OR2010 Developer Challenge

With just a few days left to Open Repositories 2010 in Madrid many people’s thoughts will be turning to the developer challenge. For those of you who are not aware the challeng this year is:

Create a functioning repository user-interface, presenting a single metadata record which includes as many automatically created, useful links to related external content as possible.

While it is fine to work on the challenge beforehand the organisers are providing a ‘developer lounge‘ at the conference venue too. Entries will be presented/demonstrated on Wednesday 7th between 17:30 and 19:00.

One of the aims is to get teams together who are a mix of developers and non-developers so everybody should be able to contribute something useful to the entries.

Paul Walk explains more and provides useful links in his blog.

Planning for Open Repositories 2010

As I’m out of the office on Thursday and Friday of this week, I’m trying to get everything arranged for next week’s Open Repositories 2010 conference in Madrid.   –  I have a number of meetings in my diary already, on top of what is already an action-packed schedule, and I’m sure this is going to be an exhausting week for the whole RSP team.

We do still have some availability though – so if anyone would like to make an appointment to see one of us then please get in touch by emailing support@rsp.ac.uk, or calling 0845 257 6860.  You can meet with us to discuss any aspect of repository start-up, development or management.  Please see our website for further details of what we can offer, or better still, get in touch!


New Springer OA Journals

Interesting to see the launch by Springer of a new range of 12 OA journals. It seems they are leveraging their purchase of BioMed Central a couple of years ago to underpin their new journals with an experienced OA management and production system. This announcement shows that publishers do see a developing need for OA journals which they want to supply. Encouraging news and another step towards more OA, albeit that repositories offer a faster and cheaper route. Read more of this post

REF Event – King’s College London 25-06-10

I attended Impact in the context of the REF at King’s College London on Friday, which made for an interesting and informative conference.  After a welcome address by Dr Alison Campbell, Dr David Sweeney gave the audience the lowdown on the REF, which by all accounts is continuing largely as planned.  When probed about any changes relating to the change of government, he responded that nothing had changed as of yet.

After that, Graeme Rosenberg outlined how impact was planned to be assessed in the REF, but much seems to be dependent on the outcomes of the REF pilots, which are yet to be revealed.  Dr Claire Donovan of the Australian National University followed with a highly informative presentation about the Australian experience of attempting to measure research impacts, but stressed that this project was never put into practice, interestingly – because of a change in the governing political party.

After a break we listened to interesting feedback from three of the universities involved in the REF pilots, namely Oxford, York and Glasgow.  Different approaches and different experience, as one might expect from such different institutions.

Next followed an interesting session, talking from the viewpoint of two of the impact panel chairs.  Noting that the experiences of the English and the Medical panels were very different, I’m sure that the pilots have given HEFCE plenty to think about.  A question from a repository manager relating to statistics and their importance revealed a lack of awareness of the statistical capabilities of repositories amongst the panel members.

After lunch we broke into groups looking at Clinical Medicine, Earth Systems, English, Social Science and Physics, before rounding up with an update on the RCUK Research Outcomes Project.  Overall this was a very well organised and worthwhile event, although it would have been nice (and possibly more practically useful) had it been timed to coincide with the results of the impact pilots.  Still, in these politically and economically turbulent times, anything could happen at any time.

Installing MePrints on Windows

Image of a face peeping over washing drying in front of a window

MePrints is an extension to the EPrints repository software that adds functionality for personal home pages for users with profile information and details of uploaded documents, most popular eprints etc.

The MePrints documentation is quite *nix centric but I have found that it is not impossible to get the extension running under Windows. Doing so requires installing a tool to process patch files and a small tweak to the MePrints code. You should also be comfortable with running programs and scripts using the Windows command prompt.
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Another action-packed month at the RSP…

Welcome to the RSP Blog!!

Phew, June’s been an action packed month, and it’s not over yet!  Firstly there was the Summer School, at which we were blessed with glorious weather, fantastic speakers and a great level of delegate participation.  The week after that it was off to Manchester to attend the ARMA annual conference.  That was followed by an outreach visit to the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.  Last week we attended the JISC event at Universities UK to launch Alma Swan’s report into the economics of open access, followed by the launch of ARRO, Anglia Ruskin’s new Repository.  On Friday I’m off to the REF event at King’s College London.  Next week it’s back to RSP HQ followed by some well-earned annual leave.  Then of course it’s July and off to Madrid for Open Repositories 2010

It was with great pleasure that I returned to my desk to see that registrations are rolling in for our forthcoming training event for Repository Administrators.   Many institutions have a number of people working on their repositories and I think it is important that everyone involved is given adequate training, the opportunity to build professional networks and knows the background to why it is they are doing this work.

Other events in planning include a one-day training/professional briefing session on open access for librarians, and a possible session for researchers which may be co-organised with the fantastic team at RIN.

Well, I mustn’t go on as there’s plenty to be getting on with, and I’m up to my eyes in stuff to do forthe RSP and for UKCoRR.   I hope you enjoy our blog and find our posts useful and informative!

P.S. I was browsing Flickr to get an image to accompany this post and found this interesting image.  It’s not quite what I was looking for but Flickr is basically a repository and it reminded me of the serendipitous nature of browsing repositories.  Not wishing to be morbid, but I think it also bears a timely reminder of the dangers of not investing in information for the future. :o)



Regretfully, I am not able to attend the CETIS event on OER that is taking place in Glasgow on 22nd June. While the event is focussed on OER and learning object systems it will touch on many elements that will be familiar to developers and administrators of repositories in general. In particular there looks to be a focus on finding an using objects from repositories, drawing on the work of the ICoper project. Interoperability tools such as Atom/RSS feeds and OAI-PMH will form a major part of the event.

The day will be hands on with developers showing and sharing code and working together to sets the interoperbility of their platforms live. The organisers will record the event via their wiki and twitter (#cetisgath).

At RSP we’d be interested to know if this type of event would be of interest to the repository community, or do we tend to rely on the big vendors to provide this functionality for us?

The economic case for open access

Yesterday, I attended a JISC/UUK event at Woburn House entitled: “Research impact and operational efficiencies: The costs, benefits and implications for universities of open access to research outputs”. Evidence was presented on the business case for open access publishing and repositories. The Houghton Report last year identified significant sectoral savings of over £100 million plus benefits of up to £170 million possible from the adoption of Open Access – , but it was not clear of the implications for individual institutions. What is the balance of cost and benefit for research-led institutions? Does the size of an institution alter the projections? JISC recently commissioned Alma Swan, from Key Perspectives Ltd to develop an economic model to help universities calculate the costs and benefits of different modes of scholarly communication for their institutions.

Photograph by biblioteekje, Flickr

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Installing EPrints on Windows

Atmospheric photograph of a bearded man with his hand raised in front of a bookshelf

EPrints provide a Windows installer for their product. However, because it is a Perl based web application it cannot be installed by running this installer file alone. There is a set of required software that is somewhat outside what might be considered the ‘normal’ range for Windows. Part of this includes running the Apache web server. If the machine on which you are intending to run EPrints has other applications that depend on the IIS web server then we would recommend choosing a different server for EPrints and, preferably, a Linux platform. If Linux is not an option and the server you are using does not run IIS (or you are comfortable with running Apache alongside IIS on different ports) then this article, in conjunction with the official EPrints documentation may prove useful.
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