Organising a network: shifting from an inter-university to a site-based approach at the university of Toulouse SICD

The French government set up the pôle de recherche et d’enseignement supérieur (PRES, or research and higher education hub) in 2007 to oversee collaboration between higher education establishments and to determine their shared policy. The service interétablissements de coopération documentaire (SICD, or inter-institutional document-sharing service) at the university of Toulouse was incorporated into the PRES, increasing the number of institutions covered from 6 to 16 and leading to new remits such as pooling the purchase of electronic resources. While becoming part of the PRES strengthened the SICD’s partnership mission, it also highlighted the difficulties of reconciling the autonomy of individual institutions with the stated objective of implementing an ambitious policy across the board.