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Posts Tagged ‘information’

Symplectic User Group Conference 2011

Posted by gazjjohnson on 25 May, 2011

This Tuesday saw me down in London once again (a whole 4 days since my last trip down for CILIP Council) for the Symplectic User Conference 2011 at Hamilton House – so here are my notes – apologies for any typos as I was typing these on my knee! 

The day was split in two with talks in the morning and workshops in the afternoon.  Daniel Hook kicked off the day by announcing that Symplectic had partnered with Digital Science to work in the open science community.

Hamilton House, London - venue for the dayThe first speaker was Lorna Mitchell of the Brunel University talking about the BRUCE project.  She mentioned BRAD (their Symplectic Elements) and repository BURA (which coincidentally I helped formally launch back in 2006).  They have linked BRAD and BURA together, although they noted that this was a longer process than they expected.  They both a mandate, of which many academics remain unaware, but also a OA publishing fund for researchers to bid to for OA publishing.

BRUCE was a JISC funded project.  Their aim was to facilitate the analysis and reporting of research information from existing data sources, using a CERIF framework. It brings together a lot of different sources of information from across the university system and generates bespoke reports based on them.  While the focus is often the REF, there are other university management areas of interest for the outputs.

The next speakers (Sarah Mallory, Rachel Proudfoot and Nicola Cockarill) spoke about the RePosit project (I’m on the expert group for this one).  The aim of the project was to increase the engagement with repositories to generate more content for them.  A lot of the focus was on advocacy but also to engage with the repository community as well.  The project has 5 HEI and one commercial partners, using one CRIS and 5 different implementations.  The question they asked was does simplifying the process of deposit increase the level of ingest for the IR.  At Queen Mary part of their problem was low visibility, and so their engagement with stakeholders aimed to get them up the agenda.  Embedding it within college strategies was key in this respect.

Plymouth  rolled out their SE alongside their repository (PEARL) – but noted it was tricky in terms of time.  Not for the first time we head about how much of a time sink setting up crosswalks between SE and the repository has been too; something I know will occupy a lot of my time in the coming months.  Plymouth are considering moving to a self-deposit model, as they feel this mirror the model of staffing and library service.  However, noted that speaking with other repository managers Emma noted that there were various concerns to address.  Their advocacy was met with mixed reception, some were very enthusiastic.  For others though they struggled to see where it fitted in with their research outputs.  However, illuminating academics with the knowledge of how restrictive (or not) publishers in their sector are with open access is a role all subject librarian staff should be very experienced and engaged with.  Highlighting metrics of downloads and demonstrating that students want or indeed expect to be able to download their local academics research from the repository, important for keeping student experience levels high.

The third case history was from White Rose Repository Online (Leeds, Sheffield and York) where a similar experience to Leicester, 25% engagement from academics even after a protracted advocacy campaign including direct email contact.  Awareness of WRRO was generally low.  Making deposits as easy as possible was a major point, as academics are simple creatures with time poor lives.  They also suggested that there is a need to build a community of interest in CRIS related systems, not solely within Symplectic but across the IR, research support and IT environment.

Next up was Jonathan Breeze talking about research data management, from more of an IT and data life cycle POV.  Researchers think a lot about their data but how do you keep it or even what do you keep.  Research funders are increasingly expecting or requiring data as well as publications to be shared, and curated for long-term access.  Ownership of data is unclear, even within the institutions let alone whom or how this will be captured and stored.

Finally for the morning Peter Murray-Rust made a call for open bibliographies.  He declined to use PowerPoint or PDF on the grounds that they “Destroy information”.  He went on to say that we should use volunteers to gather bibliographic data rather than paid for systems.  He spoke a lot about community performing the data gathering or aggregation functions, but I must confess that while he raised some interesting points practically I think a lot of what he talked about was aspirational rather than functional.  Most academics I’ve worked with over the years have very little interest in collating the literature, they’re more focussed on their own area of research and outputs.  What Peter was suggesting was certainly laudable, and may have worked in the isolated examples he suggested but one has only to look to the Arts or Social Sciences to see where the technical knowledge or awareness may prevent many academics from engaging with his one.

After a sandwich free (but tasty) lunch we broke into two groups for workshops.  The one I was at looked at new REF functionalities for Symplectic, which as I’ve yet to have much hands on experience; and given this is more the research office’s forte, left me a bit flat.  Then we went into groups to discuss where the problems with REF submission functionality in Symplectic will be.  Again, somewhat out of my area of knowledge so not something I felt informed enough to contribute to.

All in all there was a lot to talk about with the other delegates on the day, and I especially benefitted from conversations with a number of my fellow repository managers; focussing on the implementation side of Symplectic Repository Tools.

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Research Support | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Who’s using what to access our repository?

Posted by gazjjohnson on 11 November, 2010

I’ve oft quoted that since our repository began that at least 5 accesses have been with the Nintendo Wii. I had a meeting this afternoon to talk open access and educational resources with the delightful Terese Bird of the BDRA (on Project SPIDER business), and the topic came up. She posed the question about m-devices, and how often they were accessing the LRA’s resources. Gotta confess I had no idea, but I went away to find out. The results are below (for the last year since 11/10/2009 to date)

O/s of people accessing the LRA (Nov 09-Nov 10)

  1. Windows 90.57%
  2. Macintosh 7.15%
  3. Linux 1.57%
  4. iPhone 0.26%
  5. (not set) 0.16%
  6. iPad 0.09%
  7. iPod 0.06%
  8. Android 0.04%
  9. SymbianOS 0.03%
  10. BlackBerry 0.02%

Well colour me not very surprised that the vast amount of accesses are via Windows PCs (although I’d be interested to know how that Windows/Apple split matches up against supposed market shares in academia!).  M-devices are, as I expected, fairly low (around 0.5% in total). 

O/s of people accessing the LRA (Nov 08-Nov 09)

  1. Windows 91.61%
  2. Macintosh 6.69%
  3. Linux 1.29%
  4. (not set) 0.23%
  5. iPhone 0.09%
  6.  iPod 0.04%
  7. SunOS 0.02%
  8. SymbianOS 0.01%
  9. BlackBerry 0.01%
  10. Android > 0.00%

Now when you compare it with 2008-9 figures over the same period you get ~0.15%, so the latest figure is a tripling of access by mobile devices in a single year.  What do I expect to see by this time in 2011?  Well getting on for around 2% – or a much more dramatic rise?  I suspect the latter as iPads and the like make their way out into the market more.  Which means in terms of developing our repository, the use of m-devices needs to be a consideration – not an overwhelming one yet, but certainly one that we take very seriously.

Posted in Leicester Research Archive | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Digital Signage in the library

Posted by gazjjohnson on 24 September, 2008

Just come out of a very useful hour with Richard Mobbs and the rest of the Digital Signage Group, where he took us through the user interface for the new signs in the DWL.  I’m pleased to say it looks like it’s going to be very easy on a technical front to update these with new information, easier to use than the Rooms2 design interface certainly.

I think whilst there’s a potential for a while lot more that we could do with the screens we’ll be sticking with text and image for now (with a hint of RSS); though it looks like we could handily redisplay webpages.  However, our webpages might not be designed right for the display aspect or format; so we may need to re-do them in Plone.  Doubtless the Digital Signage group and Jo will be discussing all this very soon.

Posted in Service Delivery | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Sign of the times

Posted by gazjjohnson on 7 August, 2008

Just come out of a brief brainstorming for the new digital signage that will be gracing the library’s Help Zone shortly.  Very productive meeting with a lot of ideas of what we could have up on this sign; ranging from the key information (when are we open, rules and regs) to highlighting resources and staff members ready to enable the learning/research experience here.

It will be interesting to see how easy this system is to use, as some of our ideas went a bit beyond the text on a screenparadigm.  The background system driving it isn’t a MS product, which is interesting – I’ve only ever used hands-on ones that used PowerPoint as their core display system; with all the usual foibles of using PP intact.  I’m hoping this might make doing some of the other stuff (moving images, split screen, timed dependant information) a heck of a lot easier on the staff who’ll be running it.

More news on this in a couple of weeks as the hardware is installed.

Posted in Meetings, Service Delivery, Subject Support | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »