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JISCrte End of Projects Event Feb 2012

Posted by gazjjohnson on 10 February, 2012

Friday 10th Feb saw me attending this end of project event at the rather nice Nottingham Trent Conference centre.  What follows are my notes from the day (typed whilst at the event) so apologies for any typos!  My thanks to the RSP for facilitating the day.

Balviar Notay gave an overview of the JISCrte programme to start the day.  There are a fair number of projects in this programme, but while I had heard of some of these projects I’d certainly not heard of all of them.,  Is that a flaw in the projects themselves – or perhaps promotion and awareness wasn’t a core part of their agenda.  Certainly looking around the room today there are very few people present whom are not involved directly in these projects – a bit of an echo chamber/silo problem – or should they be all working closer with UKCoRR?  Balviar did flag up the work of UK Repository Net+ project and it’s innovation zone, something that I think everyone in the UK repository community will be working with increasingly over the nest two years.  RIO Extension – mapping the repository metadata requirements  was flagged up; a project about which I went to a very interesting meeting on Weds with the RCUK, JISC and other people.

Next Marie-Therese Gramstadt was up next talking about eNova which worked on enhancing the MePrints tool.  Interestingly this is an EPrints tool; once again in the UK DSpace repositories feel a bit outside the room.  DSpace is the most popular repository platform in the world, but in the UK the Southampton based EPrints dominates the community.  That is not to say that there are not lessons to take away from this, but they aren’t products that we can directly apply at Leicester.

Interestingly this MePrints appears to offer the functionality for individual researchers (a dashboard of sorts) that I would dearly love to introduce on LRA – essentially Staff Profile pages.

Next Beth Lunt from DMU talked about the EXPLORER project – starting off by talking to their academics and discovering that many of them were unaware of the repository (something I’ve found sadly familiar).  The project then went on to bring about a number of developments for their DSpace repository – although adapting EPrints code isn’t possible as the two systems are not compatible at all.  Part of the upgrade is to KULTERise the repository.  DORA now has a UI that is much nicer than the out of the box DSpace.  Bitstreams in DORA also now have thumb prints of the objects within them, hence you can even see the front page of the PDF.

Interestingly they have improved name authorities but in a way that sounds like it wouldn’t work with a CRIS like we have.  This is a shame as standardising name authorities has long been a holy grail for the LRA.  Indeed one of the things that is clear is that being linked to a CRIS brings with it new advantages in terms of population, but it also introduces considerable limitations in terms of how much development and customisation you can do with the repository.  Given a lot of the projects that I’ve heard about today are talking about repos as single objects not as part of an integrated institutional information infrastructure; this is a bit of a concern.

After tea Jackie Wickham spoke about the RSP Embedding repositories guide and self assessment tool, stressing the importance of sharing the research with the world and raising the Universities’ profile globally.  There are three main ways in which they looked at embedding repositories.  The first one is where it acts as a publication database (e.g. where you don’t have a CRIS like IRIS), the second is like Leicester where a link with the CRIS  exists and finally a third option where the repository is embedded as part of the CRIS (not a satellite system).

Richard Green spoke next about Hydra in Hull, a spin off from the Hydrangea demonstrator project.  The plan was to use this to develop a successor to their Fedora based eDocs repository; which was enabled to be interactive with other systems.  It was launched in Sept 2011 and other unis are taking up the use of the code.  The codebase allows the,m to restrict access across multiple levels (so students, or local or academics or open access) – if unable to access you can’t see it.

William Nixon from Glasgow closed the morning off with an exemplar of embedding repositories with the Enlighten experience.  Noted there’s always a gap between funding the projects and getting the outputs of projects embedded and taken up within repositories workflows.  He stressed getting embedded is about getting stitched into the fabric of the institution culturally, technically and holistically. Embedding seems to be very much about working with administrators, academics, marketing, HR and researchers as a regular activity, not a one off.  Having these relationships is crucial, because it means you are “in the room” when important decisions are made.

Once again William demonstrated a repository that has the author at it’s heart with their own pages, and the ability to retrieve information on their available publications and usage.  Looking at Enlightened journey to being embedded it is easy to pick out the things we’ve done with LRA, but also the things we’re missing still – funding information, feeding profile pages and author disambiguation being key among them IMHO.  William commented that no repository can be supremely successful with only library staff involved on a daily basis; and I can well appreciate that – though there is the daily challenge of getting/keeping other members of the institutions engaged and onboard.

After lunch Robin Burgess was sadly not appearing so no sing-a-long a presentation, but Laurian Williamson filled in talking about RADAR. No, not that radar but the project at the Glasgow School of Art.

“He” was followed by Xiaohong Gao talking about MIRAGE which focussed on archiving of 3D medical images, in two phases – creation to archiving and then from archiving to creation.  This looks like a very interesting project, specially when you consider the potential not just for storing but locating and retrieving three dimensional data constructs from medicine and other disciplines; especially I’m thinking of Physics and Genetics.

Finally Miggie Pickton from Nectar came on to talk about her repository and embedding activity.  She noted she’d made great strides in making the repository the definitive location for research outputs.  One of the highlights of the improvements is to have the KULTURised version of the front page of the repository.  Another key point was that policy is driven by research committee, not the library – for advocacy and academic buy in this is essential.  Interestingly the VC for Northampton has offered the use of his University residence as a venue for the next Open Access week event – something I was awed by, such engagement from such a senior level is simply incredible.

The day finished with a breakout discussion session on embedding where we all exchanged our ideas and reflected on some of the points of the day.

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

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

UKCoRR Summer 2009 meeting pt 2

Posted by gazjjohnson on 18 August, 2009

Continuing on with the UKCoRR day at Kingston University

Integration of Repositories with other systems, Wendy White, Southampton

This session looked at how the repository interacts with all the other systems that an institution uses.  Not just technologies but people as well, the repository can help identify and nurture your star performer academics.  Recognising the role the repository plays as a knowledge management system.  But also as a location for marketing, to tell stories, myths and legends of your institution’s research is a role the repository can play.  Also the repository managers themselves are the star performers that institutions need to hold on to, by recognising them and ensuring their pay and benefits encourage them to stay.

Integration of Repositories with other systems, Morag Greig, Glasgow

This talk aimed to take a more practical overview of the same issue, which started with Morag giving an overview of Glasgow’s repository.  Like Leicester they aimed to join the repository and publications database together.  It was important to develop policies and procedures to enable departments to engage with the repository on an on-going basis.  Started by going out to talk to HoDs and research chair/champions in each department.  Gathered information on their current practices on how they gathered current procedures.  Self deposit for two depts, mediated for large faculties and proxy for most small to medium sized departments.  Issue with materials in PMC going unharvested.

Training sessions were run for administrators (from 30 depts) including the wider context of OA, something which I think is very important.  Even if you are just adding material to a repository as part of your job, it is important you understand why it is important to academics and the institution as a whole; not to mention the global dimension.  Glasgow are planning a large scale import of data going back to 2001, and adding staff number.

Embed, John Harrington, Cranfield

In this talk John explained how his repo emerging from the embedding phase and into the mature phase.  He looked at the problems they initially faced.  Then he moved to look at the various sweeteners they could use to sell the repository and the publication cycle.  Using a model like Leicester (alerts and request) to obtain materials got a low awareness in the academic community.  They concluded that this was an unsustainable model for scaling up, something I agree with.  RAE didn’t help, but elements of bibliometrics raised importance of the repository which they used as a basis for renewed advocacy push.

Adrian Mschiraju, Royal Holloway

Adrian told a cautionary tale about what happens if it people are seduced by bought in systems.  They have bought Equella an Australian developed system for all purposes teaching objects, research publications, data and theses.  14 months of developer time so far to customise for their purposes – however, had to drop their requirements down to a level that eprints could have done on day 1.  [Post-event I spoke to their developer Alison on twitter, who said actually the picture wasn’t quite as bleak as this – and indeed their repository actually offers a lot more functionality]

Susan Miles, Kingston

Susan talked about maintaining momentum with a repository team over time.  They have 7 people who have editorial rights over their eprints server, which is a considerable number for a smaller institution.  However, repository work has to be competed for with all the other competing demands – these are not dedicated members of staff.  As a team distributed over 4 campuses they have been using Sharepoint to draw the team’s activities drawing together.

Finally Mary Robinson, talked about the UKCoRR repository skills set document which has ended up being used around the world.  Dominic talked about the JISC recruitment tool kit for digital repository projects – which frankly was just the sort of basic things you get told at all kinds of recruitment training and didn’t appear to offer much of novel use – JISC reinventing the wheel again? 

Over all this was another very useful day and gathering of people in the rare position of being repository managers (there’s still less than 100 people in this country in this position – so it’s a very small but active community).  I learned a fair bit and let’s hope I was able to share my own experiences with a fair few people.  Let’s hope it’s not 18 months before the next event.  And maybe we can have it North of the M25 (or on the south coast – I’m not fussy!).

Twitter feed from the event.

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

UKCoRR Summer 2009 meeting pt 1

Posted by gazjjohnson on 18 August, 2009

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

Keynote: Bill Hubbard, UKCoRR Can!

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

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

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

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

Theo Andrews, Central funds for open access publishing

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

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

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

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

Event slides are here.

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Final report on Institutional and Subject repositories published

Posted by gazjjohnson on 13 January, 2009

Read the report here:

Jones, C and Darby, R and Gilbert, L and Lambert, S  [2008] Report of the Subject and Institutional Repositories Interactions Study.

Just glancing through the exec summary makes for interesting reading.  A lot of the survey work was conducted with the UKCoRR membership last year and in many respects is a good overview of current custom, practice and cultural drivers that exists in the UK repository field.

I was interested to note that the first of their 7 recommendations was “continued support be given to implementation of national standards for unambiguous identification of authors, funders and higher education institutions”.  Having had a little involvement with REF preparations I know how crucial this step is going to be, and that as LIS staff we’re likely to have a considerable role to play behind the scenes in facilitating this.

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