UoL Library Blog

Develop, debate, innovate.

Posts Tagged ‘repositories’

Implementing Finch (29 November 2012)

Posted by Helen on 13 December, 2012

This conference was hosted by the Academy of Social Sciences and looked at the implementation of the recommendations of the Finch Review for Open Access publishing in the UK.I attended the first day of the conference which focused on the impact for those involved in the arts, humanities and social sciences. It was an informative day and it was particularly interesting to hear the sharp differences in opinion voiced by PVCs, administrators, librarians and individual researchers.

A full report by the Academy with photos, presentations and video will shortly be available at http://www.acss.org.uk/  but I have included a few short summaries of the key speakers below.

Janet Finch
The authors of the Finch report were an independent group commissioned by government. The Government had a clear objective of what they wanted to achieve and the group were asked to advise on this. They were not there to debate whether change was necessary or advisable. It was not part of their remit to look at data, only peer reviewed publications (journal articles). It was seen as a moral imperative that if the tax payer pays, the tax payer should be able to access the research.

The main recommendation of the working group was a mixed economy between subscription journals and ‘author pays’ for foreseeable future. The balance should shift over time. The Finch report did not say that we should immediately move to gold open access, simply that policy should be set in this direction. It was envisaged that University presses will have an increasing role in the future. The transition should be gradual to avoid destabilisation. Disciplines will have to move at different speeds to accommodate these changes. Positive engagement is needed, particularly in the Arts & Humanities.

It was envisaged that University presses will have an increasing role in the future. The transition should be gradual to avoid destabilisation. Disciplines will have to move at different speeds to accommodate these changes. Positive engagement is needed, particularly in the Arts & Humanities.

Paul Hubbard (Head of Research Policy, HEFCE)
Academic publishing is at a crossroads. In the print age the subscription journal had an important role to play but it is no longer necessary.  The business model will have to change. HEFCE are very keen on institutional repositories because they ensure sustainability and cement the notion that it is the job of the research community to look after their output.

It was suggested that for REF 2020 items should be as freely available as possible, with regard to practical constraints and to requirements and policies of other research funders. Considerations for REF 2020 would include the format of the text and the level of open access (likely to be gold). Due time would have to be allowed for compliance, monitoring and verification. It was emphasized that none of this had implications for REF 2014.

Charlotte Waelde (Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Exeter)
It was hoped that copyright would play a small but key part in the open access landscape, but in fact it has no part. The law of copyright is not an impediment to the Finch implementations. But attribution is still vital as is respecting the integrity of the work. It was deemed vital to get the chain of permissions correct so third parties can use with confidence. CC BY is suggested as the best Creative Commons licence to use in the Finch report. CC BY means that credit is required for the author, moral rights are not affected, and the content can be shared, remixed, and used commercially. This enables broadest possible use by third parties.

Jude England (Head of Social Sciences, The British Library)
She discussed the implications of Finch for libraries but emphasized that the Finch report sits within the changing information landscape. The focus of her talk was on libraries of the future and what they will need to do to adapt. The role of libraries has changed, as has the physical appearance. There is now more collaborative space, longer opening hours, and more electronic provision. In terms of the growing areas of data management, rights and permissions management, and open access, it was crucial that libraries should provide training for staff and students in what all of this means.

The speed of transition from print to digital was discussed and it was suggested that by 2017 no print-only journals would exist and only a small percentage would exist in parallel with digital editions. How will libraries cope with the huge digital storage requirements?

Open Access was viewed as eventually resolving the issues of access, permissions, authentication barriers, subscriptions etc. that libraries always have to think about. In an open access future librarians would need to advise and help with discoverability. It was envisaged that OA would reduce the importance of libraries in developing institutional collections but increase role of managing the institutional repository. Libraries would increasingly need to work together to share functions and resources. Librarians would play a significant role in helping students understand the new landscape.

Lynne Brindley (Former Chief Executive, The British Library)
The Finch report was described as a ‘tour de force’ and praised for raising consciousness of open access. It was acknowledged that the path to implementation was contestable and that it was vital to make the transition without imploding the system.

Gold OA means that publishers receive the revenues from authors rather than those who read the articles. Research articles are freely accessible and conditions around reuse are minimal.

Green OA is seen as the only true route for many OA advocates. Articles in post-print version are made available in institutional repositories subject to embargoes.

How does this apply to arts and humanities? The focus of Finch was journal articles but they do not represent the highest volume of research output for the arts and humanities. Research monographs must be included in the wider debate, as must the peer review process.

Lynne discussed four key areas:
1.    Institutional publication funds. How is the mechanism for allocation going to work in the individual university? Who is going to decide and how transparent will this process be? Will the library budget be raided?
2.    Learned societies. If the subscription model goes, what happens to the other activities of the society? They would need adequate time for adjustment.
3.    Big commercial publishers. Does the Finch report hand publishers victory on a plate? Will we be paying twice? Paying journals up front (APCs) feels like a defeat for green OA advocates.
4.    Libraries. Opportunities and threats. They have long played a role in licence negotiations and are now involved in institutional repositories. How sustainable will repositories be in the new environment? Services will have to develop to support the publication fund.

She concluded by saying that it is disappointing that there is no implementation plan because the report has given an impetus to progress. A more extended period for awareness raising would be ideal.

Advertisements

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

Summer Not Loving the Repository Hits

Posted by gazjjohnson on 26 July, 2012

Behind the scenes at the moment we’re tinkering away with the Google Analytics settings at the moment (there’s been a rather strange and unexplained series of drops in our hits which we’re investigating).  One of the things we’re going to need to look at is the impact over time of some tweeks we’re making to the code that supplies the data to Google.  As a result I found myself this morning taking a look at the same three month period over the past 4/5 years – as charted below.

Apologies for not being able to make the Y-axis the same maximum value (suspect it’s an option if I wasn’t running GA in IE7…).  The way this year and last seem to trend is as expected a reduction in hits over the summer, and I was just about to declare this a regular trend when I spotted that actually in 2009 & 08 this doesn’t seem to be as true.

I have no explanation whatsoever for this trend – but I wondered if any other repository managers out there have the same sort of data they might be willing to share or comment on the above.  Do your hits lose their vitality over the summer months, or are they just as potent as ever?

The only big changes I can point to on the LRA are an expansion from ~3,000 records in ’08 to ~7,300 currently; and a shift from <25% full text in ’08 to currently 50% full text as of today (although by the end of August this proportion will plummet as we expand the records on LRA by about 15,000 metadata only records).

So…do people use the repository less the more full text we get in here?  That seems to run counter to every logical bone in my body.  If I had the time (and the funding) there’s probably a fascinating research project to be had out of this; anyone fancy funding me to do my PhD studying trends across the UK? 🙂

Posted in Leicester Research Archive | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Event review: Repositories and CRIS- Working Smartly together

Posted by gazjjohnson on 20 July, 2011

Yesterday I attended, along with Steve Loddignton (Research Support Office) and Stuart Wood (ITS), an event hosted by the RSP in their native Nottingham. The theme of the day was to take a look at the overlap in working, activities and priorities between repository managers and staff, and those working in the research offices. It was also a chance to meet with staff from the various repository software groups and CRIS suppliers too.  For us this was a useful chance to finally meet our Symplectic technical guru in the flesh, and to put a few more questions to him!

Despite being pitched to the two main groups, there were certainly a few more repository folks there on the day than research managers. That said there were enough from both camps to make for an effective dialogue and exchange of experience.  From my point of view I found it invaluable to attend in partnership with my two colleagues; each of us was able to get something different from the day.  For my own part it was a rewarding opportunity to see that Leicester is actually a good example of how to work closely on CRIS and repository activities; although I will admit we pale in comparison to the best practice example exemplified by Glasgow’s Enlighten.

The session from Simon Kerridge, speaking on behalf of ARMA that introduced the day was a valuable insight into the working life of a research manager.  I was pleased to see that they consider interactions with the repository to be third priority, behind HR and finance alone, which was most heartening.  For my own part I especially value the close working relationship the LRA team has establishing with our RSO over the years, and hope that through working together on IRIS that it will continue to develop.

It was also interesting to participate in the session facilitated by the RePOSIT project, once again looking at advocacy but also crucially interactions between the repository and research manager communities.  Personally events such as yesterday are vital so that we can all better understand the needs and challenges each face, along with our own especial priorities.  Steve and myself did take away quite a few ideas for communication and advocacy to the University of Leicester community that we will be feeding into the IRIS Communication plan for the coming month.  I’m looking forward to this chance to get out into our wonderful Leicester research community and demonstrate how IRIS can make their lives easier, and how the LRA can enable their research to be more widely read, cited and reused.

The other excellent talk that stuck home was from Valerie McCutcheon of Glasgow university’s research office.  It really did give a fantastic example of how a research office and repository team can unite over a core system.  She showed even where working practices may differ how the centralisation of the management of research data and publications can make for a smooth operation.  It also offers a greater possibility for development of new enhancements for the academic community established in partnership, rather than in isolation.  personally I believe it’s a model I think both the Library and our Research Office should look to emulate in many aspects.

There were other sessions, along with the chance to catch up with other repository managers working with Symplectic too, but for me these sessions were the ones that I came away thinking about.  This was a truly excellent day and my thanks the RSP for organising it, and all the speakers for their input to it.

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

JISC Information Environment Event April 2011

Posted by gazjjohnson on 8 April, 2011

Aston University Lakeside Conference venueHere are my notes and comments on the event I’m attended at the University of Aston as an invited speaker by the JISC on Thursday 7th April – resources from the event can be found here

Neil Jacobs from the JISC opened the day and gave it some context – taking us from the HE environment of 2009 and the days of the Digital Britain Report to 2011 and the current circumstances.  He detailed the various strands of the programme: Repositories, Preservation, Geospatial Data and infrastructure, Library Management Systems, Activity Data, Developer Community, Infrastructure for Resource Discovery, scholarly Communications, Rapid Innovation and Linked Data.

HE today is beginning to look to bibliometrics for research excellence and impact, which are fairly significant drivers.   Moves towards starting/supporting innovation and entrepreneurship need to be watched closely.  The event as a whole was aimed to share the highlights of learning from the various strands of the programme.

Session 1: Learning from Other Institutions

David Millard (University of Southampton) spoke first focussing on lessons learned from how educational repositories were not working .  They spoke to teachers -real teachers didn’t understand terminology or files from OERs, let alone working with digital resources even themselves.  Research repositories on the other hand give a real service to the researchers that they get (I might question that for some academics!). Looked to sharing sights (YouTube/SlideShare etc) which give teaching resources a home, have community and organisation – but it’s not through altruism for many people.  Developed software called EdShare, a post-learning object repository, that offered various advantages – not trying to force people to model their courses or materials in one particular way.  It also had light, non-restrictive metadata.  Tried to make the educational repository part of the living cycle.  Want BlackBoard to feed EdShare which feeds iTunesU as well.

Kamalsudhan Achuthan was up next (filling in at short notice)  talking about improving research information management, something close to my heart with the current local work towards implementing and integrating a CRIS.  The final report from the project can be found here.

William Nixon gave the next talk talking about embedding repositories into practice.  One of the outcomes of the project has been about  building the relationships between the repository and research office staff.  He noted that the future is embedding the repository within the institutional systems, although interoperability is not automatically easy.  The aim might well be to have an invisible repository moment, when it is seamless integrated into the whole.  The repository was used to gather a lot of the information for the min-REF that Glasgow ran, including impact and other metrics.  Embedding and integrating is about adding value, enabling reuse, reducing duplication and exploiting new opportunities.  Advocacy has evolved (as at Leicester) where it’s about working with the Research Office and other people across the campus; which I would say is a very good thing.  At the same time the project showed that there are different needs for the different disciplines.  He finished by suggesting that the job of a repository manager is moving into new, and exciting, territory.

Damian Steer closed the morning through talking about information architecture.  Interestingly he touched on data sources such as blogs and newspaper reports on the work; which would contribute towards demonstrating an impact for the REF.  Behind the scenes at Bristol they use linked data from the Semantic Web.

After lunch myself, Ben Showers from JISC and Nick Woolley (King’s College) talked about various resource and time saving activities.  I was presenting the highlights from my recent survey (my thanks to all those whom responded) rather than talking from personal experience!  You can access my slides here. Ben’s talk (Why you shouldn’t bother with advanced search) is also online.  While the session (which was repeated) was not exactly well attended, there was a spirited debate following the talks on both occasions.

Finally Margaret Coutts from the JISC Infrastructure and Resources Committee came on to deliver the keynote.  Among the comments she made, were that it is important top remember that research repositories are not solely for archiving for the REF, nor are teaching repositories solely for exploiting the content – they should both work in that area.  There is a need to develop life-cycle  management for the documents within them as well.  Academics are now more ready to come forward and expose all the extra effort they put into preparing journals – unpaid contributions and asking the questions – just what are publishers doing for us?  Will they challenge the publishers?  Uncertain as there is  desire not to damage peer review in the process.

The change in scholarly communications is a long game, and not one that will happen in the next few years, although there will be work in the right direction.  Work on LMS indicate that shared systems may well generate shared efficiencies and reduce costs.

One of the big growth areas in the coming years was suggested to be teaching and OERs, where platform rather than standard will be more important.  Likely there will be pressure for more sharing of these both within and without institutions, although there will be some items for local access as well as those for fully open access.  Digital Preservation is something that keeps falling off the edge.  We know what digital preservation is, but keeps being postponed because there are other more pressing things -but this is a time bomb.  We need to address this as a community sooner rather than later.

Urgency for solutions is going to increase.  Are there quick wins we can gain from the JISC projects, that can be put out to the sector.

Rachel Bruce then capped the day off by looking at the way ahead for JISC, which even though it has reduced funding is still charged with enabling innovation but at the same time ensuring that lessons learned and applications developed are able to be taken up by the LIS community.

Posted in Service Delivery, Technology & Devices, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

RSP Winter School: Day 3

Posted by gazjjohnson on 14 February, 2011

You can read about Day 1 or Day 2 here.

See, it wasn't worth being there on a day like thisThe third and final day dawned a little grey, but there was little time to admire the scenery as we had to kick off before 9am in order to fit everything in.  The first session was from Ruth Murray-Wedster from Lucidus Consulting .  Ruth used to work for Intute, which was very noticeable as about half her opening section seemed to be an advert for the late and somewhat lamented service.  Thankfully the real meat of the session was a workshop, in small groups again, looking at metrics/KPIs and repositories.  As someone who keeps a fair amount of these (and whom will be working on them a lot this week) I was quite interested to see what other people are doing in this area.  In the workshop we looked at metrics we had been asked to keep by our stakeholders, those we felt offered an actual representative view of the repository activity and the challenges that prevent us from gathering some of these.

I suggested I would love to know how far people read through items in my repository, that something has been downloaded 500 times is one thing – but how far did they read? This is a stat that YouTube provides for your videos on the site, and is an excellent way to discover just how many of your viewers have engaged with the material.  In the same way the base metric of downloads tells me nothing about the interaction with the scholarly research; although short of locking the PDFs down to view only mode or the like on the LRA I’m unaware of how we’d measure this one.

I had a very interesting side discussion with Paul Stainthorp and Theo Andrews about our own use of Google Analytics, and just how deep we each delved (or didn’t) into the schmorgesborg of data that this provides.  Interestingly in many aspects each of our respective repositories seems to score similar values for, although the devil is very much in the details.  Our group agreed that many of the metrics that are demanded of us (last year’s SCONUL audit came in for particular criticism for being somewhat poorly thought out) are not especially representative of the level of impact or activity w.r.t. repositories; no doubt due to most of them being requested by those who were not familiar with the repository world’s working.  A definite need for those of us managing these resources to engage with these people more, or perhaps a lobbying/information role for both the RSP and UKCoRR.

After a break (and an advert for UKCoRR) we had the final two sessions of the morning.  Personally I would have reversed the order of these sessions as the final one from Amanda Hodgson on the Research Communications Strategy work from the CRC offered little content I’d not already gleaned from their website.  Perhaps when their work is more advanced this session might have more to offer.  However, the preceding session from Miggie Pickton (Northampton) on her project researching researchers through their data was more engaging.  Miggie even engaged us in a small workshop element as we looked at our own experiences, and tied in nicely to the sessions the previous day from Max and Mark.  it also tied into elements of digital preservation and curation, a topic no one talk had tackled but a recurrent theme in many.

Jackie brings the Winter School to a closeAnd so the Winter School came to a close.  It had been a highly valuable three days, in what can only be described as a first class venue (squeaking door aside), and a credit to Jackie and her team for putting it on.  My thanks to all the speakers and organisers!  At the very least I’ve taken away the thought that me and my team face a lot of the same challenges as other repository teams, even where their exact circumstances and working environments are different.  That alone brings a certain level of comfort.

What’s next? Well I’m hoping to read through the slides from the various speakers over the coming days again and perhaps pick up on one or two elements that I only half caught at the time, or that perhaps might spur me and my team on in our work in the coming year.

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

USTLG Winter Meeting 2

Posted by selinalock on 8 December, 2010

This follow on with my report of the USTLG Winter Meeting.

Finding the known unknowns and the unknown knowns, Yvonne Nobis, University of Cambridge.

  • Talked about their development of the http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/scienceportal/website aimed specifically at researchers (which I know some of our researchers rather like the look of!)
  • Researchers often don’t known what they’re looking for: unknown unknowns, as research skills might need updating, looking for something outside their field or don’t know where to begin.
  • Scientists don’t tend to use the Cambridge libraries (over 100 of them so confusing system) and they want everything electronically so looking for a way to meet their needs.
  • Found most visitors to the science library are those looking for historical (print) information, or students wanting a place to study.
  • ~95% journal are online and ~95% of monographs are still print only.
  • In response to this they will now scan on demand from their own collections for Cambridge researchers (currently a free service as charging would have copyright law implications).
  • As the staff would often need to retrieve these items from storage the scanning has not added too much extra effort.
  • Science librarians at Cambridge do a lot of training of early career researchers.
  • Science@Cambridge contextualises information within a subject area to help researchers start their searching.
  • Includes a federated search option where relevant databases have been chosen (to steer researchers away from just using Google Scholar as they don’t realise what scholar doesn’t index: unknown unknowns).
  • Trying to make resource discovery as easy as possible.
  • Have problems with making eBooks easy to access, especially individual titles on catalogue records.
  • Trialled using chat with subject  librarians but not really worked so looking at centralising enquiries more.
  • Training branded through College or Computing Services gets a better turn out than library branded training.

We use a similar idea to Science@Cambridge in our subject rooms, but could learn more from them when redeveloping our Rooms as part of our digital library overhaul? Hopefully using Summon in future will make resource discovery easier at Leicester

Lunch!

Obviously the most important part of any conference is the lunch provided. This time it was a good spread sponsored by Wiley Publishers, and in a very unexpected place…

USTLG Lunch in a Church!

Lunch in the Divinity School

USTLG Lunch 2

Citations Count! Experience of providing researcher training on bibliometrics, citations and Open Access publishing. Kate Bradbury,  Cardiff University.

  • Training in citation data in response to REF raising interest in bibliometrics, funders requesting bibliometric data, help deciding where to publish and to promote work. 
  • Training covers: WoS/Scopus/Google Scholar, looking for data in other sources (e.g. book citations, full text resources which include references), what each database provides e.g. impact factors, increasing citations, using open access publishing and repositories.
  • Format of training: 30 min talk and 1 hr hands-on using workbooks – activities such as finding impact factors, setting up citation alerts, looking at OA resource and using ResearcherID.
  • Also do shorter, tailored talks for Departmental meetings etc.
  • Sessions dones for subject librarians, staff development programme, specific schools/depts (e.g. Comp Sci, Engin, Psychology) and within seminar series.
  • Lessons learnt: avoid too much detail, stay up to date with new database features and REF, emphasis benefits to researchers, takes time to build interest in training, targeted sessions best, be flexible & adapt sessions to suit audience, be prepared for discussions about the validity and use of bibliometrics!
  • Stance taken: explain how to find information but leave it up to the researchers to decide if it is useful to them, including discussion of pros/cons of bibliometrics.
  • Types of questions asked:
  • How to pay for OA publishing?
  • Shouldn’t we just write controversial articles to up our citations?
  • What about highly cited, poor research?
  • My journals not indexed in WoS, how do I get citation info?
  • How to find book citation info?
  • What about self-citations? Will they be excluded from REF?
  • BMJ article said no observable citation advantage from OA publishing…
  • Can I import articles on in WoS into ResearcherID? (can do, but tricky)
  • What is a good H-Index to have?
  • Doesn’t H-Index just reflect length of career?
  • Where’s the best place to put an OA article?
  • I use a subject repository so why also use institutional repository?
  • I don’t want an early version of my work available…
  • What next in terms of training? – Continue with sessions, support subject librarians to run their own sessions, introduce Bristol Online Survey to collect feedback from attendees, respond to individual follow-up questions and do a separate presentation on OA publishing.

USTLG Lunch

Wiley Publishers: WIREs, Alexa Dugan.
Next up was our sponsor for the day Wiley talking about their new product:

  • WIREs = Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews.
  • Reference work meets journal review article –  a new concept in publishing.
  • Have been finding it difficult to find authors/researchers with enough time to devote to writing traditional reference works, especially as those works do not gain professional recognition .i.e. they are not indexed or cited.
  • WIREs is Wiley’s answer to this: invited content with high quality editorship, drawing on their research journal community ties (so like a reference work), but also managed to get them indexed in major databases and WoS so the authors can get recognition.
  • Each Review has a carefully thought out structure, which is kept up to date with a range of article types e.g. focus (news) articles, opinion pieces, basic reviews, advanced reviews etc.
  • Content is added every two months (so serial like a journal) & articles retain their title and DOIs for citation purposes.
  • One of their flagship titles: Climate Change Review has won several awards already.
  • FREE for first two years: wires.wiley.com
  • USTLG Conference

    Getting Interactive

Researcher@Library – becoming part of the research cycle, Katy Sidwell, University of Leeds.

  • Leeds, like many of us, have managed to get a certain amount of library training embedded or offered to PhD students, but what about Academics and other Researchers?
  • Started to think about how to support researchers so thought about the life cycle of a research project:
  • Ides (pre-funding) – Planning (finding application) – Action (research/life of grant) – Dissemination – Application (of research knowledge/transfer) – back to beginning of cycle.
  • They got us to think about how we all support these stages of the cycle & feedback (using post it notes – a good bit of interactivity to wake us all up!).
  • What they (and from the feedback, others might do) are:
  • Ideas = library collections, current awareness & literature search training.
  • Planning =  Identify funding sources ^ support research bids (though in Leeds this only happens in particular areas as it’s labour intensive and unscaleable).
  • Action = PhD workshops, bibliographic management, lit search support, data management advice, user behaviour research, friendly space for researchers.
  • Dissemination = RAE/REF support, etheses online, institutional repository, publications database.
  • Application = intellectual property advice (Business officer), market research for knowledge transfer e.g. patents.
  • Hard for researchers to know about training – where/how to promote?
  • Created a website for researchers to bring together the various things available to them (need user needs analysis to find out what to put there).
  • Researchers wanted a website that was not solely library resources/focused, not tutorial but advice that could be dipped into at appropriate time, simple navigation, no login but not really basic advice – appropriate to their level.
  • library.leeds.ac.uk/researcher
  • Work in progress – need to clarify purpose, look at navigation issues, obtain feedback and roll out across other faculties.
  • Where now? – created Library Researcher Support Group to continue the work and look at how it fits in with the new Vitae researcher development framework.

A good day all round. The presentations from the day can now be viewed at the USTLG site.

Posted in Meetings, Open Access, Research Support, Service Delivery, Subject Support, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Most used repository items for October 2010

Posted by gazjjohnson on 2 November, 2010

Here are the results of the most regularly accessed items in the LRA for the month of October.

  1. Social inclusion, the museum and the dynamics of sectoral change Sandell, Richard  (Article)
  2. Advanced control of photovoltaic converters Liu, Ying (Thesis)
  3. Writing up and presenting qualitative research in family planning and reproductive health care Pitchforth, Emma et al (Article)
  4. Female Fandom in an English ‘Sports City’: A sociological study of female spectating and consumption around sport Pope, Stacey Elizabeth (Thesis)
  5. The Impact of Labour Turnover: Theory and Evidence from UK Micro-Data Garino, Gaia et al (Report)
  6. Lead-free soldering alloys: microstructure optimization for electronic applications Belyakov, Sergey (Thesis)
  7. “There’s a coat peg with his name on it”: investigating the training implications to support the inclusion of pre-school children with special educational needs Harwood, Zoe  (Thesis)
  8. Profcasting: a pilot study and guidelines for integrating podcasts in a blended learning environment Edirisingha, Palitha et al (Article)
  9. Thomas C. Schelling’s psychological decision theory: Introduction to a special issue Colman, Andrew M. (Article)
  10. A Study of Solidification Structure Evolution during Investment Casting of Ni-based Superalloy for Aero-Engine Turbine Blades. Dai, Huijuan (Thesis)
  11. Teaching presentation skills to undergraduates: Students’ evaluations of a workshop course Colman, Andrew M. (Article) (10th equal)

Theses continue to be a richly accessed resource, but for the first time in a few months we’ve seen a lot of new items coming to the top of the heap; only three of this month’s top ten were in last month’s list.  In terms of countries of by levels of access, very little change – although the number 10 slot has changed for a new country this month (it was Malaysia last month).

  1. United Kingdom
  2. United States
  3. India
  4. Australia
  5. Germany
  6. Canada
  7. China
  8. Italy
  9. France
  10. Iran

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

Repository in your Office – Open Access Week 2010

Posted by gazjjohnson on 14 October, 2010

SPARC Open Access Week 2010Next week is the 4th SPARC International Open Access week.  Around the globe open access advocates and repository staff take this time to celebrate the successes of their repository, but also to redouble their efforts!  Various special events take place, and this year as part of the celebrations, the Leicester Research Archive Team are offering Repository in Your Office – adapting its name from the popular television show Restaurant in our Living Room (well popular with me anyway)

In essence it’s a chance for academics to call us over to their offices to collect any and all materials they’ve got for potential archiving on the LRA and a chance for them to have a handy 1-2-1 consultation on any and all aspects of open access.  I think it’s a great chance for us to fly the flag for the LRA and the brilliant research that Leicester produces, as well as interacting with our fantastic academic community on a more personal level.

Here’s just a sampling of some of the top rated research publications on the LRA from across the colleges.

Will it be a success?  At this stage I just don’t know, we’ve never tried this kind of advocacy here at Leicester so this is somewhat a bit of an experiment.  But win, lose or draw I’m sure the lessons we learn from the exercise will serve us well in planning Open Access Week 2011!

So if you’re a researcher here at Leicester, and you’ve been thinking about depositing with the LRA, but haven’t quite got around to it – why not take this opportunity to invite us in (coffee appreciated but not essential) to help make it

Repository in your Office – making it easier than ever to deposit with the LRA

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

Summer School for Repository Managers 2010

Posted by gazjjohnson on 14 June, 2010

Madingley Hall, Cambridge - venue for the RSP summer schoolA week or so ago I attended the RSP summer school at Madingley Hall, University of Cambridge.  The Summer School has been running for three or four years now (I helped organise the first one) but until now I’d never found the right time to attend.  Originally these three day focussed study events were aimed at first time repository managers, but clearly the support remit of the RSP has broadened considerably.  It could be seen from the delegate who ran the breadth of experience from old hands like myself or Graham Stone (Huddersfield, and UKCoRR chair) through to people only just taking their first steps. 

To cover an event in any real depth would take far too many lines of text, so what I’ll attempt to do here is try and capture a flavour of the event, with any especial highlights. 

Day 1
As with all events day one began with the gathering of the 20 or so delegates from across the country, some of whom had been travelling since before 5am in order to get there.  Following an introduction to event from Dominic Tate and Jackie Wickham of the RSP we moved to an ice-breaker exercise, creating a poster to encapsulate the discrete elements that make up a repository – and then selling them to the group at large.  There were some interesting insights that came out here including the challenges of the REF, working with academics as well as the technological barriers to progress.  In many respects this was a good opportunity for some reflection on our advocacy work and the differing messages to different stakeholder groups. 

After tea the first talk was from Tanya Abikorr of MIT Open CourseWare.  Her focus was more on educational repositories than institutional, and was possibly of more interest to those working on coursepack digitisation.  What was very interesting to note was the size of the MIT team working on this (at least 7 full time staff), and some of the comments about what is permissable under US copyright law.  As one of the speakers on day 2 pointed out, UK copyright law is actually far more restrictive than this.  Finally Graham Stone talked about the Huddersfield repository experience in some depth. 

Day 2
The second day was the most hectic and packed, and despite a cancellation of the first speaker the delegates engaged in a long (possibly overlong) session on IPR, copyright and repositories from Laurence Bebbington (Aberdeen University).  There was much of value in what Laurence had to say, although at times it seemed to take him at his word on what is and is not permissable would freeze developments in the repository field.  He was followed by Bill Hubbard (CRC, Nottingham University) looking at institutional mandates and compliance.  While few delegates had an OA mandate, most institutions represented are considering implementing them in one form or another.  There was a considerable amount of talk focussed on the carrots we can offer, contrasted with the more stick like mandates, during this session too. 

Following a brief update on the RSP’s work from Dominic, David Davies (University of Warwick) presented the results of some research looking at what people look for when searching for online learning resources.  I must confess that I found David’s talk hard to follow, and while the discovery and exposure of the contents of our repositories is often paramount in my mind, I found it problematic to join what he was espousing with our every day practice.  The day was capped by the delightful Robin Armstrong-Viner (Aberdeen University) who gave a fascinating talk looking at how a repository and CRIS can work together in practice.  While a few technical hitches denied Robin the practical demonstration he’d planned at the end, it was still fascinating insight as to how a CRIS can change the workflows and relationships that repository staff have within an institution for the better. 

Day 3
The final day was very practically focussed with a reflective session on advocacy from Dominic echoing at least in part some of the previous two days activities and coverage.  One thing that was clear from delegate comments is that there is still much work to be done in this regard within most if not all institutions; and that we should not be downhearted by the repetition that is required.  We also touched briefly on the some of the work of May’s RSP Advocacy workshop.  complementing Dominic’s session nicely was Nicky Cashman (Aberystwyth University) who gave a fine overview of using statistics as a tool.  While the mathematical components weren’t new to me, some of the approaches and uses to which Nicky puts them had me scribbling notes for future consideration. 

The final full session from Ian McCormick (ARMA) was a little disappointing.  As an overview of ARMA it was fine, however as to the role at which repository managers, UKCoRR and RSP could play in tandem with the organisation this was much less clear.   What was clear from the delegates was increasingly we are all working more closely with our research office type colleagues with whom we share much more commonality on many issues than those in the libraries within which many repositories are based. 

Networking...in the sun

Image courtesy of Misha Jepson

Overall though it is safe to say that this was an excellent and information packed event.  The opportunities for networking (and in my case to also lose at croquet twice) were especially very valuable, and continued throughout the delicious meals and long into the night.  I’ve returned to work with a much greater insight into what is going on across the country, as well as numerous practical ideas to apply within our repository work.  As is always the case at these kind of events in one way or another we are all facing similar challenges ranging from academic engagement, compliance, deposition, changing copyright environment, staffing challenges and of course the REF.  But what is heartening is the number of different ways in which people have found to meet these; and while not all are applicable to Leicester’s environment many are. 

Slides from the event can be found here.

Posted in Open Access, Staff training | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Ready for REF CERIF Workshop (King’s March 2010)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 24 March, 2010

Waterloo Campus, King's College LondonThis Tuesday I travelled down with Steve Loddington of the Research Support Office, to King’s College London’s Waterloo Campus to attend a Ready4Ref (R4R) CERIF workshop. Following an overview of the day from Mary Davies (Kings) the day proper began. What follows are my notes and comments on the sessions, hopefully slides from the event will be available online shortly.

CERIF4REF, Richard Gartner, Kings College
CERIF standard is very complex, almost too complex for most users to fully understand. The RAE2008 was used to shape CERIF as REF2012 standards remain as of yet unannounced. Repositories and CRIS outputs on systems that adhere to the standard can be feed through CERIF4REF and provide a single output to the REF assessors (in principle). There is a data dictionary that defines the standard and the elements within it. Going to take RAE data from Kings and process as part of a trial to check that this works well.

CERIF, CRISes & Research Databases Marc Cox
Marc talked about King’s CRIS, developed in house 2004-7, and developed originally as a research management tool; although the RAE overtook and drove it towards administrators rather than academics which was not the original intent. Took data from HR, student, awards and finance & publications from TR WoS (author ID a problem) – now use the WoK API to take data, although that was quite a challenge. At the moment administrators (mostly) and academics (few) are keeping the publications up to date.

CERIF is a standard data model that describes research entities and their inter-relationships, originally developed with support of EU. It is architecture independent. 4 main data fields from RAE2008 taken for CERIF4REF. A number of system and data tweaks were needed to these four research data fields to make it compatible with CERIF. RA1 data was relatively easy, although RA2 data was more difficult to map. RA3a/b and RA4 couldn’t be mapped without the base data which created them.

Benefits from the approach however included RAE forms generated from style sheets that can be cross compared with php scripts to check accuracy. Next steps are to generate real King’s data in CERIF xml format and exchange data with other CERIF compliant systems.

Using ISI Web of Science Data in Repositories, Les Carr
EPrints has had plug ins that do this for a while on an individual basis, but due to change in licenses now have access to API for direct deposit. SWORD based ISI Deposit, for EPrints was examined, although as Les noted the technology wasn’t at the heart of the issue as all repositories work in a similar fashion in the big picture. There is a need for a repository editorial step – which is a manual step, so can be like drinking from a fire hose – too much data flooding in and how can you deal with it with established workflows. The data download may not be straight forward exercise, e.g. student papers and non-peer-reviewed items are listed on WoS as well as academic papers. Les showed an example of selecting one academic and the process to go through to weed out the non-relevant items (a manual process) – 38/items ingested initially a minute, about 10 minutes for manual process and removal of duplicates and irrelevant. Questions of how to use this – monthly update? On a per user basis?

Les moved on to look at repositories as a CRIS – since repositories manage research or teaching or academic outputs and are broader in description and purpose. But what about other databases and information resources across campus (Finance, HR, Grants database. CRISes pull all the disparate data together and present a unified view of it; which includes the repository. Eprints has attempted to accommodate the CERIF data – not just publications but projects and organisations.

E.g. previously a project was added in the metadata – now they are objects in their own right, linking from metadata record to a page about the project itself; with contributors rather than authors. Data can be exported and imported in CERIF format. This joined up integrated resource can help develop research case studies for demonstrating impact and output. I imagine useful though this is, it does add yet another load to the already busy repository administrators workflows. However, I can see a significant advantage to the repository that offers this kind of joined up service. I doubt Leicester will go this route, given our interest in a separate CRIS systems at the heart of the research management agenda.

Discussions
After a brief Q&A session we moved onto lunch. After lunch we broke into two discussion groups, one looking at the perceived benefits or flaws in CERIF; along with the practicality of auditing and standardising institutional systems with it. These sessions then reported back on the points that had been raised. Notably on average for those in attendance having data information systems that could be audited and made compatible with the CERIF standard was a reasonably attractive opportunity, however there were mixed concerns on the technical expertise being available in house at short notice to participate. When it came to staff resource available to take part in such an audit, virtually the entire group felt that this was the biggest obstacle to overcome.

Overall this was an interesting day, and while it was more on the CERIF data standard than the REF itself as I had hoped I was still able to take away some points for further thought.

[Edit: Slides from the event are now available here: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/iss/cerch/projects/portfolio/r4r.html]

Posted in Open Access, Research Support, Technology & Devices | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Repositories and the Cloud – conference report

Posted by gazjjohnson on 24 February, 2010

Now that's magic!Yesterday I travelled (via a slightly circuitous route) to London and the Magic Circle Headquarters to attend the JISC/Eduserve event Repositories and the Cloud.  Billed as a technical and policy event I was a little concerned that it would be too high level, but as things turned out it seems my understanding of such things is better than I thought.  I can only capture my main thoughts on the day, as 10 minutes in my netbook power died and I had to drop back onto my HTC Magic to continue my Web 2 participation.

The day was split into three main chunks.

In the first session Michele Kimpton (DuraSpace Foundation), Alex Wade (Microsoft Research) and Les Carr (EPrints) talked about their repository platforms, and how they are looking to engage with the cloud.  I was especially interested in what Michele had to say; since DSPace and Fedora are now under one umbrella corporation I anticipate big changes in what we use currently as our repository platform.  Talking to other delegates at the event it seems the smart money is backing Fedora to emerge as the sole winner, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  I have to confess I’d never even heard of Windows Azure before today, and as it turns out I wasn’t the only one.  That Microsoft are making a play into the repository market is fairly significant, as increasingly it seems that proprietory software platforms may be in all repository manager’s futures.

A lot of what they focussed on (from my P.O.V.) was the using of off-site cloud storage for large chunks of repository contents; for preservation, for reasons of perceived economic savings and maintenance of access.  I was quite surprised as well to hear just what a big player Amazon are in this market; it seems their ambitions in the library and information sphere goes far beyond the supply of cheap books.

After a lot of lunch time discussions we moved onto the second session with Terry Harmer (Belfast eScience Centre).  Terry’s presentation seemed more technical, and so I must confess some of the finer points were probably lost on me.  However, he did raise a point about trans-national data storage and security that interested me.  The fact that under British law it’s not permissable to just host any data about people off-shore is a definite challenge to moving into the cloud.  Then again, how many of us are already doing such a thing if only in a small way.  He touched on the need to use either EU based servers, or ensure that (for example) US hosts had signed up to safe harbour (or harbor I imagine) agreements, whereby they would agree to respect key elements of UK and EU data protection laws, where they would otherwise not apply.

He also touched on the risks involved with using a major host (for example once again) Amazon – by being a bigger target as such there was a greater risk from griefers or hackers in general for DDoS attacks (taking out access to your data) or worse.  As he pointed out, most IRs are far too small to bother with; although I know that this doesn’t make them invisible or inviolate from assault.

The third part of the day broke out into two discussion sessions – one technical and one policy.  Paul Miller facilitated the policy one I attended, and there followed two hours of wide ranging discussions about using cloud resources for repositories.  A straw poll in the room revealed that most participants were using cloud resources already on a daily or regular basis, and a sizable number were doing this for work based activities and even with the blessing of their management.  However, a lot of the group noted a certain corporate or personal reservation about trusting to the cloud to the Nth degree.  One point that particularly resonated for me was the comment that “We’ve been spending a lot of time and energy advocating local repositories as something controllable, accessible locally mounted to placate certain academic worries – to suddenly shift to trans-national locations might well start ringing alarm bells for many of them.”  A feeling that was expressed by some in the meeting, and in the discussions that followed, that while cloud computing options were certainly exciting the repository field itself is still insufficiently mature to go for them wholesale just yet.

Me, and the founder of the Magic CircleThe event concluded with a reception where the discussion continued into the evening, or until the Magic Circle threw us out.  I spent some of the time planning some possible collaborative work with the RSP team in among sharing experiences and feedback on the day.

Overall this was a challenging day of thought and discussion.  Am I convinced that cloud computing is the saviour of repositories? No.  Do I think real economic savings can be made with them?  Not yet.  Do I think they’re relevant to the future of the repository community?  Almost certainly.  It will be a field well worth the watching, and doubtless there will be more about it in the months or years to come.

A twitter stream from the event is available.

[Edit: Presentations from the event can be found here]

Posted in Open Access, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

UKCoRR Meeting – University of Leicester

Posted by gazjjohnson on 19 February, 2010

Today we’re hosting repository managers from across the UK, and I’m going to attempt to keep up with the key points of the event here as the day goes on.

10.30: Jen Delasalle (Warwick) and Louise Jones (Leicester) opening the event.

10.40: Jen is standing down as UKCoRR Chair, oh no.  Wonder if I should run? Or maybe I should let someone else go for it.

10.42: RCUK looking to set up a central system to record their research outputs.  So does this mean we need a CRIS as well or is this taking over from local recording of research?

10.45: Discussing remit of group and membership criteria, and the elephant in the room of funding the longer term development of UKCoRR.  Should we pass the hat round each meeting?  Always tricky – once you have funding you are beholden to your funders, be they members or institutional and can be called to account.  Would this change the organisation too much?

10.50: Looking more at the RCUK outputs and capture, and the role of the repository.

10.55: Journal TOCs project – an API drawing on 13,000 journal outputs.  Nick Shephard (aka @MrNick on twitter) will be talking about a project related to this later on this morning.  Idea is to allow searching for publications for local authors, which is useful – but you need to build a tool to exploit the API, we’d ned someone else to build us the tool.  Perhaps this is what Mr Nick will be going to do for us all?

10.58: Role of publishers and repository managers working together with authors.  And the idea of publishers selling us metadata – erm, no thanks.

11.00 Nicky Cashman (Aber) now talking about her work at CADIR and Aberystwyth. Her main role is advocacy around the university.  Noted that UKCoRR now has 182 members, impressive – when’s our three day conference in Hastings then?  She’s gone on to give us an idea of how much stuff they now have in their repository.  first mention for Webometrics – which is interesting as Nicky and I were discussing this last night; how much do we really trust their data – even if senior management love it when we rise up the tables.

11.15: Talking about Bartrum and the Seals in Medieval Wales (SiMeW) project.  Interesting that Aber and CADIR are more embedded within their departments – is this due to the size of the institution being smaller than Leicester?  I’ve heard this comment from other unis with smaller academic numbers that it has been easier for them to work together with their academics directly.

11.20: Talking Ethos and mandates for theses.  Something I’ll be talking about here at Leicester later on this morning.  Currently the’re an opt in institution for thesis deposits, so I can understand the difficulties they must face.  They are a first requester pays organisation for theses, which I think is going to an increasingly popular choice for institutions, and increasingly unpopular choice for readers.

11.25: Aber is doing a survey on ethesis deposit mandates, comment from Southampton that they (like Leicester) are an opt-out mandate institution.

11.30: Breaking for tea.  After this Nick Shepard and then me are on. Not quite sure I can present and blog at the same time so might have to fill that bit in post-hoc.

11.55: Nick and Wendy Luker from Leeds Met talking about the Bibliosight Project (querying Web of Science from the desktop).  JISC RI project .  Uses Thomson Reuter’s Web of Science Web Services (WSLite/WoSAPI) – sadly live demo hasn’t worked out for today, but thankfully Nick has a back up to show us.  Idea is to down load and autopopulate the repository with data from the WoS.  They aim to use it to promote deposit from and tie this into the REF.

12.10: Distracted by sorting out network keys, so will have to look at Nick’s presentation later.  However, he’s now giving us a screen capture demo of how the queries work, which I assume we’ll be able to view later as well.  Plan is to take the data out (as XML) and convert using SWORD into repository ingest.

12.13: Readiness for REF, looking at the wider issue of data capture (R4R), from) Les Carr of Southampton.  Questions about how this works into the workflows of the repository e.g. with so many records downloaded how do you get them in, authenticated and cleanly.

12.15: Some questions still outstanding – see Nick’s presentation.

12.20: Off to do my talk….

12.55: And I’m done.  Got some laughs in the right place, which was good.  Interesting comment from Gill Hall (Herts) that I could have just as easily have been telling her story as a repository manager.  That’s the good thing from UKCoRR, it really is the best community to belong to (well along with FIL) – everyone seems to share the same sort of problems and issues.

12.57: Dominic Tate is now up talking about the RSP, and their new series of events.  Sounds promising I hope I can get to some of those, as they’re good networking and training days.  There will be an event based on the forthcoming economics of open access report written by Alma Swann (June 17th probably).  Aimed at senior university management, rather than repository workers.

13.03: Talking about his work representing UKCoRR as well.  Including the JISC Persistent Identifier Working Group.

13.05: Important for repository mangers to work more closely with their research staff.

14.14: Post lunch and after a whistle-stop tour around the multi-awarding David Wilson Library, Hannah Payne from the Welsh Repository Network talked about their work.  They are launching two new objects on metadata use in repositories.  Also comments about non-standard collections (e.g. ceramics) and how to get them into repository, like UWIC has.  National Library of Wales looking to expand role in terms of collecting and storing digital items like theses, but question about how that relates to Ethos.

14.25: Integrating repositories with the REF and satisfying their requirements is something they still looking at; not a big surprise.  WRN is planning a repository and CRIS event, which will be held at Leeds Met University and will be open to all.

14.30: Question about a cross searching tool, stemming from WRN Google custom search tool.

14.31: Jane Smith now on talking Advanced SHERPA/RoMEO.  Demonstrating the new features of the search tool and the new output, that allows you to add in funder name.  Also records now no longer list all the funders automatically, can opt for none, 1 or all.  Remember DOAJ open access journals don’t all support archiving in a repository, and as these are now listed on RoMEO important to go and check their actually policies.

14.37: Jane now showing all publisher lists and the information you can garner from them.  It is now possible to even generate list of payments needed to make items open access.  S/RoMEO’s monthly updates are displayed on a regular webpage.

14.47: Peter Millington from SHERPA is now speaking about the RoMEO API.  Journals may appear in one or more data sources (Zetoc, DOAJ and the RoMEO journals database).  Different sources may list different publishers, and this can be a problem to identify which is the right one to use.  Who is the publisher, and who counts for copyright and whose’s policy takes priority?  There are some clear cut cases, but where two publishers appear to have the rights, then they may not be compatible.

14.55: Difference between current RoMEO and trial RoMEO being illustrated, I think right now though this looks like muddying the water until things roll out for use.

15.06: Moving onto coffee and copyright.

16.54: Finally back at my desk after cleaning up the room and sorting out the leftovers.  The copyright session was good, but I think we really needed a couple of hours to dig into some of the issues.  But useful all the same.  And with that UKCoRR is over again, which is a shame – I could have done with two more days to really get round and talk to all the people I needed to, and indeed wanted to.  Sorry if you were one of the ones I had to rush by today – I really would have loved to have time to talk to you all – but it’s been a hectic day.  More like this UKCoRR please.

Thanks to the committee and everyone involved in running today’s event – it was highly stimulating!  A twitter stream of comments on the day can be found here.

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Meetings, Open Access | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »