DSpace workshop, Friday 20 May, Edinburgh

RSP ran an introductory training workshop in Edinburgh on Friday, bringing together a small group of repository practitioners with a range of experience from those wishing merely to fill in gaps in their knowledge to complete beginners.   Although DSpace users are still in a minority in the UK as compared with Eprints, I was surprised to hear that the majority of delegates had not accessed any DSpace training until the RSP workshop.  Our training took place in Edinburgh University Library and, when we weren’t concentrating on our screens,  we enjoyed lovely views over the meadows through the full height widows of the training room.

Our trainers, Rob Ingram and Ianthe Hind, provided us with a thorough introduction to working with DSpace and a good grounding in the basics. In addition to this there was plenty of time throughout the day to have group discussions where delegates shared their experiences and addressed particular issues with answers coming not only from the trainers but also the group.  This provided a really excellent balance for the different needs of the delegates. Towards the end of the day we enjoyed an interesting discussion on the use of statistics in DSpace with general agreement from the room that unique downloads are one of the best measures of success for a repository and also that community by community statistical comparisons can be a useful tool to generate healthy competition between depositing departments and more interest in the repository as a whole. Ianthe also pointed us to Graham Trigg’s talk at OR10 on enhancing statistics  which gives a really good overview of the options available.

One issue that came up for most institutions was the need to integrate with their CRIS. As we get closer to the REF this is an issue that is likely to come up for most repository managers and administrators.  There is work underway exploring best practice methodologies and approaches for this issue for example the JISC funded RePOSIT project, and readers may be interested in attending the upcoming RSP event ‘Repositories and CRIS: working smartly together’   in July this year.

State of the Nation


Photo – State records NSW

State of the Nation – well at least the UK repository bit of it.  Repository staff find it helpful to have information about how others manage and deliver their research repositories and frequently ask questions of the Repositories Support Project or post questions to mailing lists. Questions such as What level of mediated deposit do you provide? and How many staff work on your repository? are common.

At the RSP, we are aiming to support this need by collating some key data about individual institutions. This week, we issued a survey to repository managers asking for information about their repositories, staffing, policies on such things as mediation, full text requirements, preservation etc. We’re also asking for details on how far the repository is integrated with other university systems, for example research management systems.

We’ll then publish the responses on the RSP website – it will be specific to institutions and will not be anonymous. The existingting RSP Wiki will house the data so that individuals will be able to update their own information in the future. It is hoped that it will become a valuable source of information provided by the community for the community and save people time asking similar questions on mailing lists.

The survey invitation was sent to individual institutions so if you think you should have received it and haven’t please do get in touch with us at support@rsp.ac.uk.