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.
The following blog post has been written by Anne Spalding, Kaptur Project Officer, University for the Creative Arts, who attended the event in her role as Repository and Digitisation Officer for UCA Research Online.
Disclaimer: The views and comments expressed here are the author’s interpretation of events. See further information http://www.rsp.ac.uk/events/autumn-school/
Day 1 Monday 7th November 2011
I left home on Monday morning in eager anticipation of the RSP Autumn School at Miskin Manor near Cardiff. Three hours later I arrived ready for lunch and keen to start absorbing information on Open Access (OA) as well as meeting up with colleagues.
After an ice breaker activity of ‘autograph bingo’ where all the delegates found out more about each other, David Prosser, Executive Director of RLUK gave the keynote address on ‘Bringing the emphasis back to OA’. It is encouraging to note that over the last decade the number of institutional repositories (IRs) has increased. However there are still barriers and uncertainty in the area of IPR. Growth in mandates has been rapid and mandates from funders have a key role to play in encouraging authors to deposit their work in IRs. David left us with the thought that we should not only be looking at UK developments OA but to Europe and beyond.
Sarah Molloy and Marie Cairney gave two practical experiences and perspectives on working with and developing IRs. The former expressing the view that advocacy about OA is tough and to keep momentum is going to be hard work. In spite of this it is vital to keep up the momentum and engage with researchers. Marie provided us with an insight into how OA works at the University of Glasgow. Key to success is publicising your efforts and showing the community what is going on with the IR.
Day 2 Tuesday 8th November 2011
The first half of the morning dealt with how statistics and their analysis can be used to promote IRs. Niamh Brennan urged us to ‘paint a picture’ and ‘tell a story’ with business intelligence and to make this visual. This was then followed by Robbie Ireland and Graham Triggs demonstrating the reporting features in Eprints, DSpace and Google Analytics. Jane Plenderleith and Theo Andrew via the wonders of Skype led a workshop on what we, as the IR managers would like from a national integrated and shared service for UK repositories.
During the afternoon there were updates on JISC funded projects, the RSP embedding guide – a new tool which is about to be launched, plus an update on other RSP projects. Robbie Ireland reported on how Glasgow is promoting OA in institutions and Laurian Williamson on the seven projects which are a part of the JISC RTE (Repository Take up and Embedding) programme. Josh Brown rounded off the afternoon with a workshop on demonstrating the benefits of OA.
Day 3 Wednesday 9th November 2011
Willow Fuchs gave an account of the findings of the Research Communications Strategy on Academic attitudes to Open Access and Repositories. One point raised was that as libraries do such a good job on providing a seamless service regarding access to information that users are led to believe all the information is free. It was suggested that perhaps libraries should have ‘no access’ weeks! This was followed by Bill Hubbard who highlighted the differences between weak and strong OA. IRs are currently operating in a complex environment providing many services, so are there too many goals for too few resources? What is our priority? Current Research Information Systems (CRIS) can be seen as an opportunity to return the emphasis of IRs to full text OA with the CRIS dealing with the bibliographic records. The final activity was a workshop designed to generate ideas for short, medium and long term goals for IRs.
As I left the conference re-focused, re-energised and re-motivated I felt privileged to have been a part of this remarkable group of people. I now have a long ‘to do’ list, plenty of food for thought and several ideas on how to move forward.