Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, UKOLN


Portrait Brian Kelly has worked at UKOLN, University of Bath as UK Web Focus since November 1996.

Key Areas of Work

Areas of Brian Kelly's UK Web Focus work which have had a significant impact include:

Support for the development of a Community of Practice for Web managers and developers

The Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) series was launched by in 1997 and the IWMW 2012 event marked the 16th in the series.

This event has been a key element in the growth and development of a Community of Practice for members of institutional Web management teams and has helped to ensure that there is a well-established culture of sharing and openness across the sector.

A framework for the exploitation of open standards

Contributions to various standards documents which supported national digital library development programmes including eLib and the DNER (later renamed the JISC Information Environment). In light of the experiences of the effectiveness of the approaches to use of open standards (which sometimes failed to live up to the initial expectations) work with staff from other JISC services, including JISC CETIS and JISC OSS Watch) and other stakeholders in the sector, led to collaboration in the development of more flexible approaches for the selection and use of open standards which was published as a series of papers published in peer-reviewed or conference publications.

A holistic framework for enhancing access to Web resources by people with disabilities

Advice to the sector on best practices for enhancing access to Web resources for people with disabilities which was given in the early 2000s led to an awareness of the limitations of approaches based on an uncritical use of WAI WCAG guidelines.

In 2004 a paper on "Developing A Holistic Approach For E-Learning Accessibility" was published in the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology. This paper sought to rethink approaches to Web accessibility in the context of the provision of e-learning.

A subsequent series of papers published in peer-reviewed or conference publications further developed these approaches for use in a wider context (including access to cultural heritage resources and institutional repositories) with the participation of accessibility researchers and practitioners across the UK and Australia. These approaches have subsequently influenced the development of the BS 8878 Code of Practice on Web Accessibility.

A risks and opportunities framework for making use of Social Web services

In 2006 the potential of Web 2.0 and the Social Web to support institutional activities was described at various events including a high profile presentation at the UCISA Management Conference (which resulted in one IT Services Director subsequently changing approaches to the provision of IT services within the institution). Following the gradual acceptance of the potential benefits of the Social Web a risks and opportunities framework was described in a paper on Library 2.0: Balancing the Risks and Benefits to Maximise the Dividends which was later enhanced in a paper on Empowering Users and Institutions: A Risks and Opportunities Framework for Exploiting the Social Web to include details of ways of addressing copyright risks.

In September 2010 a paper on Approaches To Archiving Professional Blogs Hosted In The Cloud which described how the risks and opportunities framework could be applied to use of externally-hosted blog platforms was presented at the iPres 2010 conference.

In December 2010 a paper on Moving From Personal to Organisational Use of the Social Web outlined use of the framework in the context of personal use of externally-hosted services at the Online Information 2010 conference.

Best practices for the preservation of Web resources

The JISC PoWR project, for which Brian Kelly was the project director, published the The Preservation of Web Resources Handbook and a Guide to Web Preservation. The work of the JISC PoWR project was described in a paper on Preservation of Web Resources: The JISC PoWR Project which was presented at the iPres 2008 conference.

Best practices for the provision of amplified events

Brian Kelly was an early adopter of use of networked technologies at events. In 2005 Brian was the lead author of a paper on "Using networked technologies to support conferences which was presented at the EUNIS 2005 conference. The term "amplified events" was subsequently coined to describe use of networked technologies to enhance events. Brian created the Wikipedia entry for Amplified conference. He presented a paper on Open content and open events: Professional development in an amplified world at the Online Information 2011 conference. He has led the event amplification for the IWMW series of events and was the editor and project manager of a JISC-funded report on Best Practices for Event Amplification: a Greening Events II Report.


An emphasis has been given to the engagement with users in UK Web Focus activities which has included ways of identifying needs and gathering feedback together with maximising the potential impact of such work through various dissemination channels. These approaches are summarised below:


A key aspect of the work of UK Web Focus has been participation at events in order to maximise dissemination activities. Between 1996 and 2013 Brian gave approximately 400 presentations at events ranging from international and national conferences, national and regional workshops, seminars and online events.


Activities in key areas of work, including Web accessibility, Web preservation, Web standards and Web 2.0 and the Social Web, have been published in peer-reviewed journals or presented at peer-reviewed conferences. Information on over 50 papers published in peer-reviewed journals, conferences or as invited papers at international conferences which have been published from 1999 and 2013 is available on the UKOLN Web site

In addition to over 50 papers, Brian has also contributed to 5 books on the subjects of Web accessibility, e-learning and Web 2.0.

Brian was also the main contributor to a series of briefing papers published by the QA Focus project and for UKOLN's cultural heritage work.

Participation in Blogs

Since November 2006 Brian has published over 1,190 posts on the UK Web Focus blog.

Brian has also been a significant contributor to several other blogs including UKOLN's Cultural Heritage blog and the JISC PoWR blog.

Culture of Openness

Brian has been pro-active in encouraging an open approach to development work.

  • As the project director for the JISC-funded QA Focus project, which ran from 2002-2004, Brian ensured that project outputs were made available under a Creative Commons licence.
  • Posts published on the UK Web Focus blog have been made available under a Creative Commons licence and since 1 January 2011 commercial use of the posts has been permitted.
  • Comments are permitted on all blog posts on the UK Web Focus blog.
  • Presentations given since 2006 have been made available under a Creative Commons licence.

Contact Details

UK Web Focus
University of Bath

Telephone: +44 1225 383943

FAX: +44 1225 386838


Further Information

For further information please see the UK Web Focus blog.

UKOLN, University of Bath
Last updated 21-Mar-2013