Repository management – an emerging profession in the information sector

This is the title of a paper I’ve had accepted for Online Information 2010. I’ll be talking about the background of repository managers in the UK, the skills required, professional networks (e.g. UKCoRR) and support services such as the RSP, WRN in Wales and ERIS in Scotland.

Yesterday I posted an e-mail to repository staff inviting them to take part in a short survey, the results of which I’ll use in my paper. I was thrilled (not an exaggeration) to see that I had 42 responses by 5pm. Thank you repository people!

If anyone in the UK didn’t see the post and would like to participate in the (very short) survey, I’d be really grateful.

Installing DSpace on CentOS 5

Section of an image of a display of scientific photography by Thomas Smillie

Installing DSpace is a reatively long and involved process due to the requirement to build the software using Maven and Ant. The installation is additionally complicated if you want to proxy DSpace through Apache, which will be probably the case if you wish to run any other web software on the server and don’t want to have to enter port numbers to access DSpace. This article will step through the installation process on CentOS 5.5 although some elements with be relevant to other linux distributions and Unix-like OSes.

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Google Doodle for Open Access Week 2010?

Open Access Week 2010 will run from 18th to 24th October and in the Centre for Research Communications we’ve been thinking of ways that we can help to promote the event. One suggestion has been to encourage the OA community to lobby Google to create a Doodle for the event. If you’re interested in helping why not join in the campaign by droping an email to

Technical themes from OR2010

Chemical aparatus on a bench

Open Repositories 2010 wrapped up on 9th July. This post summarises some of the main technical themes from the conference.

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Whatever happened to the Names Project?

That’s a question I’ve been asked a few times since I started work at the RSP in March. So I thought I’d find out! The JISC funded project began in July 2007 and is a partnership between the British Library and Mimas. It aims to uniquely identify individuals and institutions involved in research in higher education in the United Kingdom. Phase 1 investigated the potential and requirements for a Name Authority Service and developed a prototype. Phase 2 (March 2009 – February 2011) is expanding the prototype into a pilot service and looking at future options as a service. For a basic summary, there’s a good post on the Mimas blog.

The challenge is aptly illustrated in the following slide:

CC Attribution-ShareAlike, Amanda Hill and Dan Needham, Mimas

Work in the current phase involves testing matching algorithms; reviewing data structure; updating data mappings for revised and new standards; and collaborating with potential data providers and Names users. It is in this latter capacity that the project is asking for help from the repository community in the UK.

They have launched a survey today which aims to find out about the control of names in repositories and ways in which names are matched as well as services which might be useful for repository managers. It’s a good opportunity to influence the shape of a potential Names service in the UK.

To keep up to date with further development see the project website and blog.

OR10 – Madrid

Well, it’s Friday already and the 5th International Conference on Open Repositories is starting to draw to a close.  It’s been an excellent conference with an exceptionally full programme, starting at 9.30 each morning, with sessions running until 7 or 8pm, and a full social programme to contend with after the meetings end!

With Madrid sizzling in the mid to high 30s, there has been no problem encouraging the 200+ delegates to participate in the presentations, user-groups and workshops!  Special thanks should go to the organizing team and the staff at the comfortably air conditioned Palacio de Congressos, with its delightful Miró  murals, which is located directly opposite  Real Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. The programme has been both stimulating and motivating.

This community of repository professionals is truly global, and although each country has different priorities and ways of doing things, our overall aims.  It is really fantastic to be able to share experiences with a group of similarly motivated professionsals from all corners of the world.  The RSP (and colleagues from RoMEO, OpenDOAR, and RCS) have had the opportunity to develop some relationships with a number of international partners.  Of all the meetings I have participated in, I was particularly pleased with discussions with colleagues from CAIRSS in Australia and (with my UKCoRR hat on) the international COAR partnership.

The conference dinner was quite literally a winner, with the World Cup semi-final match between Germany and Spain being shown to an enthusiastic crowd, and of course Spain emerging as victors.  RoMEO was also a winner, gaining second prize for best poster.

Well, I must grab a coffee before dashing to the next session, and I’ve certainly got plenty to think about over the weekend and plenty to do to follow up when I get back to the office next week…