Content expert group

An expert group that informs national negotiation strategy and objectives.

About the group

The content expert group complements the work of the UUK/Jisc content negotiation strategy group.

The group focuses on taking the national level strategy and objectives agreed by the UUK Jisc content negotiation strategy group and turning these into tactics that can be applied within the context of individual negotiations. It aims to ensure negotiations and the subsequent agreements put in place will deliver on the national level objectives in a way that is achievable and sustainable at the local institutional level.

The group will escalate matters of broader importance and impact to the UUK Jisc content negotiation strategy group and coordinate with other strategic groups.  

Core aims

  • Inform the deliberations and outputs of the UUK Jisc content negotiation strategy group through the provision of expert input on institutional requirements of Jisc agreements for publishing services and access to content
  • Provide advice and input to Jisc on the detailed requirements of agreements with publishers based on the overall objectives and strategy for negotiations  
  • Provide feedback to Jisc on optimum tactics in individual publisher negotiations  
  • Provide feedback to Jisc on publisher proposals during the lifetime of the negotiations  
  • Provide advice and feedback to Jisc on communications with the sector throughout the negotiation process  
  • Act as a conduit for feedback and discussion with the sector throughout the negotiation process  
  • Provide advice and feedback to Jisc for the refinement and enhancement of publisher proposals  

Members of the group

  • Chair - Chris Banks, director of library services, Imperial College London (Band 1)
  • Gavin Beattie, associate director (research and impact), Kings College London (Band 2)
  • Rachel Bruce (Observer member), head of open research, UKRI
  • Suzy Cheeke, associate director, research and scholarly communication, library services University of Bristol (Band 3)
  • Jane Cooke (Sherif user group representative), associate director, University of Liverpool Library, University of Liverpool (Band 3)
  • Kathryn Hudson (WHELF representative), head of collection management, university library service, Cardiff University (Band 3)
  • Margaret Hurley (Observer member), grants department, Wellcome Trust
  • Sharon Johnson (Observer member), head of content acquisition, British Library
  • Julie Neenan (SCONUL appointee), librarian - head of technical services, Cardiff Metropolitan University (Band 7)
  • Richard Parsons (SHEDL representative - chair of SHEDL steering group), library director, University of Dundee (Band 5A)
  • David Prosser (RLUK appointee), executive director, RLUK
  • Jacqueline Proven, head of open research, University of St Andrews (Band 5B)
  • Ann Rossiter (SCONUL appointee), executive director, SCONUL
  • Jennifer Smith, research publications librarian, St George's, University of London (Band 7)
  • Gary Steele, Glasgow Caledonian University (Band 6)
  • Arwen Tapping, research council libraries representative, librarian, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
  • Chrissie Willis-Phillips, University of Reading (Band 5A)
  • Nick Woolley, director of library and campus services, Sheffield Hallam University (Band 4)

Terms of reference


  • UK universities; reflecting the diversity of size, income, approaches, ambitions, strategies, students, researchers and staff etc contained within those institutions
  • Higher education sector bodies
  • National consortia and higher education forums
  • Research libraries
  • Observers from national libraries and research funders


There will be eight representative members as follows:

  • Chair – senior library director  
  • Seven individuals from UK higher education institutions to represent the diverse range of institutions on whose behalf Jisc negotiates

There will be seven members from professional organisations as follows:

  • SCONUL and RLUK - two appointees from each
  • SHEDL, WHELF, the research council libraries and the Sherif user group – one appointee each

In addition, there will be three observer members as follows:

  • Observers from the British Library, Wellcome Trust and UKRI


When a vacancy for a professional organisation member arises, the relevant organisation will be invited to provide details of their appointee who will join the group.

When a vacancy for an observer member arises, the relevant organisation will be invited to provide details of their observer who will join the group. 

When a vacancy for a representative member arises, a new member will be recruited by selection process to ensure selected individuals will bring the right expertise and knowledge, maintaining the representation of the group across the diversity of institutions it represents, including wide geographical coverage. 

Recruitment of individuals should ensure participation from a variety of roles across the sector, including library directors, assistant library directors, open access service/fund managers, research office managers, research library managers and subscription/e-resource managers.

When recruitment is considered, it is considered against the representation of institutions on the CNSG, ensuring a diversity of representation across the two groups. 

The two year term of office can be extended by an additional term of up to three years. This would be considered if the member wishes to extend their term and be determined the by chair of the group and Jisc. The decision would take into account whether the member has normally been able to attend meetings and ensure that terms of office ended at different times to prevent a large change in membership at any one time.

Meetings and administration

There will be four meetings per annum.

Meetings will take place between meetings of the UUK/Jisc content negotiations expert group, in order to allow the discussion at the content expert group to feed into this groups deliberations.

3-4 weeks in advance of UUK Jisc content negotiation strategy group, in order to allow discussions at group to feed into the UUK Jisc content negotiation strategy group deliberations.

The papers will be shared with the UUK Jisc content negotiation strategy group. 

The group will decide what information about their work can be shared with the organisations that they represent, their institutions and other colleagues such as professional groups with whom they have links and would normally be open within the sector about non-confidential matters.

Where there is strategic benefit in sharing confidential papers or their content with sector groups, this will be advised when papers are distributed. In this situation, the papers and their content remain confidential in the sense they may not be shared further by those they are shared with and those who receive them should be informed of this.

Detailed strategy and tactics and sensitive confidential information remain confidential to this group and the UUK Jisc content negotiation strategy group.