UoL Library Blog

Develop, debate, innovate.

Posts Tagged ‘institutional’

Mendeley Institutional Edition

Posted by selinalock on 25 April, 2012

Mendeley Institutional Logo 

 

Mendeley (the academic reference manager and social network site) have partnered with library suppliers Swets to produce the Mendeley Institutional edition, and I had a webex meeting with product manager Simon Litt to find out more.

Mendeley End User Edition

The end user edition is bascially what is already available for free from Mendeley:

  • Desktop reference management software, which allows you to organise nd cite a wide range of reference typs.
  • Desktop software also allows you to upload, read and annotate PDFs.
  • Desktop links to a web-based system which allows you to synch and share your references.
  • Web system also works as an academic social network with groups etc.
  • 1GBWeb space, 500 MBPersonal, 500 MBShared, 5 Private groups, 10 Users per group

Mendeley Institutional Edition

  • Upgrade to end user edition (normally £4.99 per month) to
    • 7GBWeb space, 3.5 GBPersonal, 3.5 GBShare, 10 Private groups, 15 Users per Private group
  • Upload a list of library holdings (journals) to allow fulltext access for institutional members.
  • Turn on institutional OpenURL.
  • Institutional groups – any mendeley users signed up with an institutional email will automatically be added to institutional group & can add further members.
  • Analytics – who’s publishing and reading what.
  • Reading tab – See what your users are reading (adding to Mendeley) by journal title and compare with library holdings.
  • See most read/popular articles.
  • Publishing tab – where your members are publishing.
  • Impact tab – worldwide usage of your members published articles e.g. most read.
  • Compare your institution with other Mendeley institutions with regards to impact/how read your institutions articles are.
  • Social tab – what groups your users are in.

The main thrust of the institutional edition is the analytic functions that Swets have worked with Mendeley to add. The pricing models are currently being worked on so no idea what the price this would be.

When I previously reviewed Mendeley (alongside RefWorks, EndNote, CiteULike & Zotero) in 2010/11 the main issue with using it an institutionally recommended product was that the desktop software needed admin access to be installed and updated regularly on user machines. As far as I can tell this issue hasn’t been addressed in the institutional edition, as user would still download the free desktop software from the Mendeley site or just use the wbe interface.

My questions surrounding the institutional edition would be…

  • Would it be able (be accepted as) a replacement for EndNote and/or Refworks? As there seems little point in getting the institutional edition for the analytics if our users were not using the desktop/web reference software.
  • Do the analytics give us enough “added-value”?
  • How does the analytical information compare with other types of bibliometris from IRIS or InCites?
  • Are the analytics only going to be useful to certain disciplines as they currently only look at journal articles and titles?
Advertisements

Posted in Referencing, Research Support, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MELIBEA

Posted by gazjjohnson on 28 January, 2010

I just became aware of the Policies MELIBEA site via an email asking me to check/confirm the details they’ve got for Leicester’s institutional open access mandate (publication policy).  In colour and style the site very clearly aims to capture the SHERPA/RoMEO look, whereas its function is closer to ROARMAP; all be it providing a clearer overview of the details of each institution’s policy.

It’s an interesting development, although for those of us with mandates in place already I’m not immediately seeing  a major use for it.  On the other hand were I to be at an institution planning  a mandate, then I could see this would be a really handy tool to pick up what elements to make sure we included.

Posted in Open Access | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Leicester Repository (LRA) in 2009: An overview of the top 100 items accessed

Posted by gazjjohnson on 11 January, 2010

Happy New Year everyone.

And what better way to start 2010 than with a look back at 2009.  Over the last year I’ve been gathering information on the documents accessed on the LRA the most.  Monthly as you may know I produce a Top 10, with the most accessed items on it – more than one author here has been very pleased to turn up on it; some on a very regular basis.  But to cap a year of hard work by my team I’ve been digging into the data for the whole year.

What I have now is a very clear idea of the general subject areas where we’re seeing the most accesses coming in, as well as the type of items people are coming to see.  So what I’ve pulled together is the top 100 items on the LRA for 2009, and then had a closer look at them.  Some broad facts about the top 100:

  • 719 items showed up in the analysis set
  • 78% were full text items.
  • 49% of all accesses (the largest proportion) were to full text articles
  • 10% of the top 100 are full text theses (hitherto difficult items to access in print)
  • 20% of the top 100 came from Museum Studies items
  • 32% of items were from authors based in the College of Science & Engineering
  • The average article in the top 100 had 473 accesses
  • The median point for the top 100 is 446
  • The highest accessed single item is an article from Management
  • The highest ranked thesis is at #42 in the charts

There are a couple of caveats to these values.

  1. Due to the way the DSpace software handles statistics, I was only able to work with items that had at least 20 accesses in a month; which means there is a likelihood that the real values for accesses will be lower in total than they were.
  2. Some people may well have searched for and retrieved articles on the LRA from the Google cache – and these accesses would not have been counted by our software.

While these caveats mean I can’t draw any shockingly accurate truths, they are useful as a snapshot of LRA access.  If I get the time I’d love to go back and do the same work on the 2008 data.  The full report on these findings will be presented to the LRAPG on the 2nd Feb.

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

Top of the (Repo)Pops

Posted by gazjjohnson on 21 August, 2009

A week or so ago I went through all the items on the LRA and looked at their usage figures since 1st Jan 09.  Normally I only look at these figures month by month, but it was suggested to do this for the whole of the year and hence the study.  Due to way DSpace is configured I could only scrape data for those used 20 times or more in a month – thus I can’t claim any great functional validity to these stats.  Took a while as well to do the number crunching.  But when I was done I was quite pleased with the overview that the data gave me.

What it did give once I summated the data was a very clear picture of the items in the repository that are being accessed the most.  We’ve passed this information on to departments and many of the individual researchers themselves for interest, and to reward them in a small way for their compliance in placing items onto the LRA.

In terms of greatest number of appearances in the top 100 (rather than in all 588 items in my list)- the top 5 Depts. whose work is most regually accessed on the LRA are:

  1. Museum Studies
  2. Psychology
  3. Computer Science
  4. Engineering
  5. Education

Interesting.  But how does this rack up when you consider what proportion of the items on the LRA come from a Dept.? Psychology may have 11 appearances in the top 100, but with 241 papers there’s more chance of them being up there as part of a critical mass of papers.  So for interest I decided to divide the number of each Dept’s appearances in the top 100 by their total number of items on the LRA, to give what I’m calling Johnson’s Repository Significance Quotient (or JRSQ for short!).  When sorted by their JRSQ how does the top 5 look now?

  1. Museum Studies
  2. Institute of Life Long Learning
  3. Social Work
  4. Computer Science
  5. BDRA

What this does tell me is that these collections are comprised of more papers overall that are getting high usage, though remember this is only taking into account the top 100 papers this year.  I’m giving serious thought to going through the remaining 488 items in the list and including them in the data set.  If there’s enough interest, maybe I will…

What does this all really mean?  Well nothing most probably.  The impact and usage of these items depends on too many variables to take account of in this quick and dirty analysis; such as custom and practice of searching for and using repository based items, use of personal networks to obtain papers, traditional journal usage, relative visibility on search engines of items in the LRA etc.  Doubtless you’ll be able to think of many others.  I’ve also not factored out full text items in the list from metadata only (this would be possible should it become a worthwhile endeavour).

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

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!).

Twitter feed from the event.

Posted in Meetings, Open Access, Research Support | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

UKCoRR Summer 2009 meeting pt 1

Posted by gazjjohnson on 18 August, 2009

It seemed a long way to go, longer than going to Edinburgh for the Fringe the other week, but in the end thanks to my handy in-laws as an overnight venue, getting to Kingston UIniversity wasn’t such a difficult destination after all.  Aside from some early morning shopping, the event today was all about sharing practical experiences of repository managers.

Keynote: Bill Hubbard, UKCoRR Can!

Bill (SHERPA/Centre for Scholarly Communication, Nottingham) talked about the founding of UKCoRR and the purpose of a membership organisation as a safe haven for repository managers to meet and discuss issues, away from other stakeholders in open access.  He went on to talk about the vision and purpose behind UKCoRR – key among that being the professionalism and recognition within HEIs.  He highlighted the RIN Mind the Skills Gap report as one that illustrated a clear role and need for repositories and their staff, not just libraries, as key partners of all those involved in the research process.  The UK remains a significant global player in the world repositories, and potentially gives us the chance to lead the world.  Need remains to get the disciplinary repository people involved in UKCoRR as well.  NECOBELAC (Latin America, Caribbean and Europe Repo collaboration).

 Repositories should remember simple as a key feature – simple to access, simple metadata and simple content; although in particular the REF will seriously change the role of the repository.  As managers we may need to be able to fight our corner and our significance against competing demands, which we might feel isolates us.  How does the repository know when people are mandated to deposit by funders?  There is a need to be involved in the research process from the start, not as an after the fact activity.  And this is a position few if any HEI repositories are in.

Here is where UKCoRR can help by supporting peer networks, by identifying needs, supporting collaboration, seeking funding, sharing best practice and acting as a voice for we repository mangers.  There is a need for organisations like JISC to be lobbied by UKCoRR to support repository managers and processes from the top down.  If senior administrators and academics hear about this from a body like JISC, then they might just take more note of our concerns and expertise.

Following this talk Jenny Delasalle, Mary Robinson and Dominick Tate talked about their role as the inaugural UKCoRR Committee.

Theo Andrews, Central funds for open access publishing

This talk looked at the open access publishing side of open access, with Theo giving an overview of the current situation.  The Gold OAP Route avoids a lot of the problems.  There are a lot of new publishers jumping on board (e.g. PLOS) but also traditional publishers offering hybrid journals; with the option of the author paying a fee to retain rights or not.  How can this be funded, how can this be managed and how can this change be communicated? 

 Mechanisms for payment in this way are not totally new, with page charges for images in articles being around for years.  Often these have been paid from unallocated fund, and this is not really a sustainable nor easily managed way.  Wellcome Trust awarded additional funds to 30 HEIs, and other HEIs can apply to reclaim costs.  At Edinburgh using this as an opportunity to step in for advocacy, and provide support to managing the funding.  Noted that FEC can be included in calculation for researcher fees in grants. 

The feeds issue means that a lot of different departments and stakeholders within an institution are involved in the issue (finance, research, administrative staff, library, committees etc).  No matter what they do, institutions need to coordinate these funds centrally and along the lines of acceptable standard policies.  Edinburgh will be introducing a mandate in Jan 2010 and are spending the 6 months in the lead up to that talking with departments about how this will impact and how the repository can help them to meet the requirements of this.  Noted that once you have introduced the idea of a central fund to pay for publication, top sliced from research grants, you have to maintain it – even if income decreases.

 Glasgow, Nottingham, UCL, Brunel, Edinburgh, Warwick and Kingston are all already or about to start funding open access funding in a central.  Some Northampton academics very much against the idea of paying to publish though, as a matter of principle. Some publishers offer an OA option – but then increase their embargo to a length that means in order to comply with funders’ mandates, authors need to pay for OA option as IR will not be able to meet the requirements.  As Bill Hubbard put it – “They’re back into a double dipping approach to getting money.”

Event slides are here.

Posted in Meetings, Open Access, Research Support | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Repository Fringe 2009 (Part 3)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 5 August, 2009

Day 2 of the Fringe was more about discussions between the participants, formally and informally.

Round table discussion on impact of mandates
QMU, Edinburgh have had mandate in place Feb 2008.  Academics feel a push to research, and especial resistance to OA publishing have been encountered.   The discussions went around a lot of points in the hour including the fact that those with mandates are still reporting a low level of compliance with them (approx 25% at best) after a year.  The concept of whom should be chasing academics to comply, was felt by the room to be irrelevant – the most important role of the mandate is to affirm the institutions dedication to open access to research publications, and less a picture of attempting to garner 100% compliance.   

Round table discussion on data repositories
This was a little above my head but focused on questions of cost of storage, size of data, length of curation and even just what was suitable data to archive

Round table discussion on future of repositories
The focus in this session, looking 5 years ahead.  However, discussions quickly bogged down due to some vocal contributions focusing on the issues of the centralisation of author identification and copyright issues.  To be honest I felt that this discussion was somewhat blinkered byu the problems of the next few years, rather than really looking ahead to the situation 5 years hence. 

Implementing Open Data
This final session was given over to a presentation from US Copyright attorney looking at legal issues around open data and the concept of copyleft.  While it had its moments, it was a little difficult to reconcile a session on licensing of material in repositories with an open access ethos.

Overall.
So was the event worth the 8 hour journey there (and then back again?).  Yes for the most part.  I certainly got more out of the first day than I did the second.  Indeed I could have left at lunch on day 2 and not feel I’d missed anything critical.  It would have been nice to have a pre-event meet up the night before day 1, as I was left twiddling my thumbs in a hall of residence.  On the other hand the informal arrangements for the following evening of the conference while anarchic did make for an enjoyable evening of discussion.  The catering and venue was excellent, and the Wifi worked (eventually). 

Would I go next year?  Maybe if the programme was comparable.  I might hope for more discussion on day one and the presentations spread out across the two days.  All the same, a big thanks to the organisers for all their work.

Posted in Service Delivery | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Repository Fringe 2009 (Part 2)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 5 August, 2009

The second half of the first day of the Repository Fringe was given over to Pecha Kutcha sessions.  These are quick fire presentations which followed very strict rules of 20 slides with 20 secs a slide;   giving a maximum time of just under 7 minutes each.  Some of my notes on these sessions were.

 Session 1: Enhancing Repository Infrastructure Scotland
Couldn’t really follow this presentation.

Session 2 Les Carr, Repository Challenges
Researchers are not used to doing science in public.  Repositories need to offer effective and efficient service to all users.  ‘Pimp your research ride’ with repository output.  Repository services should provide a holistic service, but won’t do this alone – uses other resources.

Session 3 Guy McGarva, ShareGeo
ShareGeoa resource using DSpace which handles Geospactial data from people like OS and BGS.

Session 4 Richard Jones, (Symplectic repository tools)
Showed off the deposit tool and user interface for researchers – though the interface still looks very texty and slightly impentratble for the average for academic user in my view.  They’ve drawn in an integration with SHERPA/RoMEO showing the copyright colours for each article submitted.  The system pulls in (meta) data from archive and external archives.  SWORD and AtomPub are the way the two systems talk together.

Session  5 Julian Cheal, UKOLN (AdobeAir deposit)
How get data from academic to repositories – by capturing information at source, using Adobe Air SDK.  The idea brings web and desktop together.  AdobeAir is cross platform so it should work for most if not all researchers.  Julian pointed out that Ebay, Twitter, BBC iPlayer and advertising companies use it.  Academics want this sort of thing, a one button deposit almost.  He demonstrated a quick prototype built in AIR, based on Flickr up-loader – one button was deposit possible.  It uses Names Project for author ID and SWORD for interfacing.  He promoted a JISC event in October dealing with single deposit and all the various interfaces.  I would hope someone from the LRAPG with a more technical bent could get along to that event, as this possibilities of this interface were rich.

Session 6 Hannah Payne, (Welsh Repository Network)
Hannah talked about the RSP inititated WRN recently set up and the work they are doing.

Session 7 (University of Southampton)
A slightly different talk saw the Marketing Officer for Dept of Electronics and Computing describing repositories as telling stories.  Universities are more competitive at marketing themselves now than 20 years ago.  But she noted that most talk about research but don’t make use of the social media resources that exist that would generate a story with better legs (pulling together the project blogs, twitter feeds, other publicity) – giving more meat to the bones.  She suggested in time you could aggregate these resources to create stories automatically, though I wandered if that might have the unwanted impact of doing away for the need of a departmental marketing officer… 

Session 8 William Nixon, (Glasgow, Enrich project)
He talked about bringing disparate research systems (research, money, innovation products etc) together.  80% of traffic to their repository comes from Google and associated search services.  Key elements for success include good relationships across the institution and  underlying policies underneath everything they do.

Session 9 Jo Walsh (EDINA, Tools for linking and searching archives) 
She talked about Geoparser software to find geographic locations mentioned in text.

After lunch their was a presentation on Open Journal Software – an overview of the software that lets you make and run your own scholarly journal.

Enovation Solutions– Dspace Customisations
This company are working on changing the UI of Dspace to offer more interesting user experience.  The speaker talked about work with a repository (governmental), which replaced on old CMS with a document management plug in.  They standardised author names by linking to a find peopleroutine to a central personnel database.  They also standardised the keywords in the metadata descriptors.  They added a news WYSIWYG news editor and added additional content.  In many regards their work took the rather bland but functional vanilla DSpace installation into a more modern looking and more user friendly resource for administrators and users alike, simple but effective.  He gave a few examples of projects they’re working on, but couldn’t name the companies due to client confidentiality.  He commented that that the old looking interface of a repository can really put all stakeholders off using it.  The best news was that rather than offering this as a stand alone product or series of plugs ins, Enovation are trying to feed this into the main Dspace kernal (something I confirmed in discussions with a DSpace contact in New Zealand later that day).

 SWORD Deposit talk
A detailed level talk about a project for batch upload of data at Glasgow

Symplectic
Danial Hooke worked through the Symplectic interface which doesn’t look drastically different to when I saw it last year.  Nor did this session tell me anything especially new.

Posted in Open Access, Staff training | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Repository Fringe 2009 (Part 1)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 5 August, 2009

Last week I went up to a two day conference in Edinburgh at the Information Forum.  Glancing at the delegate list it seemed that the majority of the participents were from Southampton University, UKOLN and EDINA and a bit thinner on the ground with actual repository managers.  Before the conference I anticipated an event filled with hyperbole and spectacle, though thin on practicality.  Thankfully I was wrong, and it was a throughly useful and iformative two days.

Opening
The opening speaker suggested that credit crunch is a driver for real change in scholarly publication habits, as libraries and publishers alike have to re-examine closely their financial situation with respect to journals.  Open access repositories or open access publishing become much more attractive considerations in this climate it was suggested.

 

Keynote (Sally Rumsey and Ben O’Steen) – Where are Repositories Going

Sally looked at the historical parallels with the Bodleian Library (in terms of storage and content) followed by catalogues (search).  Users of the libraries resources grew over time, and how they were served evolved jsut as much as how to collections were acquired, curated and accessed.  From this she said the lesson for repositories is one of patience, overtime they will grow just not overnight.  There is a realisation that they act as catalyst for change, and this moment of realisation can be as important as the change itself.  What we are beginning to see is the migration from simple single repository as storage, and they’re integration to other services (ala the REF and moves to embed within the RIS) and systems.  Therefore repositories are becoming a set of services.  Repository staff are catalysts for change within the institution, since they speak across and with people in all levels and sections of an institution. 

 Ben spoke about how the Internet can be viewed as a distributed repository, where services and storage should be separate; and in this way be robust – the loss/upgrade of one will not devastate.  Therefore Ben suggested looking at ways to make your IR work more like the Web does.  People search for things, elements of information, not the whole documents – not the packages they come in.  I didn’t 100% agree with this view point from what I know of Arts & Humanties researchers whom doubtless want the entirety of a document.  However, I can agree that it is a interesting point for STM researchers.

Sally moved on to say that policies should be driving everything that goes in and out of repositories; though many still lack real preservation policies.  Assured secure storage and permanent access needs to be well-managed.  This was a topic that came up again in discusions I had around the Fringe, and a potential area for IRs in the UK to think about practically in the future much more. 

The talk moved on to suggest that repository people are reinventing too many wheels; for example don’t get materials out of mainstream repos (e.g. Slidehare/Flckr etc) just link out to them. Sally showed a very complex diagram from Bill Hubbard of how a researcher now has to deal with funder mandates.  Current open access publishing models and options are too complex currently, but are likely to continue for some time.  Interestingly this had raised worries about versioning from academics and an increased need for automation (self-archiving) in order to deal with the levels of ingest.  She also mentioned that the Nature Publishing Group is now offering an automatic deposit service into subject repositories, and perhaps will also do this for IRs in the future. 

Ben talked about disproportionate feedback loops, like high scores in video games – they seem trivial but seem to satisfy far more than you’d expect.  In this way usage stats and reuse stats are major satisfiers for academics when they look at their papers in a repository; something I agree with in my experience here and at Nottingham.  He also said that increasingly there’s a need for access to the entirety of research output, since the research article is only summary of the whole body of work.  Thus data archiving becomes more critical as well as ensuring multiple objects across multiple repositories can be linked together readily. 

There was asuggestion that repos are currently in the trough of disillusionment in the hype cycle which means the move to steady productivity remains as of yet elusive. 

Finally the talk looked at three current crucial trends: (1) entering period of steady growth and change, (2) embedded withing a set of services at institution systems and (3) the need for unique name identification of authors.  Other areas of concenr include the need for continued collaboration with all research stakeholders and for the long term access to research 

 

Posted in Open Access, Staff training | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

UK Institutional Repository Rankings – July 2009 Edition

Posted by gazjjohnson on 3 August, 2009

The Webometrics site  half yearly update of their ranking of world repositories is available.  For information on how they calculate their metric see here.  For further interest here’s the ranking of the top UK based institutional repositories, I’ve put their global score in brackets at the end, and those with mandates (as listed on ROARMAP)  in italics.

  1. University of Cambridge (22)
  2. University of Oxford (42)
  3. University College London (51)
  4. University of Edinburgh (71)
  5. University of Southampton (74)
  6. University of Warwick (123)
  7. University of Glasgow (131)
  8. University of Manchester (160)
  9. University of Leeds (White Rose) (167)
  10. University of Birmingham (187)
  11. University of Nottingham (212)
  12. LSE (215)
  13. Open University (222)
  14. Imperial College (225)
  15. University of Bristol (232)
  16. University of York (White Rose) (239)
  17. Newcastle University (253)
  18. Lancaster University (261)
  19. University of Sheffield (265)
  20. Durham University (302)
  21. King’s College London (255)
  22. University of Bath (309)
  23. University of Essex (328)
  24. Herriot-Watt University (344)
  25. University of Liverpool (366)
  26. University of Aberdeen (373)
  27. University of St Andrews (376)
  28. University of Leicester (383)
  29. University of Surrey (406)
  30. University of Kent (424)
  31. University of Strathclyde (438)
  32. UEA (476)
  33. Cardiff University (478)
  34. University of Sussex (486)
  35. University of Reading (494)
  36. Loughborough University (499)
  37. University of Exeter (501)
  38. Queen Mary University of London (518)
  39. Manchester Metropolitan University (527)
  40. Queen’s University Belfast (537)
  41. Aberystwyth (547)
  42. University of Dundee (592)
  43. University of Brighton (626)
  44. Royal Holloway (628)
  45. De Montfort University (640)
  46. University of Stirling (644)
  47. City University London (669)
  48. University of Salford (671)
  49. Brunel University (678)
  50. University of Westminster (685)

You can see the whole list of UK Institutional Repositories’ ranks here.  Contrasted with last timethe LRA has dropped down the list somewhat – with detailed metrics for our repository giving us the following changes in the sub-rankings for Leicester.

  July 09 Jan 09
Size 877 222
Visibility 378 186
Rich Files 363 125
Scholarly 422 125

 The most drastic change seems to be in terms of size, where a lot of repositories have clearly begun to be filled at a considerably advanced rate.  How the recent mandate at Leicester will affect these figures in the next 6 months will bear watching.

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Open Access | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The End of Institutional Repositories! (or not)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 24 July, 2009

I’ve just been reading an article “Basefsky, Stuart. (2009). The end of institutional repositories and the begining of social academic research service: An enhanced role for libraries.“.  With such a shocking title you’d expect revlations of a major order, and to be honest the opening page or so does rather continue in that vein.  Indeed there’s a slightly superior author style that runs through the whole paper that rather grated on me as I read it.  That said Stuart does raise some interesting points on the first couple of pages about the driving forces and assumptions behind the creation of institutional repositories (IR).

The idea behind the paper is that librarians and academics should be working together more closely, using social media and other tools in support of the research process of a whole.  I can certainly support that, and hope through the local contacts I have via twitter here at UoL that in some small way I’m already offering that level of service.

He goes on to consider the generally understood paradigm underlying IRs (the shop window/increased exposure to academic research) to be only one opportunity – as he puts it “Is this all the value we can extract from an IR?”.  This is a theme I was hoping he’d explore in more detail later in the paper, but this rather seems to disappear as the second half of the paper dissolves into an effective list of “things I am doing”, rather than maintaining this earlier scholastic tone.

He does make some good points along the way nevertheless.  When talking about the partnership twixt libraries and institutional repositories he comments

“Libraries welcomed this attention since they were fearful of being marginalised…IR would help the library maintain an important role in academic life in this time of disruptive technological change”

However, he than makes some rather caustic comments about the lack of vision of library services, suggesting their involvement in repositories is merely an attempt to maintain visibility and apparent viability in the new media age; rather than an actualised devotion to enabling further scholastic endeavour.  I take issue with these statements somewhat.  Perhaps two or three years ago this was a more robust argument, but certainly in the major research universities like Leicester this is not so.  The repository is at the heart of the institutions preparations for REF and visibility of research.  As the repository manager increasingly my time is spent working with the Research Office, or discussing research visibility issues with our academics, helping them do more with what we have.  Not to mention making them aware of the developing scholastic publishing landscape.

The next third of the paper focuses more inwardly on the Catherwood Library, so is of less immediate interest or relevance to the casual reader.  However, with this framework the author then extends his views point to wider library scene; pausing only for a barbed comment about library leadership that I shall pass over.

He does have a salient point here that I agree with “too many libraries take the attitude that if they build it users will come”.  I think this is an unfortunate truism about the library sector.  We have many enthusiasts for new services and resources, and too often we offer them on an already overloaded information platter.  As a LIS researcher and project manager at heart, I always believe that we should be answering real needs with our services and making informed decisions based on an strong evidence base.  Indeed he spends the next page making his argument, which seems useful if overlong by the end.

As I mentioned earlier the rest of the paper is a guide to services that the author has employed in the deliverance and indeed furtherance of the research support agenda.  It seems strangely at odds with the earlier half of the paper, moving to pure practicality from scholastic theory and review.  In many regards I would have been interested to read this in some more detail as a paper in its own rights.

Finally he devotes the last page to suggested new directions and possibilities for supporting academic endeavour.  However, what he fails to do (IMHO) is explain the challenge of his title.  Throughout the work whilst he points out the arguable flaws in IRs and their implementation and exploitation by libraries and institutions, he does not clearly to my mind exposit exactly why IRs days are (in his view) numbered.

Thus this is a flawed but detailed and intriguing article to read that anyone working with research support, IRs or indeed academic libraries should take a few minutes to glance through.  You may have other insights that differ to mine, so let me know your thoughts!

Posted in Open Access, Research Support, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Repositories and policy – SUTEr Event at the National Library of Wales

Posted by gazjjohnson on 19 February, 2009

I was at an event in Aberwyswyth at the National Library of Wales yesterday on repository policy. This perhaps sounds like it might not be the most exciting of topics but since I’d been invited to come along and share my experiences in this regard I was happy to attend. A mammoth car drive later I was there. Aber is a very pretty town to visit, but I don’t think I’d fancy living there – it’s a bit Ultima Thule.

The best part of the day was a workshop looking at policy, splitting the delegates into groups of have and havenots in policy terms. I was in the discussion with those present whose repositories do already have policies in place. I found it interesting that whilst we all had used the OpenDOAR policy tool, each had set slightly different policy. I was especially interested during the discussions about the idea of allowing repository metadata to be reused commercially. The LRA does not allow this currently, in contrast Northampton does with a mind that the more this is exposed to commercial re-use the more likely the repository’s contents is to be found. I think this is a good point, and one that the LRA should reconsider – indeed we are indexed by SCOPUS, which is itself a commercial site – so strictly speaking we already allow this.

Delegates hard at work in the workshopAfter lunch we had a series of mini-case studies, starting from Kultur (Andrew Gray). This is taking in every kind of material and all formats, especially multimedia. They have an advisory group with representation not just from senior management, but also research administrators. Also have associate members on the group, who are pulled in from time to time as they are needed. Next was Ann from Buckinghamshire New University/ Bucks Knowledge Archive. They have a PhD deposit mandate and are facing in particular the challenge of archiving web based resources or other not easily quantifiable outputs, e.g. computer games or furniture. She mentioned that they are considering the use of holograms to record complex data which sounds very SciFi.

Helen Standish Manchester Metropolitan University (Espace) talked next about Mandates. Their’s is a research repository and has been in existence since April 2005. They used existing library staff to man it, although currently they are using JISC funding to free up manager time from other duties. Helen mentioned that initially she contacted over 700 academics, but only a handful responded. The repo has about 30% full-text items (comparable to the current LRA) and that this level is something she is seeking to improve. The Re-Space project is finishing at the moment, and has been seeking to embed the repository more firmly within library and institutional workflows. She also talked about their Open Access Publication policy, which is technically a mandate though they have avoided the terminology due to its negative connotations. In essence their policy is to make all non-commercially funded research output freely available…through e-space. They have academic champions at a high level to represent and support the repository which works successfully; although the loss of senior staff (retirement and moving on) who were driving the process forward has stagnated the process of adoption of this policy significantly. In the last few weeks they are looking more closely at embedding the repository into workflows, including EthOS. The hope is that they will soon have a mandate for deposit in place. However, when project ends Helen will no longer be the repository manager; and the repository will need to be run and supported by the library and other central services.

Next Miggie Pickton from Northampton spoke about NECTAR. They used the OpenDOAR tool like most other people to formulate their policies, and also made significant re-use of other people’s sites to clarify other issues (notably Loughborough). She talking about their steering group, which in composition seems closer to the LRAPG, though serves a more strategic rather than practical role. She tried to show the NECTAR Briefing Sheet – clearly laying out the purpose of the repository; to showcase and preserve at the heart of its role, but was thwarted by the version of acrobat installed on the PC. In essence she explained that they turned principles into policy and then took the policies back to the community once they were set up. The University of Northampton annual research report is generated entirely from NECTAR; and material that is not ingested is not considered within the promotion cycle.

Then Nicky Cashman from Aberystwyth spoke about mandates and etheses and CADAIR. Noted resistance to mandate for theses internally, with concerns over student resistance to attend Aber as a result. However, currently nearly 30 universities have mandates in the UK she argued and that Aber risked being out of step as a result. Noted arguments coming especially from the humanities sector, so spoke directly to publishers. They agreed that a thesis and a monograph are very different entities; though publishers unwilling to decide this out of hand. Problem was policies for dealing with printed materials were well hidden, so they realised that they needed to make any policies more visible; something I agree whole heartily with. Like Miggie Aber made heavy use and reuse of other institutional policies. In the future Nicky will be raising OA issue awareness for students and staff.

Finally Sarah Hayes from Aston spoke, mostly about her work at Worcester with the DRaW Project. They drew up (no pun intended) a plan of action to guide decisions, rather than strict statements of policy. On the other hand policies dealing with content going into their repository for learning and teaching materials (CoRE) were much stricter. Practicality forced their hands in some respects as staff can choose whom has access to their teaching materials; but this seemed to be a barrier to uptake. She explained that there is a difference in finality between a research output and a learning object. Research goes into a repo as a final object, where teaching materials can be considered as works in progress constantly and hence this was where the reluctance to deposit them was arising from. She talked briefly about the Language Box software for learning object archiving. This was a very different kind of repository and the policies and challenges around it quite different from those we face at the LRA.

As one of the creators of OpenDOAR, I was very proud to see how much my many months of hard work were actually now benefiting the community.

Slides and notes from the day’s event will be available from the SUTEr Wiki in the near future.  And as before, a twitter feed from the event: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23suetr

Posted in Open Access, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »