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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Southampton wins University ‘Oscar’ for Open Data Service

Published: 4 December 2012

The University has won the coveted award for Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year at the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) awards for the second successive time.

The award recognises the benefits of the University's Open Data Service ( which provides open access to University data to help improve the life of the University community and our visitors whilst increasing the transparency of our operations.

One of the judges, Chris Cobb, Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary at the University of London, said that Southampton's development of open standards was going from strength to strength. "This innovation demonstrates a practical application for their web service protocols - a real case of ‘walking the talk' and leading by example. It's even more impressive that it's been adopted so widely on campus."

Christopher Gutteridge, System Analyst in the University's Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences and the architect who designed and built the website collected the prize at London's Grosvenor House Hotel. "We're very proud of what we have achieved in creating the University of Southampton's Open Data Service," said Gutteridge. "The tools and techniques we used, and in many cases built, are all open source and whilst this initiative might be ground-breaking now we envisage that in a few years' time this is going to be business as usual for all organisations, just like having a website is in 2012."

In 2011, Southampton won the THE Award for Outstanding ICT Initiative for the innovative Synote web-based annotation tool which makes multimedia resources easier to access, search, manage and exploit for learners, teachers and other users.

The University was also short-listed for this year's THE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development for the Uni-Cycle project. This scheme enhances the University's commitment to increase recycling and reduce its environmental impact by refurbishing unwanted and donated bikes from around Southampton and putting them back into active use.

Professor Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor, said: "The University of Southampton is exceptionally proud and delighted to have received these nominations and to win the award for Outstanding ICT Initiative. This is a reflection of the outstanding effort and continual dedication of our staff, and the pioneering work going on in Southampton.''

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