The Glasgow School of Art and JISCrte

My next meeting with a JISCrte project partner took me to one of my favourite cities – Glasgow – where I met Robin Burgess, Research Information Manager at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA).

Mackintosh Library

Copyright © 2011 The Glasgow School of Art. All rights reserved. Image sourced from

The aim of this #jiscrte project is to enhance the interface of the research repository at The Glasgow School of Art, through the development of a new repository – RADAR (Research art design architecture Repository) – using EPrints.

GSA’s current research repository was developed in preparation for RAE2008 and is based on a FileMaker database.  Robin explained that the GSA research repository would be greatly enhanced through the application of EPrints, and some of the benefits include:

  • EPrints will be optimised for REF2014
  • Many of the UK arts institutes use EPrints – interoperability is key
  • Development of a user-friendly repository that can be tailored to the needs of GSA staff

Robin has presented on the challenges of building a repository and progress made thus far, have a look at his presentation at the Repository Fringe in August, available from here.

JISC RIM Projects Event

On Tuesday, I attended the JISC Research Information Management (RIM) Projects Final Event at the Manchester Conference Centre. This showcased the work of the four Strand 2 projects:

  • Brunel Research Under a CERIF Environment (BRUCE) – Brunel University
  • CERIFy – UKOLN and Trinity College, Dublin
  • Measuring Impact under CERIF (MICE) – Centre for e-Research (CeRch), Kings College London
  • Integrated Research Input and Output System (IRIOS) – University of Sunderland

At the risk of stating the obvious, all the projects used CERIF as a means of improving the management of research information.

I really liked the format of the day where, after an introduction from Josh Brown (JISC Programme Manager) who outlined the importance of effective research management and the benefits of CERIF, the projects made a 10 minute pitch to entice us to attend a more in depth parallel session (delegates could attend two of four during the day).

After coffee, I went to CERIFy led by UKOLN and Trinity College, Dublin with the following partners: Aberystwyth University, University of Huddersfield, University of Bath, Queens’s University, Belfast and Thomson Reuters. The project started with the premise that people are not interested in standards but want effective and efficient processes that provide meaningful outputs – they will engage with the standard if it does this. The project began with getting each institution to identify the key RIM business processes and there was a clear consensus for:  pre-award management, benchmarking, measuring esteem and bibliographic data exchange (Incites from Thomson Reuters).  The presenters highlighted that the process of gathering this provided useful insights into the perspectives of different individuals and departments and is well worth any institution carrying out – all the documentation will be made available on the project website.

A decision was taken to focus on Incites and Measuring Impact. During the course of the project, CERIF was used to enable the exchange of information between an institution and Incites with the end result that information such as impact factors and citation data can be pulled into research management systems.

I then chose the IRIOS Project for my second workshop. This has developed a proof of concept demonstrator based on the Universities for the North East Information System (UNIS) platform for a CERIF compliant “grants on the web” system for Research Council (RC) funded projects. The UNIS system is well established and tracks community and business engagement for universities in the North East. The team saw similarities between the core concepts of CERIF and UNIS – Person, Project, Organisational Unit in CERIF and Contact, Project and Organisation in UNIS. The project has provided access to Research Council funded projects in CERIF format – linking grants to publications.

The day was rounded off by two non project presentations. Simon Kerridge from the University of Sunderland outlined the RMAS project which aims to set up a procurement process for cloud based research management and administration modules: Academic expertise, Funding Sourcing, Proposal Management, Costing and Pricing, Customer Relationship Management, Post Award Management. Outputs and Outcomes, Reporting/Submission/Interfaces.  Institutions will be able to source various modules to meet their own needs and complement their existing services and functionality.

The final presentation was by Dale Keenan from the Economic and Social research Council about a project to standardise RCUK reporting systems. The ESRC existing tool has been developed to provide the platform for four of the RCs and will be launched in Oct/Nov this year. RCUK has agreed in principle to move towards a standard system for all RCs within the next 3-5 years.

And why the cat picture? Have you tried looking for images relevant to research information management?

‘Bringing a buzz to NECTAR’ JISCrte Project

NECTAR repository My next visit to a JISCrte project partner took me to the University of Northampton to meet Miggie, Research Support Specialist and manager of the University of Northampton’s open access institutional repository NECTAR (Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research).

NECTAR is a good example of a repository embedded within the research environment of its university and this JISCrte project aims to revitalize NECTAR by implementing a range of new tools, services and procedures and ensuring that NECTAR continues to support the needs of the University of Northampton.

Project progress thus far has been good and includes:

  • Increasing researcher engagement within Schools
  • Redesigning NECTAR to match university branding – embedding it visually within the new university website and branding
  • Initial work on the implementation of the Kultur EPrints Extension
  • Preparation for integration with EThOS

For further details on project progress have a look at Miggie’s presentation she delivered at the Repository Fringe 2011 event in August, available here:

eNova and JISCrte

My next visit to a JISCrte project was to meet the eNova project manager Marie-Therese. The eNova project is led by the Visual Arts Data Service and project partners include the University for the Creative Arts and the University of the Arts London.

The eNova project aims to build on the innovative work of both the Kultivate and Kultur projects to ‘kulturise’ the MePrints profile page tool for the specific needs and behaviours of creative and visual arts researchers.

Two key areas of progress made thus far by the eNova project includes:

  • Producing a user needs requirement
  •  Customising MePrints in order to produce an enhanced tool for research profiles specifically aimed at the needs of arts researchers but applicable to the wider research repository community

The eNova project runs until 23rd December 2011 and project outputs (documents and reports) are all accessible from here.

At the end of the project eNova aim to make the enhanced MePrints profile tool available via the EPrints Bazaar to all users of the EPrints repository platform.

Follow Marie-Therese on Twitter MTG@KultivateProject, where she frequently tweets about #jiscrte

RSP R4R Workshop

On Monday we gathered in London’s British Computer Society’s headquarters to discuss the outputs of the JISC funded Readiness for REF (R4R)  project and Measuring Impact under CERIF project.   Both projects focus on the upcoming REF evaluation which has become the focus for many of us in the repository community, and also for research managers.

Delegates at the R4R workshop enjoying a coffee break

The day began with Richard Gartner, from the Centre for eResearch at Kings College London, introducing us to the R4R project. R4R worked to address issues identified by UK HEI as they prepare for the REF and provide a consistent data model for REF elements that would provide for interoperability. The R4R project has produced a CERIF4REF schema which you can access here. In addition to this they have developed DSpace , Eprints and Fedora  plugins which were all demonstrated.

We also heard form Tahani Nadim from Goldsmiths College, who completed one of the case studies the projects undertook to examine the feasibility of mapping current data and practices to the CERIF4REF schema. Other case study participants were the University of London, Kingston University, University of Reading, University of Leicester, University of the Arts and University of Ulster. The case studies can be accessed here.

Before we got into the details of the Plugins we heard from Prof. Dr. Keith Jeffery, president who gave an excellent introductory presentation to the CERIF data model which underpins both the MICE and R4R projects.  You can find out more about CERIF from Keith’s presentation and the euroCRIS  website.

You can access the slides and notes from our break out discussions on the event webpage.

Hydra in Hull

My next visit to a JISCrte project partner took me to the University of Hull where I met Chris and Richard, the project team working on Hydrangea in Hull (the Hydra demonstrator).

There is a wonderful statue of Philip Larkin (poet and former University of Hull librarian) at the Hull railway station, quite captivating and definitely worth viewing if you ever visit the area. Further information on Philip Larkin is available from the University of Hull archives, see here.

The current repository at the University of Hull is called eDocs  and the Hydra project is developing a new repository for digital materials,  see Hydra in Hull.

The University of Hull is one of the founding partner institutions of the Hydra multi-institutional collaboration and it is hoped that their new repository will facilitate the sharing (openly or on a restricted basis) and preservation of materials for the medium to long-term.

They are using Blacklight as their discovery interface, enabling a single-search interface of the library catalogue and the repository. Further details on Blacklight and Hydra can be found in the links below.

Useful links

  • Hydra in Hull project blog
  • Blacklight – a free and open source Ruby on Rails based discovery interface
  • Hydra Project – a community-driven project “one body, many heads” is part of their vision

If you are interested in exploring more on the open source DSpace software and Fedora framework for building digital repositories then why not register for a free online workshop? It will be held on Friday September 9, 10.00 – 11.00 UK time, further information is available from here.