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.

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