog tips the wink to Dostoyevsky’s ‘Notes from the Underground’. Of course, Dostoyevsky’s short novel is usually seen as a howling cry of existential pain, which, of course, is not what we’re trying to inflict on you. However, it did seem to us that there might be a few other parallels and there is certainly more than just an element of ‘saying what it does on the tin’.

About the authors:
Paul Anderson is the Technical Editor for the TechWatch series of reports. He has over twenty years’ experience of working in computing in both academia and industry. He has undertaken research into AI-based recognition systems and worked in industrial software development, project management and technology transfer. Paul is also a technology writer in his own right and in 2007 he was awarded the EPSRC’s Computer Science Writer of the Year prize.

Gaynor Backhouse runs the TechWatch service on behalf of JISC. She is Editor-in-Chief for the publishing side of the service and is responsible for driving TechWatch’s general direction. She hasn’t won any awards for her writing, but in 2003 she did win an innovation award for designing a new type of electronic publishing system. This was based on idea that can be summed up best by the term ‘controlled mash-up’, which, although it may not sound too revolutionary now, was a fairly big deal in 2003.