UKCoRR Summer 2009 meeting pt 2
Posted by gazjjohnson on 18 August, 2009
Continuing on with the UKCoRR day at Kingston University
Integration of Repositories with other systems, Wendy White, Southampton
This session looked at how the repository interacts with all the other systems that an institution uses. Not just technologies but people as well, the repository can help identify and nurture your star performer academics. Recognising the role the repository plays as a knowledge management system. But also as a location for marketing, to tell stories, myths and legends of your institution’s research is a role the repository can play. Also the repository managers themselves are the star performers that institutions need to hold on to, by recognising them and ensuring their pay and benefits encourage them to stay.
Integration of Repositories with other systems, Morag Greig, Glasgow
This talk aimed to take a more practical overview of the same issue, which started with Morag giving an overview of Glasgow’s repository. Like Leicester they aimed to join the repository and publications database together. It was important to develop policies and procedures to enable departments to engage with the repository on an on-going basis. Started by going out to talk to HoDs and research chair/champions in each department. Gathered information on their current practices on how they gathered current procedures. Self deposit for two depts, mediated for large faculties and proxy for most small to medium sized departments. Issue with materials in PMC going unharvested.
Training sessions were run for administrators (from 30 depts) including the wider context of OA, something which I think is very important. Even if you are just adding material to a repository as part of your job, it is important you understand why it is important to academics and the institution as a whole; not to mention the global dimension. Glasgow are planning a large scale import of data going back to 2001, and adding staff number.
Embed, John Harrington, Cranfield
In this talk John explained how his repo emerging from the embedding phase and into the mature phase. He looked at the problems they initially faced. Then he moved to look at the various sweeteners they could use to sell the repository and the publication cycle. Using a model like Leicester (alerts and request) to obtain materials got a low awareness in the academic community. They concluded that this was an unsustainable model for scaling up, something I agree with. RAE didn’t help, but elements of bibliometrics raised importance of the repository which they used as a basis for renewed advocacy push.
Adrian Mschiraju, Royal Holloway
Adrian told a cautionary tale about what happens if it people are seduced by bought in systems. They have bought Equella an Australian developed system for all purposes teaching objects, research publications, data and theses. 14 months of developer time so far to customise for their purposes – however, had to drop their requirements down to a level that eprints could have done on day 1. [Post-event I spoke to their developer Alison on twitter, who said actually the picture wasn’t quite as bleak as this – and indeed their repository actually offers a lot more functionality]
Susan Miles, Kingston
Susan talked about maintaining momentum with a repository team over time. They have 7 people who have editorial rights over their eprints server, which is a considerable number for a smaller institution. However, repository work has to be competed for with all the other competing demands – these are not dedicated members of staff. As a team distributed over 4 campuses they have been using Sharepoint to draw the team’s activities drawing together.
Finally Mary Robinson, talked about the UKCoRR repository skills set document which has ended up being used around the world. Dominic talked about the JISC recruitment tool kit for digital repository projects – which frankly was just the sort of basic things you get told at all kinds of recruitment training and didn’t appear to offer much of novel use – JISC reinventing the wheel again?
Over all this was another very useful day and gathering of people in the rare position of being repository managers (there’s still less than 100 people in this country in this position – so it’s a very small but active community). I learned a fair bit and let’s hope I was able to share my own experiences with a fair few people. Let’s hope it’s not 18 months before the next event. And maybe we can have it North of the M25 (or on the south coast – I’m not fussy!).