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.

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