10 comments on “What went wrong with Intute? And – my role before it’s demise

  1. This could have been a good and useful piece, and there are some historical accuracies, but it’s disappointing that instead you make it into a vehicle to have a pop at your previous line manager. There’s often two sides to every story, and that saying is very true in this case; I am disappointed at your unprofessionalism in writing your slanted views.

    As you very well know, but didn’t state, there were other reasons why it was felt best that you didn’t attend further Intute meetings – and your line manager cerrtainly was not alone in these feelings. You were an increasingly negative and disruptive element within Intute, and your “ideas”, some of which just seemed vindictive rather than constructive, were not helping. I think you’ll find that more than a few people breathed a sigh of relief that you weren’t involved further.

    You might want to consider getting over it all. It’s ironic that you talk about Intute hanging on longer than it should done, as the case could be made that it’s a metaphor for your position at HW. Move on, Roddy.

    • The boy stood on the freezing deck
      For this was the Titanic
      He saw the iceberg coming close
      And thought “It’s time to panic”

      “Just hold your tongue,” his bos’n swore
      “And don’t disturb the crew”
      “And if you say another word”
      “You’ll regret it, through and through”

      “Say not a word, don’t scare the crew”
      “We don’t need any noises”
      “The Board and I are one of mind”
      “It’s jobsies for the boysies”

      “I have a plan to save my skin”
      The bos’n then revealed
      “I’ll simply cash my Air Miles in”
      “The deal has just been sealed”

      So on and on the boat did plough
      Until it struck the ‘berg
      This is a tale of censorship
      The worst that I have heard.

  2. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for posting your Comment.

    If I’d wanted to make a pop at my previous line manager, I could have included much more detail in the post, but instead I kept to the facts of what happened.

    Interesting what you said about the Intute meetings.

    I watched the organisation heading towards inevitable demise, and getting through a lot of funding whilst doing so. Very frustrating at the time, especially so as there were viable and better alternatives. Any ideas I presented were certainly not supposed to be disruptive, and I know that they were not vindictive.

    Yes, probably some of those employed on cataloguing the Internet breathed a sigh of relief when I left.


  3. Pingback: National Level Resource Discovery services? « A Man of Badly Encoded Character

  4. Excellent article Roddy. A pity that you were not in a position to disobey your line manager and present your ideas anyway (whether at the meeting or ‘contacting directly anyone in Intute ‘.

    I would be interested to know if you were ‘not alone in these feelings’ within Intute?
    As one of your respondees stated – there are always more sides to a debate – which is why they should be represented rather than threatened with disciplinary action….

  5. Hi Mark Perkins,

    Thanks for that.

    When I couldn’t get my travel payment authorised, I certainly did consider paying my own way to go to the meeting to which I’d been invited, but couldn’t once my boss actually forbade me from attending.

    Yes, there were some others in and around Intute who thought that concentrating on cataloguing the Internet wasn’t the best course. This didn’t include those who were employed as cataloguers, obviously.

    On the other hand, there was also positive feeling by those in Intute (but not myself) about what might be achieved with a rebranding and relaunching of the Intute service.


  6. Readers are still landing on this post, and may find this excellent post by Aaron Tay of interest http://musingsaboutlibrarianship.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/how-facebook-for-researchers-will.html Aaron muses about the sorts of things that might happen with a ‘Facebook for researchers’. Some of these things are related to my ‘big idea’ described in my post.

    Just to correct one of the many fallacies in Mark Jackson’s comment above – Heriot-Watt asked me to stay on longer than I intended and wanted, and I did so. They then asked me to stay on for a further period, but I declined.

    I can’t remember Mark Jackson from Intute days, and if he was involved, he has left no traceable contribution that I can find.

    Intute was always well managed by its staff, but they didn’t always receive the best direction or advice. Which was a shame. It was very obvious to some that at a cost of, I believe, something like £80 per record, manually cataloguing the Internet wasn’t viable in the long term.

  7. Hi

    Thanks for recounting some of the history behind Intute. Always good for newcomers like myself to learn more. Looking forward I wonder what are some of the obvious things we are missing or ignoring some visionary now that we will rue in 10-20 years time

  8. Hi Aaron,

    In 10 years time I guess that we’ll know whether concentrating on institutional repositories, or alternately subject repositories, will have been the right course of action.

    Intute would have been in a good position to develop subject repositories. That didn’t happen. Some funding was put into an Intute Repository Search demonstrator http://irs.mimas.ac.uk/demonstrator/ More could have beeen made of that, rather than just a demonstrator.

  9. Pingback: So – What was the big idea? The Intute that never was. | Roddy Macleod's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.