Project Status

The project was funded by PICT in HT 2012 and runs 1 June 2012 to 31 May 2013.

The project has good engagement from the Social Sciences Divisional Office (SocSciDO) and key members of the Council Secretariat (CoSec). Good progress was made in the early days with regard to site design and other issues for SocSciDO. The SocSciDO has also been exploring possibilities of presenting information, normally held in Word documents, as SharePoint HTML pages. Therefore mechanisms of Word-HTML conversion have also been explored.

Work is underway with CoSec and PRAS secretaries on site design to support Council and other subcommittees. To date, most work with CoSec has focussed on looking into a PDF conversion/compilation add-in to SharePoint. PDF conversions are seen as particularly important for committees with much documentation and this file format is handled well by most client devices.

In parallel to the above activities we are actively looking into how end users of SharePoint can access documents stored in sites and annotate PDFs on a variety of devices including iPads, laptop PCs and Android tablets.

We have carried out much work reviewing SharePoint add-ons in order to create 'board packs' consisting of large PDF documents for committee meetings. Unfortunately, the offerings in the marketplace fell a little short with regard to our expectations and requirements. However, there may still be some merit in looking further into these solutions.

In the next steps of the project, we are looking to:

Overall, we are beginning to move into the documentation phase, summarising and explaining the Best Practice that we have found and developed for the project, in order that the whole University user base can benefit.