About the SCA

The Strategic Content Alliance (SCA) is a collaborative initiative that aims to develop effective links between key organisations that share a common vision:

To build a common information environment where users of publicly funded content can gain best value from the investment that has been made by reducing the barriers that currently inhibit access, use and re-use of digital content.”

The SCA aims to realise this vision by bringing together the strategy, skills and resources from a range of publicly focused organisations to offer co-ordination at a strategic level and provide a set of principles and guidelines for best practice at the operational level. In short, it aims to offer a blueprint for the digital content lifecycle, from creation to curation.

JISC supports this initiative in partnership with the Arts Council England, the British Library; the BBC; the Heritage Lottery Fund; and the Wellcome Library.

The Challenge

Digital technologies have fundamentally changed how content – from text and images to movies and sound recordings – is created, delivered, presented, exploited, shared and enhanced. These technologies are now used widely in the delivery of public services and have profoundly influenced public sector provision of information and resources.

However, digital content created with public money has, up until now, lacked co-ordination in terms of sharing strategy or expertise. This kind of coordination is crucial in order to get best value for money from the public purse and avoid duplication of effort. In its absence, a patchy network of digital content and business models has emerged with few tools to support previous, current or planned activity. As a result, much content remains hidden among the low-quality information that clutters the web and behind technical, political, economic and administrative barriers.

The rapid growth and development of digital content offers enormous and ever-growing possibilities for all citizens in the UK. But for this country to realise the full potential of the web, and for each citizen to realise their own potential – in the workplace, in their places of learning, and in the home – the full range of online content needs to be made available to all, quickly, easily and in a form appropriate to individuals’ needs.

The role of the Strategic Content Alliance is to help this happen through the development of effective collaboration and coordination across sectors. The success of our work is thanks to the leadership shown by our partners and others who recognise that digital innovation, particularly at a time of economic downturn, requires an innovative and pioneering mind-set. Therefore, we encourage and foster new ways of thinking and working through our investments in innovation, evidence-based research, policy engagement and dissemination.