Building a successful national network: how we did it in the UK and where we’re going

The Repositories Support Project is hosting a workshop on “building a national network” at the Open Repositories 2012 (OR2012) conference, on Monday July 9th, 1:30pm. This workshop will showcase research repositories in UK higher education. It would demonstrate how widespread the network is, how coordinated the UK is as a community, what the Repositories Support Project has done to encourage this, the role of United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories and what JISC has done in terms of a national approach to support and development.

Delegates from outside the UK will have the opportunity to get an in depth understanding of the repository network in the UK and also to talk to repository staff about their experiences.

Workshop outline

  •   Introduction by JISC to the programmes which have supported repository development over the last seven years and to future plans for repository development and support in the UK – including the UKRepositoryNet+ service.
  • Examples of JISC funded Support projects: SHERPA and RSP
  • Support for institutions: the University of Glasgow case study
  • The role of UKCoRR (United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories)
  • There will then be a number of concurrent sessions where UK staff will use their institutions as a case study to engender discussion about what can be achieved. They will focus on two main themes:
    •  The integration of research repositories with university systems, processes and policies especially those connected with research management.
    •  Projects and initiatives to promote the repository within the institution in order to increase the deposit of full text items. This will have multi-disciplinary focus and include arts and humanities content as well as STEM subjects.

Register here

Contact: Jackie Wickham [Jacqueline.wickham@nottingham.ac.uk], RSP Coordinator, tel:0115 8466389

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Scholarly Communications: New Developments in Open Access

On the first day of June, the Wren room, at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), was filled since early in the morning with librarians, repositories specialists, research officers and copyright consultants, who came to attend the Repositories Support Project (RSP) event on scholarly communications and open access.

Photo of the Wren room balcony during the tea/coffee break

During the event, a great number of delegates were active in Tweeting, producing a high traffic, as it is captured in David Clay’s story. All eight presentations explored issues related to scholarly communication and open access and demonstrated innovative projects and ways of disseminating research results.

For those who were not able to attend, all presentations were videotaped and can be viewed online. In addition, two excellent blog posts, one from Stuart Lawson and another one from Neil Steward provide more details about the speakers’ points. For a quick look on the event details and the recorded presentations you can also check our storify story.

UK RepositoryNet+ – a new infrastructure for UK Repositories

A guest post by Andrew Dorward from UK RepositoryNet+

UK RepositoryNet+ is a socio-technical infrastructure supporting deposit, curation & exposure of Open Access research literature. The aim of the UK RepositoryNet+ project is to increase the cost effectiveness of repositories of such literature.  It will do this by offering a sustained and well-used suite of services that enable repositories to operate more cost effectively.  Specifically UK RepositoryNet+ will:

  • scope and deliver repository and curation services via a production environment that offers economies of scale and scope
  • set up a production environment for repository shared services which works closely with the proposed innovation environment
  • provide market research/ intelligence, quality assurance, business case and sustainability planning to support the project.

Sustainability planning is a key outcome, operating at several levels. Institutional support of repositories ultimately requires that they meet institutional objectives – for example, embedding institutional repositories through integration with university research support offices, thereby to ensure compliance with Funders’ mandates and submission to the Research Excellence Framework. The central task for RepositoryNet+ is to provide sustainable infrastructure with service-quality components that assist cost-effective ingest, quality improvement and continuity of access for repository content.

The RepNet project has had a busy 3 months since March, starting with the selection of service providers for Wave One functionality, and the start of development.  Following our recommendations to the JISC Oversight group in January, work has been commissioned with our Services and Innovation Partnership Group (SIPG). This currently comprises Mimas, the University of Nottingham Centre for Research Communications, EDINA and UKOLN. Mimas will be providing benchmarking and reporting functionality through the development of IRUS-UK from a demonstrator to a full service. Nottingham contribute help with deposit through providing information on funder and publisher’s policies through the RoMEO and JULIET databases, while EDINA enable deposit into institutional repositories with the R-J Broker and Organisation and Repository Identification services. UKOLN will be responsible for the Innovation Zone, which will be used as an incubation site for potential new services.

Following a round of workshops in April, we have received business proposals for provision of services, and expect to have these finalised by the end of May to allow funding to kick in and development to kick off in June.

This will provide the first wave of services to be officially launched at OR12 in July, when we will showcase the service to users.  We will be presenting a paper on the RepNet project at the main conference, and will also be running a workshop on the morning of Tuesday 10th July with the SIPG and prospective users. We hope to gain some insight into new services needed as part of our Wave 2 set of components, so would welcome attendance and input from UK-CoRR and RSP.

Further research on user requirements on search functionality has been commissioned from Key Perspectives Ltd.  Their report, due in July, will help decide whether to further invest in a dedicated search tool or in improving repository metadata to be indexed by commercial providers.  Further research on the requirements of research information managers was undertaken by Glenaffric and delivered in April.

Other external projects that will influence the future direction of the RepNet service and Wave 2 components include the RIOXX work to develop an application profile for IR systems to support an extended metadata set to encompass funding data and the UKRISS project on research information management.

More details on the RepNet project can be found on our production website at http://www.repositorynet.ac.uk/ and this presentation: RSP Update on RepNet May 2012

For more information please contact the RepNet Business Manager, Andrew Dorward at andrew.dorward@ed.ac.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Promoting open access (OA) scientific publication practices to health sciences librarians, researchers and practitioners

The Network of Collaboration Between Europe & Latin American-Caribbean (NECOBELAC)  countries  is a project that aims to promote open access publishing in Europe and Latin America. The project is sponsored by six institutions; Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Italy, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) in Spain, University of Nottingham in the UK, Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde (bvs) in Brasil, Universidad Nacional De Colombia  in Colombia, and Universidade do Minho in Portugal. In the past, these partners have developed a collaboration scheme and spurred enthusiasm and interest about the open access publishing options in the scientific community of both continents.

Due to the variety of the scientific writing practices in Europe and Latin America, the NECOBELAC project works in the two geographical areas and spreads the word about the publishing options enabled by the information and communication technologies (ICTs) in relation to open access. The project has established two different types of training activities; the first (T1) is a training course where the participants are expected to become trainers in their affiliated institutions and educate others on the available open access publication practices. The second (T2) includes workshops or meetings that aim to replicate activities and develop wide open access advocacy strategies. The success of the NECOBELAC project stems from the interrelation of the activities that take place in the two continents, and the bidirectional approach that is followed to spread best practices and strategies both in relation to the teaching styles and the implementation of advocacy plans for open access.

Read more of this post

Workshop report part two : meeting the disciplinary challenges in research data management planning

As mentioned in my previous post I attended the JISC Managing Research Data (#jiscmrd) workshop on ‘meeting the disciplinary challenges in research data management planning’ last week. It was a well attended event with a packed and interesting programme, covering a range of research data management planning issues for different subject disciplines.

All the presentations are now available and are well worth exploring. In my previous post I covered DATUM in Action, DMSPpsych, and REWARD, and now I will provide a brief outline of two of the remaining projects.

MaRDI-Gross – research data guidance for ‘big science’. Presented by Norman Gray, he explained that this project aims to provide guidance for the strategic and engineering developments of data management and preservation plans for ‘big science data’. The context was described as:

Big money, big author lists, big data, big admin, and big careers

Norman outlined the challenges of data management planning and preservation for ‘big science’ multi-institutional collaborations and talked about how important ‘tone’ is and don’t necessarily think that ‘data sharing’ is a given, not everyone wants to share their data.

The project team have made the first version of their document on ‘DMP Planning for Large Projects ‘available for public comments, comment to be made by 13th April. The plan is available from here.

In his presentation on History DMP, Chris Awre, University of Hull, described how this project was stimulated by a specific academic need. Matt, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of History had wanted to store his data in Hull’s digital repository, Hydra in Hull. Matt explained that he had two major problems: 1) he wanted the data to be made available to the public and b) he wanted his data to be located in a secure environment. The DMP remedied both of these problems and he said that he found the whole process straightforward.

Issues discussed included using the DCC checklist as a starting point and refining and re-phrasing it for a history focus, a DMP must meet the needs of the department and infrastructure, how linked data could contribute to data management, and ways of providing better support locally.

All the presentations from the event are available here.

Workshop report part one: meeting the disciplinary challenges in research data management planning

I was fortunate to attend the JISC Managing Research Data (#jiscmrd) workshop on ‘meeting the disciplinary challenges in research data management planning’, which was held in Paddington, London last friday. It was a well attended event with a packed and interesting programme, covering a range of research data management planning issues for different subject disciplines.

Image courtesy of Dave Patten http://www.flickr.com/photos/davepatten/

Image of Paddington Basin courtesy of Dave Patten's Flickr photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/davepatten/

The morning session consisted of 8 presentations from the JISCMRD Research Data Management Planning projects showcasing project progress and a wide range of  innovative ideas and tools. The main focus of the afternoon sessions was the DCC’s data management tool DMP online and included a demo of Version 3 of the tool which is likely to be launched in April 2012.

I think the presentations will be made available online shortly (will link to them once they are available). They are now available from here. Below are some of the highlights that I took away from the event which gave me lots to think about. As so much was covered during this event I thought it would be easier to publish two blog postings on this event, the second one will be published tomorrow….[Friday 30th]

DATUM in Action this project led by the University of Northumbria supported health research staff on an EU project to plan and implement RDM. Their interim outputs included a data requirements questionnaire, a DMP template, RDM roles and responsibilities, a fileplan for the research project’s shared drive, folder and file name guidance, and information security guidance. They hope that the guidance they have produced could be used by other HEIs.

DMSPpsych this project led by the University of Sheffield aimed to provide practical advice and guidance on data management planning and storage for psychology.  Richard Plant delivered an excellent presentation and explained how their guidance and their one-stop-shop RDM website attempts to answer some of those frequently asked questions from researchers, for example:

Why bother with rdm? How can you help me? What is ‘metadata’? ?Why/how do I back-up my data?

The project team also made good use of the DCC’s DMP Online tool to construct the Wellcome fellowship RDMP and also set up a Sharepoint repository for DClinPsy trainees. Further information on project outputs and activities can be found on their blog.

REWARD (Researchers using Established Workflows to Archive Research Data) this collaborative project was led by the  UCL Institute of Archaeology, UCL Library Services and Ubiquity Press and it examined ways to use familiar workflows to encourage the archiving of research data using the UCL Discovery institutional repository.

The researchers were introduced to the Digital Curation Centre’s DMP Online tool, and then asked to make their data openly available in the institutional repository via publishing a data paper in the Journal of Open Archaeological Data (JOAD).

Some interesting observations from this project  included the possibility of a ‘digital divide’ where it was easier to engage with early career researchers, many of whom were more open to sharing and the difficulties in discussing the ‘broader’ relevance of their research. On a positive note many researchers were willing to share and citation is an added incentive. It was also suggested by the Brian (the REWARD project manager) that a DMP Online tool for PhD students would be beneficial.

To be continued….

Japan and UK in agreement

In January, I wrote a post about my visit to the Digital Repository Federation in Japan. We wanted to formally mark the visit as the beginning of an ongoing relationship for our mutual benefit. So we agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding – we also invited UKCoRR (United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories) to be a partner.

The Memorandum includes a commitment to

  • sharing experience and expertise
  • inviting and possibly sponsoring representatives from partners to participate in RSP and DRF events
  • joint efforts to seek funding and/or support

It is intended that forms the basis for future cooperation. The RSP and the DRF have submitted a joint poster proposal to Open Repositories 2012 about the visit and the memorandum.