Day two opened with lightly less overcast skies, and Jackie Wickham giving an overview of the work of the RSP; past and future. This was followed by Max Wilkinson from the British Library talking about their Datasets Programme; which I was especially looking forward to hearing. It was interesting to hear about an area, which by accord, most of the room wasn’t doing a great deal about practically. That data sets are of a volume magnitudes greater than the publications that most repositories deal with is no surprise, and that most repository softwares are not especially great ay handling them wasn’t either. I was hearted to hear that the BL are working in this area, and appear to be thinking about it at a national level. I must confess that personally I’d expect that a national solution for data sets repository is more likely to be effective than a local one; but thinking that and seeing it happen are two very different things.
Then Prof Keith Jeffery from euroCRIS/STFC gave a talk which…well it was very information rich. I described the talk afterwards as akin to the “last 30 minutes of 2001, only without a monolith”. Keith was nominally talking about euroCRIS but this was almost submerged in the presentation that whipped past with terms half known and unknown. There was certainly a worth in hearing someone as plugged in at the national level to STEM work as Keith; it was unfortunate that his talk wasn’t really pitched at a sufficiently practical level for those in the room. I shall however, look forward to re-reading his slides (assuming the RSP shares them) at my leisure, over perhaps a day.
Next up was Mark Cox from King’s College talking about the Readiness4REF project. Leicester has been slightly involved in this project, with respect to CERIF so some of what Mark ta;lked about was familiar to me. I came out of this talk taking away the message that making sure your repository is CERIF compliant will make it faster, more effective and ready to interact with the wider community; which can only be a good thing.
And then he was followed by Theo Andrew from EDINA who presented what I can only describe as THE talk of the conference for me. Theo outlined a world where a lot of work is repeated at different institutions, where three co-authors at different unis are each asked to make a deposit of a copy of their paper, with varying levels of success and engagement. The Repository Junction project proposes to streamline this, so that when one academic deposits, the software seeks out the repositories of the other authors and punts the paper into their verification and deposit workflows. William Nixon (Glasgow) refered to it as a killer app and to be frank I think if it works he won’t be proved wrong. Theo’s only working with a limited number of institutions but the plans are to expand out to a larger group; and I like many in the room I can imagine would be only be too happy to be involved! I’ll be following the project blog with interest.
After a delicious lunch (which made me glad I skipped breakfast) Balviar Notay from JISC spoke about the Take Up and Embedding Programme projects, which was I admit a bit of a blur of acronyms. All the same some interesting work is going to be carried out under this banner.
She was followed by a workshop session fronted by Jackie Wickham and four willing helpers, which ran into the early evening. Four facilitators (Miggie Pickton, Nicky Cashman, Jill Golightly and Rachel Proudfoot) moved around four groups and spent 30 minutes discussing issues related to their own projects, locals and experiences. The small group format allowed for a more intimate level of discussion than might have been enjoyed in the whole group. I must confess that the first couple of these sessions did little for me (other than further developing my sense that Glasgow has done so much that many of us will struggle to ever achieve their level of success!). However, the sessions with Nicky and Rachel were much more suited to my personal interests and certainly clarified one or two ideas I’ve been having of late about the LRA and our future direction.
The day’s sessions was followed by the conference dinner, and repository related discussions and exchanges which lasted long into the night (I lasted ’til around 11.30 but then had to call it a night). An intensive, packed day with a lot for me to reflect on and revisit now I’m back at Leicester.