RSP Software Survey

In March 2009 RSP ran a successful Software Day at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. To accompany this event we ran a survey of the major repository applications, the results of which can be seen on the RSP site. The survey was very well received and remains one of the most popular pages on the site.

We’re planning another Software Day next year (watch the RSP site for details) but think that the survey itself is overdue for an update given how the repository landscape has developed over the last 18 months.

The survey targets repository software (realistically we’re talking about OAI-PMH compliant applications) capable of storing digital objects, e.g. article full text. If you would like to be included in the survey drop us a line.

IFLA Open Access Satellite Meeting

Chania, Crete, Greece

Well, it’s been another action packed couple of weeks for the RSP team, with Bill, Rob and myself helping out at the excellent Repository Administrator’s training day organised by Jackie yesterday in Oxford.

I’d literally just arrived back from the IFLA Satellite Meeting in Chania, Greece, where I gave a paper on the support networks available to those of us working in the repository profession in the UK, in which I covered the work of RSP and UKCoRR, as well as the WRN and ERiS.

The meeting  (which was held at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute in Chania) was very good, being at the same time useful, interesting, enlightening and tiring.  Delegates met up after the close of the formal programme on Saturday, with meetings and discussions continuing on Sunday and Monday.

For me, I think my main impression was how far advanced we are in the UK, and how lucky we are to have benefitted from the investment that has been made in open access, many delegates from other countries were envious of the resources we can make use of in the UK, as well as the fact that a number of our HEIs are really taking a global lead on OA initiatives.  Conference papers and presentations will be available during the next month or so, and I’ll link to them when they are available.

Other activities from last week included an outreach visit to the University of Bolton to see the sterling work being carried out on their repository and to discuss some strategies to ensure the continuation of their work.

The Team are gearing up for the forthcoming RoMEO API workshop at the Repository Fringe next month, so if you haven’t registered yet then please do whilst spaces are still available!  We’re looking forward to a busy rest-of-August and September…

Chania, Crete, Greece

RoMEO API Workshop, Edinburgh, 1st September

A row of men typing at mail processing machinery

I’m sure that most readers are already very familiar with the SHERPA RoMEO service that is maintained by the CRC to provide details of publisher copyright and self-archiving policies. The service is in the middle of a major improvement programme as described in the RoMEO team’s poster at Open Repositories 2010.

RoMEO also provides an API for machine-to-machine access to the service and SHERPA and RSP are teaming up to provide a workshop on the interface as a pre-event to Repository Fringe 2010. The workshop will introduce the API and the experiences of some of its users before moving on to a discussion of how the improvements to the service may affect the API. This will be an opportunity for interested parties to influence the development of the API and so is essential for anyone who is currently or is considering programatically accessing the service.

The workshop takes place on 1st September at the e-Science Institute, Edinburgh and places can be booked via the RSP web site.

Polar Research tenders for OA publisher

Polar Research is the journal of the Norwegian Polar Institute. It’s currently published by Wiley-Blackwell. It has recently issued a tender for an open access publisher to take over the publication of this journal as reported in the Norwegian Open Access Wiki .  Is this a first? Will there be more? I came across this on the wonderful open access tracking project developed by Peter Suber. If you aren’t already signed up, I’d recommend it.

Preservation of digital materials in sharp focus

Preservation of digital materials has just come into sharp focus. An email I have just received on the ALA ScholCom list from Charles W. Bailey, well known as a digital scholarly communication expert, announces the deletion of an entire open access journal: The Public Access-Computer Systems Review. This journal ran over 9 years, got 4.2 million file requests and today, the University of Houston Libraries have deleted this open access journal from their website. Gone.

They have also deleted archives of discussion lists, newsletters and more. Gone.

And, significantly for the idea of preservation through laissez-faire duplication, it doesn’t look like anyone ever downloaded the archive of the journal, even though the copyright license allowed it.

So, err, gone.

I do hope that some record for this comes out of the woodwork. The Internet Archive might have done something, but even their records can be partial and often just not there: we cannot outsource responsibilities like that. This is a shocking reminder of the need to formalise preservation and get protective policies in place . . .


Update: 3 hours later – the files have now been restored! Phew! Whatever else it demonstrates a fair degree of fragility: will someone now download and archive the content for a backup outside Houston?