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Posts Tagged ‘repository’

300th Thesis

Posted by gazjjohnson on 4 August, 2010

We’ve passed a milestone for the LRA this week with the addition of the 300th new PhD ethesis onto the repository.  While we’ve got more than 300 theses on the LRA as a whole (525 actually as of today), many of these are older retrospective ones from before the 2008 introduction of a theses mandate from the University.

For interest here’s a link to the 300th one we added:

Andrew Robin Birley (2010) The nature and significance of extramural settlement at Vindolanda and other selected sites on the Northern Frontier of Roman Britain

Theses, as I’ve noted elsewhere, continue to be among our most popular items on the LRA, which is good for the author and the university too. My thanks to my team and everyone involved in the processing and ingest of this item.

Now on to our next 300!


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

LRA hits 5,000 records

Posted by gazjjohnson on 21 June, 2010

The LRA (our institutional repository) has just passed 5,000 records.  Created in 2006 as a project, the LRA has shifted from project to service in the last year.  Last May saw the biggest change in the institutional framework when the University Senate approved the University of Leicester Research Publications Policy (aka our institutional mandate) requiring researchers here to submit any and all of their research publication outputs (articles, reports, working & conference papers etc) for inclusion; where copyright allows. 

While we’re still some way from achieving this, it is safe to say we’ve had a flood of new material coming into the LRA in the past 12 months, and hopefully this will continue.  In the coming year we’re looking towards augmenting the LRA with data from the Research Office’s research publications database (RED), and a hopeful integration with the next iteration of the research information management system – which should help speed our creation of records, and allow my hard working team to focus more closely on checking the rights situation of full text items.

My big thanks to the whole LRA administration team for their incredible hard work over the past year; and into the next!

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Open Access | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Service standards for repositories

Posted by gazjjohnson on 5 March, 2010

As we may have mentioned earlier, we’re currently undergoing preparation to go for a customer services excellence award.  Part of this process has involved looking at and reviewing the service standards that the library aspires to.  I’ve been fairly impressed with these, given the short turn around time we give ourselves to respond to enquiries and the close to 100% efficacy with which the various sections hit them.

As part of my role as DS&R manager I’ve been asked to consider appropriate and measurable standards for the repository and copyright/coursepacks part of our operation.  The repository I think is a particularly interesting area to try and apply standards to – given that any single deposit or request could take anything from 5 minutes to 5 months to take to resolution.  Wanting to start the ball rolling, I turned to my UKCoRR counterparts around the country and posed the question:

What service standards do you operate to and how are they measured?

A sampling of the (annoymised) answers included (paraphrased for space):

“Efforts were made to establish an “average” time from receipt to ingest, but this was thought to be too long and so senior management decided on a two week turn around period.  As a result we can’t meet these with current staffing and deposit levels.”

“We’ve been asked but have shied away from this, for exactly the same sort of reasoning as you suggest.  If pressed our argument will be towards a more resilient metric (e.g. measuring upper and lower quartiles) rather than a single arbitrary figure or “average” item turnaround.”

“We don’t have a standard as such, but we try and turn around items in two weeks – and advertise that on our submissions form.  Most items can be turned around in one to two days, but we left ourselves lee-way.  That said this year this has lengthened to a month at times, due to staffing issues.”

“We have a 24hr turnaround to respond to ejournal enquiries, and hope to apply the same to repository enquiries.  For throughput though we expect to aim for a 2-3 day period to review a deposit, assuming I get the staff I need to make such a thing possible.”

My thanks to my repository colleagues for supplying this information.  Knowing the volume of output and potential ingest here at Leicester (best guess 20-25% of all papers are coming to the LRA already), I doubt I’d be able to set such aspirational turnaround times for some months.  But in terms of enquiry response, that seems more realistic. 

A bigger issue for me is the time it takes to monitor the metrics by the team, personally I’d rather they spent the time sorting out ingest and rights issues than tracking the speed of their work’s progress.  We already monitor a lot of stats relating to input, output and queries I think I might dig into that and see if there’s something we’re already recording that could be adapted.  And that also has some relevance to our customer base – the academic researchers of Leicester.

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Service Delivery | 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 »

Give the Gift of Open Access

Posted by gazjjohnson on 2 December, 2009

Thanks to the RSP for developing this handy poster promoting open access and depositing in your repository

Click on it to see it full sized.  Has any one thought of a good way to use it?  I’m  a bit short of walls myself.

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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 »

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.

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.

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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

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.

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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.

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 


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Repository Lingo 101

Posted by gazjjohnson on 28 May, 2009

I went to a very useful meeting with the BDRA this morning to talk about dissemination of their work vis-a-vie the repository (LRA).  I always enjoy these kind of meetings with academics, not solely because they can move a lot of things forward very quickly but because it reminds me just why we have a repository – to help these people get word of their work out into the world.

One of the things that came up in various discussions we had was about the meaning of repository related words – so I thought I’d blog a few commonly used terms in the repository world.

  • Ingest – to take material into the repository.  Also known as depositing, though commonly authors will deposit their article with the repository staff who then process it and ingest it into the repository.
  • Pre-review Version – sometimes known (c.f. SHERPA/RoMEO) as a pre-print, this is the version of an article originally submitted to the journal for the peer review process. 
  • Post-Review Version– the version that incorporates corrections following reviewer’s comments.  Known on SHERPA/RoMEO as the post-print version.
  • Author’s Final Version– we define that as the version that finally leaves the author’s hands and passes to the publisher, conference etc.  Might be functionally identical to post-review version or might incorporate minor changes suggested by the editor.  Crucially, this is also the version the LRA requests authors supply us with.
  • Publisher’s Version– also known as publisher’s PDF – the version as appears in the journal (print or online) with any or all journal formatting and dressing.   Few publishers allow this version to be ingested into a repository.
  • Pre-Print Version – still in use on some sites to indicate the pre-review version, though these days it can also mean any version prior to the publisher’s version.  Like post-print this term is beginning to fall into disuse.
  • Post-Print Version– normally these days this is analogous to the publisher’s version, and is used in many of their copyright agreements as analogous to definitive version.  However, on some sites (SHERPA/RoMEO included) and articles about open access or repositories post-print is analogous to post-review version.  Is slowly fading from the general lexicon of open access.
  • Definitive Version– a matter of some heated debate.  Publisher’s would argue that the definitive version is solely the one as appears in their publications.  Authors, and many in the OA world would agree that the author’s final version is just as definitive.  The debate will continue, and for now the version cited is largely the publisher’s version, though I’ve come across some people citing repository versions directly.

You can read a whole lot more about the terms used in the Open Access world on the SHERPA Glossary, the RSP site and over on the LRA site as well.

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Who’s doing what with their repository in the UK?

Posted by gazjjohnson on 11 March, 2009

Some very interesting results have come out from UEA and their survey of UK repositories activities.

UK Repository Survey Results

One or two things peeked my interest in particular – of those surveyed (70+ HEIs)

  • 28% will still archive if they do not get a reply from a publisher
  • 4% Don’t check publisher rights
  • 46% have less than 1FTE working on IPR clearance to deposit (3% have 5 or more staff!!!)
  • 89% of repositories are funded by their library
  • The modal level of deposit is 201-500 items a year

It’s not a long report, and there’s some very interesting data that can be gleaned from it – it certainly gives a very good picture of the current operating practices of the UK repositories; and unlike some more densely written reports it’s very easy to pick useful data out of it as a repository manager.  Highly recommended to read.

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Lincoln SUETr Event (Feb 10th 2009) – enhancing your repository

Posted by gazjjohnson on 11 February, 2009

Yesterday I went over to arctic Lincoln for a SUETr (Start-Up and Enhancement Training) repository related event; which was introduced by Steph Taylor (UKOLN). What follows are my notes on the day.

Julian Beckton talked about embedding a dual purpose repository at Lincoln – hosting research and learning objects within the same environment. Initially it got external funding, but there were issues over getting staff resource. It started as an archive for student projects, but had to deal with some unusual teaching materials (3D) models but difficulties of visual browsing. He demonstrated the MACE Project visual object browser as an ideal best practice example, but one far beyond what they were funded to create. In trying to bring about innovation within the institution and the team considered using the Collis & Moonen 4-Es model (1991) and the Rogers Diffusion of Innovation (1962) approaches. Ease of use was a concept that was highlighted in both these models, and something that Julian suggested was not exemplified by repositories.

He contrasted the discovery of vitamin C and the 200 years for this to be adopted as S.O.P. for Navy, as opposed to rapid up take of new weaponry and ship design. People implement what they understand, and this is true for repositories – most academics don’t really understand what they’re for and why they’re there; with the knock on effect that engagement with them is reduced. Lincoln’s repo automatically transcodes many multimedia formats into flash animations for ease of viewing, but you are still able to download the original format. Noted that many learning objects (e.g. powerpoints of lecture slides) have a short life-span, and aren’t an ideal ingest for a learning object repository. Lincoln has added social bookmarking tools (e.g. RSS, commenting and user-tagging).

Next moves are a full launch, repository advocacy (local champions) and statistics. Comments in discussion that followed about the importance of good data in the repo accessible via common protocols, far more important than building a sophisticated local service layer. This is something I have to agree with, the underlying repository and data must work well and be accessible; after all statistics continue to show that few end-users come to a repository via the home page. Access is at the object level.

Steph Taylor talked briefly about her role at Bath as both a repository project person and author. Then she opened the floor to debate turning to look first at policies and S.O.P, a topic SUETr (and myself) will be returning to at the event at the National Library of Wales next week. An interesting comment from one institution where if a research output isn’t in the repository it’s not counted in research returns. Discussion ranged around mandates, author pays funding streams and sustainability.

Sally Rumsey, from Oxford Uni was next and started off by talking about repository branding and the route of access to the objects in the repository.  Oxford University is not just looking at the repo as a silo of output, and is very much considering digital archiving for the long time. Lots of large collections available to them that they can put into their storage. Sally talked about the advantage of making local digital collections available globally, and how this is a very desirable thing to the global scholarly community. Their Fedora based system underpins effectively multiple repositories (e.g. an image collection, special collections) as well as the ORA (Oxford University Research and Archive). Notably as the ORA was there first, they are able to drive the standards for these other repositories.

Lincoln CampusShe looked at ROAR, Intute RS and OAIster as resources for increasing visibility of repository contents; and how they are not well known by the common librarian or academic. Then it was looking at OAI-ORE and how it can take entire digital objects from repositories and reuse rather than just the metadata. Sally suggested that this is something that will be occurring more as the repository field matures. More complex objects are being ingested, and OAI-ORE may help with their curation and sourcing. Google remains the primary route into repositories, and making sure objects are exposed to it is a major route to enhancing user and reuse. UUIDs (Universal Unique Identifiers) are being used as these are very unique and persistent Ids that for the foreseeable future they should identify the object in the repository and no other. Possibility to use these as a Google search to ID the item and any citations to the original object, which will have a knock on effect for bibliometrics, though this is only just beginning to happen as most papers are too new to get many citations. Sally went through the statistics package that Oxford uses (PikiWiki) showing that virtually all discoveries of objects within the repository are via Google. GoogleScholar was noted as being more variable in finding repository items, even Oxford is ignored a lot – this seems to a problem across the sector that GoogleScholar is somewhat biased in search results returned.

Next Sally talked about development, focussing on her experiences with Fedora Commons, nothing that Australia and the US are leading in this area. Oxford are developing a semantic web architecture with Talis. She also highlighted the work of CRIG (Common Repository Interface Group) and their active developments – cutting edge but sometimes scary. Oxford are very involved with data archiving, but still early days and exploring the various issues around it is quite challenging. Oxford are involved in a range of projects such as the PRIUS (Publisher and Institutional Repository Usage Statistics) project – one that will be of considerable interest to any bibliometricians. Other projects mentioned include BID, PRESERV, BRII and DataShare Project. Notable Oxford has one full time dedicated developer working for the repository as well a range of other support staff; and that their involvement in these many projects is only possible due to their number of dedicated repository staff.

Sally noted her involvement in the wider repository scene is one way in which the ORA is made more visible globally, as well as learning what other people are doing. Sally mentioned that like Leicester, conferences at Oxford can have their papers hosted on the repository – the onetime non-Oxford academics are allowed to deposit. Finally she looked at the time commitments for the repository staff, and the need to be choosey about what they commit to be involved in within the wider profession. As a result of its successes Oxford University has been involved in all this global activity as a result of their work, not as a goal for their activities.

After lunch Lucy Keating, Newcastle, how to add value to repositories. Lucy spoke as an enthusiast and not an expert, and made a disclaimer that many of the things she was going to be talking about were not going to be embraced by her institutions; rather they were ideas and inspirations for the whole community. Newcastle’s repository began in 2005, but was more fully developed in 2007 with her appointment with a focus on articles and papers (6,000 items of which 25% are full text). Lucy demonstrated the repository, which displays the number of downloads per item for all to see; as a way of encouraging more access as well as transparency of simple metrics. Lucy noted that she has about 44% response rate to her enquiries and requests to academics. The university is developing an in-house MyImpact research information service (working along the same lines as Symplectic). The repository is going to be fully integrated to the RIS – which should reduce the interaction the academics are required to perform to record their research outputs and archive their papers.

She noted the involvement with the RIS and REF has opened doors that would otherwise be shut. She posed the question – what else can our repositories do beyond OA, preservation and description? She looked through some of the widgets that Les Carr at Southampton has suggested. She touched on mandates, and her personal reluctance to engage with them. They needed more thought before they’re introduced; it’s an all stick and no-carrot route to populating repositories. Other things that could be possible enhancers included enabling interaction and allowing others to form groups and make associations (e.g. tagging and rating) not just formal citations. Displaying content in different ways – visualising content – image wall, previews, tag cloud or broadening the context of the ingest. Finally she talked about ensuring the marketing department can link to original articles in the repository from press releases.

Some comments in discussion that engaging marketing staff on the right level, and on message, can be actually quite difficult. Then some challenging questions about how the repository could generate income or save time for the institution? She advocated the idea that the repository should be integrated into the research workflow, not something that happens at the end of the research process. Will repositories replace, supplement or merge with journals (the concept of overlay journals) is a challenging idea, and one that some repositories and academics are already beginning to exploit. A Group work session looking at case studies followed

Finally Mary Robinson from SHERPA talked about the international dimension of the institutional repository. Mary showed the 1,300 repositories in OpenDOAR, of which about 1,000 are IRs. Mary talked on some similar issues to Sally about making your repository more visible. She noted that there is a need to be proactive in marketing your repositories towards some of the international services, rather than waiting for them to find you. She listed certain guides to ensuring how your repository is visible, drawn from work on the OpenDOAR survey. Mary then moved to talk about the DRIVER project, which worked with European Repositories to provide an infrastructure that other services can plug into to aid repository discovery. DRIVER provides tools for subject communities for academics and tools for bringing together groups of repositories through a single access point (e.g. Spain).

She next turned to the DRIVER Confederation which tries to draw together a global voice for repositories, working with agencies and other stakeholders in the OA world. DRIVER online tool can automatically test the DRIVER guidelines, though currently running on the old version of the validation rules. Mary gave an overview of DRIVER’s activities and resources, including the Mentor service – which is something that I am sure we in Leicester could potentially get involved in.

The day finished with wrap up discussions and final points of interest.  Slides for the event are available.  Also my twitter feed on the event too:

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