After a year's pause, the agencies which fund higher education passed the issue to the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, who passed it on to SCONUL.
SCONUL has tackled this issue by relying on the work of funded researchers on United Kingdom and European Community projects.
The SCONUL Advisory Committee on Performance Indicators (ACPI), which has responsibility for this area, determined a number of steps to try to move forward, including:
For SCONUL, LISU has taken over data input and storage, created a ten-year database, and cleaned the data, filling some gaps and correcting obvious errors.
It happens that one of the SCONUL data series is based on counts of occupation of study seats on specified sample days of the year.
John Blagden, former chair of ACPI, obtained research funds to employ a research assistant for one year to test the quality of the SCONUL data and explore the discriminatory power of various measures proposed in "The Effective Academic Library" and other international sources.
The SCONUL Benchmarking Pilots Project, 1997-99 (Town, 2000), has been a successful attempt to apply standard benchmarking approaches to libraries, rather as the Association of Research Libraries is building on SERVQUAL.