InformAll originated as a set of related activities undertaken under the auspices of the Research Information Network (RIN). Until its closure in December 2015, RIN was a specialist research and policy consultancy focused on investigating the way that information is created, used, shared and published by academic researchers. IL in university research and library settings formed a natural part of RIN’s remit, and in mid-2012, building on preliminary RIN-funded work, a grant was secured from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) for a one year programme to establish a loose network of individuals and organisations who would work collaboratively to address a number of IL-related questions applying to higher education settings. This initial raft of work (detailed below) provided a proof of concept and was deemed sufficiently successful for HEFCE to provide a second tranche of funding for a further programme that ran from early 2014 to early 2015. By then, the scope of the work had expanded from its initial focus on the academic research realm to a consideration of IL in wider contexts, in particular in relation to employment. This shift in emphasis reflected the view among InformAll stakeholders that, given the imperative of raising awareness of IL, it made sense not to restrict the conversation purely to players in and around higher education. To emphasise this point, in mid-2014 the name of the initiative changed from its initial designation, Research Information and Digital Literacies Coalition (RIDLs) to InformAll – a term which better reflects the wider societal implications of information capabilities.
HEFCE did not renew its support of the initiative beyond February 2015. InformAll was thus faced with the challenge of how to sustain itself through alternative sources of funding – an imperative that was given added urgency by the unrelated decision to close down RIN at the end of 2015. In order to carry on successfully, InformAll therefore set itself up as an independent venture – through the medium of a community interest company – with a capacity to take on work in its own right.
In this new guise, InformAll builds on a growing list of achievements, and on the contacts and networks that we have built up through a range of outputs and outcomes since 2011. In most cases, and in accordance with InformAll’s collaborative ethos, such activities were undertaken in partnership with relevant stakeholders. Partnership working is critical to InformAll’s approach; see here a list of organisations with which InformAll has interacted.
The achievements of InformAll (and its predecessor initiative, RIDLs) take the form of reports, tools, guidance documents, events, responses… They are listed comprehensively, with links to appropriate material, under publications and resources.