Guest Post: Should repository managers get excited about CRIS?

This guest post is authored by Rowena Rouse, Repository Services Development Manager, Oxford Brookes University. As announced last week, during October 2011 the RSP sponsored ten UK repository staff  ‘buddy visits’ as part of our Open Access Week initiative. Further information available from here

Theme – CRIS and Equella

Here at Oxford Brookes University, we have an institutional repository called RADAR (Research Archive and Digital Asset Repository) This uses Equella Software from Pearson Education, formerly owned by the Learning Edge with its head office in Hobart, Tasmania. Equella has a history in learning repositories so it was only when we learnt that Royal Holloway University London and Coventry University were using it for their research outputs that we decided to take the plunge and buy Equella in January 2009. In two years, we have developed a multi-purpose repository which includes the university’s research outputs, teaching materials with a powerlink through to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Open Educational Resources (OER) and some special collections.

Revving up for the REF

My colleague Steve Burholt (E-learning developer), taking the technical lead has developed a number of metadata schemas and display formats to meet the requirements of a multi-purpose repository. Equella software allows us to heavily customise the look and feel of the repository; for example we have recently added social media “share” buttons to the summary page for each item.

For the purposes of this blog, I am going to concentrate on the Research Archive as this is where all the university’s research outputs will be stored and made accessible. So far we have been concentrating on outputs from 2008 which are going to be considered for the REF in 2014. The University has now been restructured and staff are going to be encouraged to self archive their outputs, with the RADAR team acting as moderators.

Research information @ Brookes

Brookes has some great research going on, from computer vision to Irish poor law and being involved with the outputs makes you appreciate this diversity of this research. Research information is gathered at various stages of the research process but is not accessible via one system which means pulling together information form many different systems which can be very time-consuming and unreliable. I’d been to a RSP event – ROMEO and CRIS (Current Research Information Systems), earlier this year and met with our new Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Knowledge Transfer who seemed keen to investigate the advantages of a CRIS. So RADAR decided to have a day trip to Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) who also use Equella and have been using Atira’s PURE since September 2010.

The Morning

We met with Adrian Joyce, Project Manager for the implementation of PURE and the Repository team (Dominic Tate, Kim Coles and Dace Rozenberga ) at RHUL. Adrian showed us the system, explained the implementation stages and recounted their experiences.

All we need is the data

PURE brings together information from the various systems running at RHUL. It has a REF module which is being developed in conjunction with the REF data requirements and will create all the information required for the REF submission. Dominic Tate who many of you will know from his RSP days is RHUL’s Repository Manager has just secured a new team member whose principal role will be to encourage and facilitate staff to complete their profiles within PURE. They are just about to start a major advocacy campaign, visiting each of the departments. As at Oxford Brookes, the repository at RHUL is used for a number of collections including Early Music Online, these will remain accessible via the repository homepage, however for  research outputs, the fulltext where available will reside in the repository but will be deposited via the academics profile within PURE.

What else can CRIS do?

For RHUL, usability was a key issue in choosing their CRIS. They needed a system that would be easy for academics to use and for them to gain some added value through creating and maintaining their profiles on PURE. The possibility of being presented with the bibliographic details through a direct link with Web of Science* minimises the need for academics to rekey exising information.

For REF managers and senior management then Pure creates some very interesting metrics. These include a snapshot view using traffic light colours of which academics have created profiles along with the publication status of their outputs.

We both had a really useful day, topped by a sighting of one of their most popular alumni, Lenny Henry. Thanks to Dominic, Kim, Dace and Adrian for such a worthwhile trip.

Yes! Let’s get excited.

Author: Rowena Rouse

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RSP and International Open Access Week

Open Access Week logo

Open Access Week will be celebrated this year from October 24th through the 30th.  Open Access Week is an important global event and this year the Repositories Support Project (RSP) have facilitated and sponsored visits between UK repository staff.

Ten members of the UK repository community submitted proposals around open access themes and issues and these visits took place during October. After each visit successful applicants wrote a reflective guest  RSP blog posting, covering what they learnt during the visit, its value to themselves and possibly the wider repository community, and how the visit may change their repository working practices.

During OA Week we will be publishing these guest blogs daily, covering five major themes. The themes are:

  1. Archiving and presenting arts research outputs
  2. Repositories and REF preparation
  3. CRIS and Equella
  4. Mandates and Policies
  5. Repository best practice and management

Later in the year the RSP will be publishing video interviews with all those who took part in these visits.

A huge thanks to all those institutions who hosted these visits, and these include, University of Glasgow, Royal Holloway, University of London, University College Falmouth, University of Bath, University of Edinburgh, London School of Economics, and the University of Leeds.

So don’t forget to follow these blog postings next week and see how the 10 successful applicants got on and how they felt their visit went.

Useful links and resources

Open Access Week Dates Announced

The dates for Open Access Week from 2011 onwards have been announced. From next year OA week will be the last full week of October, so the dates for the next 5 years are:

  • 2011: October 24 – 30
  • 2012: October 22 – 28
  • 2013: October 21 – 27
  • 2014: October 20 – 26
  • 2015: October 19 – 25

With this advance notice there is no excuse for not planning a full programme of events for future OA weeks. 🙂

Open Access week: whats happening in the UK

Last week I asked repository managers in the UK to let me know what they are doing this week to promote open access in their institutions as part of SPARC’s International Open Access week. I’ve had a really good response and I’ve listed below a summary  of activities (in no particular order) – if yours isn’t there please add it as a comment. There are so many events and imaginative projects which will really help to raise the profile of open access. Well done UK repository staff! You can also check out the JISC OA week site for managers and researchers which will focus on a different aspect of OA on each day.

Read more of this post

Google Doodle for Open Access Week 2010?

Open Access Week 2010 will run from 18th to 24th October and in the Centre for Research Communications we’ve been thinking of ways that we can help to promote the event. One suggestion has been to encourage the OA community to lobby Google to create a Doodle for the event. If you’re interested in helping why not join in the campaign by droping an email to