KAPTUR Steering Group meeting, HEFCE, 18th July

View from HEFCE, 12th Floor,
Centre Point, London. Photo: MTG

Key points from the meeting:

  • It was noted that there was diversity among the four institutions in terms of drafting the RDM policies – we can still collaborate and learn from each other – but the approach is necessarily different at each institution.
  • University of the Arts London are really benefiting from their participation in the DCC University Engagement programme; the UAL Project Officer is working an extra day per week on this and as a result has been able to revisit and extend the KAPTUR Environmental Assessment through 20 x 5 minute telephone calls which will be followed up with 1 hour in-depth interviews with visual arts researchers.
  • There was discussion about a definition for visual arts research data and how this might be constraining, but was needed at the same time in order to be able to move forward with the RDM policies. A working definition was presented to the KAPTUR Steering Group 3 months ago in response to questions raised by the UAL working group: http://www.slideshare.net/kaptur_mrd/kaptur-news06
  • Feedback on training/support and the KAPTUR toolkits: recommendation to create KAPTUR videos about visual arts research data instead of hosting workshops at each institution (we already had plans to re-use content from the previous JISCMRD programme e.g. http://www.youtube.com/user/GUdatamanagement). I still think the face-to-face aspect of the workshops would be useful, but maybe there is a way to incorporate shorter sessions and use the videos as part of these? We will discuss at our next project team meeting in September.
  • The Steering Group liked the Figshare interface and thought it would be appealing to visual arts researchers as well as easy to use; there were lots of questions about both DataStage and Figshare.
  • Feedback on Sustainability: recommendation to get an idea of costs of the proposed technical infrastructure to include estimates of staff time required for ongoing support of the systems.

The presentations are available from SlideShare.

The Triumphal Quadriga or Horses of St Mark, facade of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

It was great to welcome Laura Molloy, Researcher at the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII), to the Steering Group meeting. After the meeting Leigh, Laura and I met to discuss the project from the perspective of her role as JISCMRD Evidence Gatherer. As well as discussing impact and gathering evidence about benefits, Laura also came up with the concept of the chariot (KAPTUR project) being pulled by four horses (our four institutions). I really liked this idea of the race and also the need for collaboration to be well-matched in order to make the project successful.


Encountering visual arts research data at EVA 2012

The KAPTUR project was represented at the EVA (Electronic Visualisation and the Arts) 2012 conference on Tuesday 10th July; Leigh Garrett, Director of VADS (and KAPTUR project Director) gave two presentations and a demo on the same day covering both the KAPTUR project and another VADS project – Spot the Difference (on visual plagiarism).

Some links and tweets collected from the EVA conference are available on Storify: http://storify.com/MTG_work/links-and-notes-from-eva-2012-10th-july (N.B. the bias is towards the Tuesday 10th July and the content selection is also reliant upon what was tweeted using the conference hashtag).

The KAPTUR Prezi for EVA 2012 is available here:

Our peer-reviewed published paper is available here: KAPTUR: exploring the nature of visual arts research data and its effective management

KAPTUR at OR2012

With thanks to Robin Burgess, Kaptur Project Officer, The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) for the following blog post.

The theme for the 7th International Conference on Open Repositories was “Open Services for Open Content: Local in for Global out”. There was a rich and varied programme that reflected the current move towards open content, augmented content, distributed systems and data delivery infrastructures.

The conference opened with a variety of workshops about more specialised aspects of repositories, focusing on methods and application as well as support networks and advice, including from the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) and the Repositories Support Project (RSP). Following the workshops the conference split into parallel sessions covering aspects of research data management, digital preservation, sustainability, repository services and open source approaches. These sessions were complemented with focused User Group events looking at DSpace, Fedora, and EPrints.

My main interest at the conference was with the sessions related to research data management and EPrints, relevant to both the KAPTUR project and the repository at GSA (RADAR), which uses EPrints.

Sally Rumsey from the University of Oxford gave an excellent talk on ‘Building an institutional research data management infrastructure’. This gave insight into the processes that need to be considered and adhered to when tackling the concept of research data management; active examples were shared through case studies and diagrams. She also reiterated the importance of getting buy-in from your institution when setting up research data management processes and policies and that training and support needs to be present during all stages of development.

As part of the EPrints User Group session, I presented a paper titled Enhancing the interface of the research repository at The Glasgow School of Art, through the development of RADAR (Research art design architecture Repository) (PDF). The focus of my presentation was to highlight the approach GSA had taken for the development of the new research repository and to explain why we engaged with EPrints. Discussion was held with regard to our move away from a FileMaker database to technology developed for repositories, with particular focus on being able to improve the interface of the repository, develop it in line with the new GSA website and to enhance the user experience (thereby aiming to encourage deposit of research outputs). As something a little different, a poem (PDF) was written and read out to chart the process of change for the GSA research repository!

The conference was quite intense, but very illuminating and I learnt a lot from it in relation or repositories, data management and the importance of being open and sharing knowledge with other institutions.

Overview of OR2012 Edinburgh

With thanks to Anne Spalding, Kaptur Project Officer, University for the Creative Arts, for the following account of OR2012 in Edinburgh.

I was fortunate to attend the OR2012 (Open Repositories) conference in Edinburgh from Monday 9th to Friday 13th July. There were over 450 delegates from 40 countries which provided a glimpse of ORs across the world. The programme was very varied; sometimes it was difficult to decide which session to attend as it was all so good.

Monday 9th July
There were workshops prior to the opening of the conference and with an early start I was in time to listen to the session on ‘Working with Text – Tools, Techniques and Approaches for Data Mining’ (session overview). This gave me much food for thought and it is certainly an area where I need to do more research.

Tuesday 10th July
I chose to go to the workshop on ‘EThOS Interoperability: opportunities and challenges’ (session overview). It was very interesting to see how other institutions are working with and using EThOS to enhance their repositories.

After lunch Cameron Neylon, Director of Advocacy at the Public Library of Science (PLoS) gave a keynote speech on ‘Network Enabled Research: The possibilities, the path and the role of repositories’ Cameron spoke about 3 areas where we need to deliver: quality of service, value for money, and sustainability. Two conceptual changes to be made: the old model is over and filter on the demand side. All embodied in one central principle – think at network scale.

Then Les Carr was timekeeper for 68 one-minute poster presentations, and woe betide anyone who exceeded the allotted time! The whistle was blown on those who over-ran and there was the promise of a drink for those who performed within a minute. This made for an interesting and speedy run through of the posters available during the conference.

After a break for tea the afternoon resumed with 11 Pecha Kucha presentations on ‘Repository Tools and Approaches’. I chose this particular session as it covered metrics, research data management and preservation, all of which are of current interest to me as a repository manager and as one of the Project Officers for KAPTUR. This session included speakers from the UK, USA, Poland and the Netherlands; the session overview includes links to many of the presentations.

Wednesday 11th July
This was an intensive day covering a variety of topics. Below are links to the sessions attended where the abstracts and presentations can be viewed:

Later the same evening the delegates went to the Conference Dinner and Ceilidh which took place at the National Museum of Scotland.  The welcome, venue, dining and dancing were all exceptional and made for a truly wonderful evening.

Thursday 12th July
This was the last day of the conference so it was fitting that the Pecha Kucha morning session was a time for reflection on the lessons learned. The presentations were from repository professionals in Europe and the USA; available via the session outline page.

This was followed by the closing procedures including an invitation to OR2013 to be held on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Peter Burnhill, Director of EDINA and Head of the Edinburgh University Data Library was called upon to sum up the highlights of the conference. The afternoon was given over to user groups and I attended the EPrints sessions. Patrick McSweeney gave an overview of the EPrints Bazaar and there was an opportunity to test some of the apps.

Friday 13th July
This was the final day of the Repository Fringe which ran alongside the OR conference.
The morning was taken up with six presentations from repository practitioners using the EPrints repository platform (session outline 1 and session outline 2).

Three presentations were particularly relevant to my work:

  • ‘IR@NAL: Journey in Green Road OA Publishing’, BS Shivaram, Narayana Poornima CSIR-NAL, India,
  • ‘Enhancing the interface of the research repository at The Glasgow School of Art, through the development of RADAR (Research art design architecture Repository)’ Robin Burgess, The Glasgow School of Art, United Kingdom
  • ‘The Development of Digital Preservation Best Practices in EPrints’ Slavko Manojlovich.

The last session of the day was an overview and demonstration of the EPrints REF2014 plug-in, the University of Glasgow’s work and experience to date in using this, and an opportunity for questions and discussion with the developers.

To conclude I really enjoyed my first international Open Repositories Conference and found it very useful to meet and talk with others in the OR world.

KAPTUR – at the halfway point (09/18)

This is our update for the end of the ninth month:

WP1: Project Management

WP3: Technical Infrastructure

  • The Technical Manager has installed DataFlow’s DataStage onto a local machine and provided a demonstration of this at our project team meeting in July.
  • The Technical Manager has been in contact with Figshare regarding integration with EPrints.
  • The Technical Manager attended OR2012, Edinburgh on 13th July (“The 7th International Conference on Open Repositories”).

WP4: Modelling

  • All institutions are on schedule to have RDM policies approved by Autumn 2012. Although the project team share lessons learned and collaborate on non-sensitive information, it has been interesting to see how different the approach is at each institution, and necessarily so.
  • University of the Arts London (UAL) is working with the DCC Institutional Engagement programme and in the process of drafting their RDM policy.
  • The Glasgow School of Art is scheduled to have a draft RDM policy by the end of July.
  • The Goldsmiths College RDM working group is scheduled to meet towards the end of July to discuss their policy.
  • Members of the University for the Creative Arts RDM working group met on 18th June and discussed the draft RDM policy; the deadline for feedback is mid-July with the next meeting due to take place in September.

WP7: Dissemination

  • The  Project Manager attended the AHRC-funded Digital Transformations workshop on community-powered learning, 21st June.
  • The Project Director and the Project Manager presented their paper at the EVA 2012 conference on 10th July (forthcoming blog post). The peer-reviewed paper has also been published and is available from BCS.
  • The GSA Project Officer gave a presentation about ‘RADAR’ at OR2012
  • The Goldsmiths Project Officer gave a webinar for the Repositories Support Project on 16th July about ‘Advocacy for the Arts‘; this is followed up with promoting KAPTUR at CILIP, today, 17th July.
  • The UCA Project Officer has written a short piece about KAPTUR for the ‘Between the Sheets’ UCA Library newsletter.
  • The UAL Project Officer wrote a short piece for the University Staff Library Services e-Newsletter Summer 2012 (circulated to all staff on 5th July). As part of additional work undertaken through the DCC Institutional Engagement programme, the UAL Project Officer has also undertaken twenty 5-minute interviews with arts researchers which will be followed up with one-hour interviews.
  • Although we missed out on a place at the oversubscribed British Library DataCite workshop on Metadata, the Project Manager has obtained a test account from DataCite in order to investigate the functionality and process of minting DOIs in relation to visual arts research data.

Meeting at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, 2nd July

This, our 9th project team meeting, was a bit of an adventure from the start, as the building is so new its postcode has not been picked up by Google Maps yet! However the venue is easy to find with clear markings from King’s Cross to the King’s Boulevard. Once on the 5th floor, there were spectacular views both inside and outside of the building:

CSM Granary Building, London. Photo: MTG

Key points from the meeting:

  • The Technical Manager provided a demonstration of DataFlow’s DataStage, which has now been installed on a local machine for testing purposes. There was also discussion about Figshare.
  • The UAL Project Officer spoke about DCC’s Institutional Engagement work with UAL.
  • Each Project Officer presented about two externally funded visual arts research projects (forthcoming blog post).
  • Everything appears to be on course for draft RDM policies to be approved at the Autumn Research Committee meetings; Project Officers will give short presentations about their RDM policy work at the Steering Group meeting on 18th July.
  • The Project Manager and Project Officers have collaborated on an A-Z of visual arts research data based on quotes from researchers in the KAPTUR Environmental Assessment report (forthcoming publicity and/or blog post).
  • The Project Manager is working with Angus Whyte from DCC to put together a programme for an event on ‘Selecting and Appraising Research Data’, to take place in September.
  • We discussed the timescales for producing the toolkits and institutional workshops; November was scheduled for the workshops. The Project Manager has been in conversation with Joy Davidson of DCC to find out more about the DCC training materials.

Community-powered #digitaltrans in learning workshop

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Digital Transformations Programme, I attended the Community-powered digital transformations in learning workshop at University College London (21 June 2012).

Collaborative Histories and Community Contributed Collections: Reappraising World War I

– Katharine Lindsay, University of Oxford

Part of the JISC World War One Commemoration Programmes, the University of Oxford is undertaking the JISC World War One (WW1) Open Educational Resources (OER) project titled:
World War One Centenary: Continuations and Beginnings.

Having heard about the use of Flickr to run the Great War Archive as part of the First World War Poetry Digital Archive project (JISC Look-Here! workshop, November 2010) it was really interesting to hear how this work is now spreading internationally. For example, a video is available on Irish national television about the project: http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0315/antiques.html#video

Knitting Off-piste: Online and Offline Opportunities for Learning

– Amy Twigger Holroyd, Keep and Share

Keep & Share is an umbrella name for the fashion, knitting and research activities of designer-maker Amy Twigger Holroyd

It was fascinating to hear about Amy’s PhD research. Her research also touches upon the concept of ‘open‬-knitting’ enabling reflexive learning; working with communities offline and online, such as Ravelry, a knitting community and digital platform.

copper knitted cardigan by Annie Ridd

Copper knitted cardigan by Annie Ridd, circa 2003. © Annie Ridd.
Available from: VADS

Find more ‘knitting’ images on VADS, including scanned PDFs of Victorian Knit books from the Winchester School of Art’s Knitting Collections, vintage patterns, and the London College of Fashion Woolmark Archive.

Because We’re Worth It: Sharing Digitally in Fashion and the Arts

– Dr Alison James, University of the Arts London

Some of the projects highlighted included:


process.arts.ac.uk, an open online resource sharing day-to-day arts practice and research of arts staff, students, alumni and practitioners

The relationship between ‘process’ and ‘research’ in the visual arts is particularly relevant for KAPTUR and we have been following this project with interest (Twitter: @ProcessArtsUAL).

Prior to the KAPTUR project VADS and UCA were also working with UAL on repositories for research outputs, customised for the specialised needs of artistic researchers (Kultur 2007-09; Kultivate 2010-11; eNova 2011). UAL Research Online uses the popular EPrints repository software.

Art Maps: Exploring Art and Place through Mobile Learning

– Dr Rebecca Sinker, Tate

Subsequent to involvement in the Google Art Project (February 2011), Tate is currently working on the Art Maps project (Jan-Dec 2012).

Rebecca showed us a really good video about the m-learning experience of their Art Maps app in use, but this is currently not available publicly (I will update this blog if made available in the future). Some of the points I noted down were:

  • The project was about using artworks in the Tate collections to inspire a journey.
  • Users were given the option to collaborate with others; when they did this it helped with their use of the technology.
  • One user (speaking on the video) commented that using voice recording exclusively on his mobile was good, as the journey then wasn’t interrupted by the technology.

Blog posts about themes covered in the video are available here:

Digital literacy versus digital expertise

Dr Caroline Bassett, University of Sussex

Dr Bassett’s presentation discussed the concepts of ‘digital native’ and ‘digital expertise’ and posed questions such as:

  • Technology is evolving so quickly that can any of us describe ourselves as digital natives?
  • Digital literacy is not enough for people to be creators online, what is needed, is digital expertise.

Dr Bassett also mentioned the JISC-funded project Visitors and Residents: What Motivates Engagement with the Digital Information Environment? (see also relevant blog posts).

The Bentham Project

Dr Melissa Terras, University College London

Dr Terras kindly stepped in at the last minute to replace Sam Strudwick (Amnesty International), and spoke about The Bentham Project at UCL.

The effort to set-up crowdsourcing of the transcriptions was definitely worth it. Dr Terras posed interesting questions about the nature of their particular digital community; the crowdsourcing maybe encouraged by competition between the transcribers (they have a leader board). Statistics have shown that one user has transcribed 32% of the texts so far and another three regular users have done a further 43% between them. She mentioned a useful article on Crowdsourcing in D-Lib (March 2010).

The transcription project uses the Open Source MediaWiki software; the UCL plugins for this are freely available here: http://code.google.com/p/tb-transcription-desk/

Another blog post about this #digitaltrans workshop is available here: Problemshares and other #digitaltrans formations