A while back I summarised the input about semantics and academic coding that Lorna and I had made on behalf of Cetis for a study on possible reforms to JACS, the Joint Academic Coding System. That study has now been published.
JACS is mainatained by HESA (the Higher Education Statistics Agency) and UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) as a means of classifying UK University courses by subject; it is also used by a number of other organisations for classification of other resources, for example teaching and learning resources. The report (with appendices) considers the varying requirements and uses of subject coding in HE and sets out options for the development of a replacement for JACS.
Of course, this is all only of glancing interest, until you realise that stuff like Unistats and the Key Information Set (KIS) are powered by JACS.
– See more at Followers of the apocalypse
If you’re not sure why this should interest you (and yet for some reason have read this far) David Kernohan has written what I can only describe as an appreciation of the report, Hit the road JACS, from which the quote above is taken.
To move forward from this and the other reports commissioned from the Redesigning the HE data landscape study, the Higher Education Data and Information Improvement Programme (HEDIIP) is being established to enhance the arrangements for the collection, sharing and dissemination of data and information about the HE system. Follow them on twitter.