Fedora UK and Ireland User group meeting

I’ve just come back from Oxford where I’ve been presenting some early findings from the project to a group of Fedora users from across the EU (plus a few from the States and Australia). I was invited to come and speak to the meeting by organiser Chris Awre as part of the Duraspace initaive called the Scholars Workbench community which has been established to;

‘undertake its own scholarship in this area. It will gather existing information on how scholars use and generate information, and how they manage it, capturing experience that can be shared.’

I felt that the presentation I gave was a bit of a curve ball for the attendees, as there was no techncial content, but I felt it was a good opportunity to find out how much knowledge there was outside of the Scottish HE sector about the research pooling initatives in Scotland, and how successful they have been. I have been suprised in the past about how scant this knowledge is, and given the questions I answered during the lunch break after the presentation, it seems that this is the case.

The general thrust of the presentation, which can be found here on Slideshare, was to describe the context of the project, position reserach pools and then to speak a little about the intial observations that we’ve made.

These observations centered around drivers that they have for recording details of the reserach produced from within the pool for purposes of reporting, administration and measurement.  I also commented on the very strong sense of community that the pools have developed, and how this could be a very valuable asset from the point of view of gaining buy in from the members into depositing their published (and potentially unpublished) outputs to support collaboration and knowledge transfer.

So, overall, a good opportunity to provide some good background to a lot of well known folks in the repository world.


ERIS Project Survey of Curation and Preservation policies across Scotland’s HEI

The ERIS Project has today launched a survey designed to establish the current level of curation and preservation policies in place across the repository landscape in Scottish HEI.

The survey can be found at https://www.survey.ed.ac.uk/eris_rm and we would be most grateful if you could find the time to complete it. It will remain open until 17:00 on 27th November.

The project has invited members of the Scottish Repository Managers group, the Scottish Consortium of University & Research Libraries (SCURL) and the Higher Education Information Directors (HEIDs) to complete the survey. We welcome multiple responses per institution.

To help respondents review the survey prior to completion, we have made a copy of the survey text available for printing/download via our Scribd account.

ERIS/SCURL Repository managers event

National Library of Scotland - Causwayside Building

Image attributed to: Maniacyak (Flickr) Some Rights Reserved.

Repository Managers Event

The ERIS Project and SCURL are organising a joint workshop meeting on the 24th September at the Causwayside building of the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh. The intention is to bring together key stakeholders, repository managers and digital curation experts, at a practical focused event to talk together and share perspectives, requirements, problems and solutions surrounding the issue of digital curation policy.

The workshop is part of the ERIS Project’s goal of producing collective recommendations for the next steps for repository managers in enabling the provision of practical, focused support, services and tools for the curation of their digital content.

Additionally, the workshop should further repository managers’ understanding of how to implement strategies and processes related to digital preservation and curation.

At the event the organisers will be discussing a survey which is being distributed on behalf of the ERIS project on institutional issues of curation policy, and will use the survey as a basis for discussion.

Benefits of attendance

  • Learn about the ERIS Project, its goals and objectives;
  • An opportunity to share your curation and preservation issues, (concerns, wishes, solutions) with peers and experts;
  • To gain insight from other repository managers on how they are approaching digital object curation on different platforms;
  • To gain some tips from fellow practitioners on what works for them;
  • To share your expertise with the repository community.

Programme (draft)

9:15am Arrivals & Coffee

9:40am Welcome and Introduction  (10 mins)

10am Introduction to the ERIS Project (20 mins)

10:20am ‘Fresh’ update on Digital Curation/Preservation activity from the Digital Curation Centre (20 mins)

Comfort Break (10 mins)

11am Facilitated discussion on ERIS Digital Curation Survey (1.5 hrs)

12:30pm Lunch: Networking opportunity


For further information on this event, and to confirm attendance, please contact Jill Evans on 0131 623 3940 email:  j.evans@nls.uk

http://scurl.ac.uk   The SCURL Service Development Manager post is
jointly funded by SLIC and the NLS.

Repository Fringe 2009

Image Attribution; Jim Downing, July 20th 2009. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimdowning/3772128216/

Image Attribution; Jim Downing, July 20th 2009. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimdowning/3772128216/. Some rights Reserved; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB

ERIS had a recent outing to the Repository Fringe event,  a most enjoyable mix of people engaged in all forms of repository engagement and an informative few days overall.

In terms of project involvement – I presented my first ever Pecha Kucha session which basically involved delivering 20 slides, with only 20 seconds allowed for each slide.  It was an interesting experience preparing for it, and it certainly focuses the mind! That said, I’m not sure how much anyone would have got out of it, and as ever, if rushed I’m not the best at this sort of thing.

For me personally, the best presentation was on the use of marketing techniques to support the promotion of research outputs from Joyce Lewis of Southampton.  The presentation was entitled “Marketing and Repositories – Tell me a Story” I don’t have a link unfortunatly for the presentation or any more details other than to look at the datashare blog entry on the RF Pecha Kucha sessions

Other highlights for me were the round table sessions on day 2 of the meeting. We had three topics for consideration, one on the practical impact of OA mandates at institutions, one on data repositories and another on where IR’s will be in 5 years time. Rather than go into any huge detail, I’ll point you towards the excellent summaries posted at the DISC-UK datashare blog which were put together by Nicola Osborne, who is the Social Media Officer based out of EDINA.

I also had a useful premeeting with folks from the Repository Support Project and the Welsh Repositories Network, ahead of our more formal meeting in September about how we as a tripartite group might be able work together. More on that later.

Pictures of the event are available on Flickr

Planning progress

Well, there are a couple of updates on the project to tell you about.

Andy from JISC has ‘kindly’ posted the link to the 30 second introduction to the project that I gave to the Inf11 and VRE start up meeting a few weeks ago. I hate seeing myself on video, not least when its a very rushed presentation. Hey ho.

Here’s the link if you can bear it!

Other things of note;

The first draft of the project plan was successfuly delivered to the project partners for review on Friday of last week, and I’ve set a target for the sign off at the end of July.  Fingers crossed we won’t have to do too much in the way of re-work now.

Next stage on from that is going to be the full initiation of all the workpackage projects – going into some detail on the scoping of actvities and agreeing what we can realistically achieve with the resources we have and the timeframes we have set.

We’ve also started work on the full project website, which will be the supporting tool for our survey work with researchers, repository managers and other project stakeholders.  The intention is to use Buddypress to do this, as it incorporates the powerful functionallity of WordPress with additional social networking tools so we can use it to bring these stakeholder groups together.  I will let you know more as it happens.

I’ve currently scheduled a launch date for end September 2009.

JISC Inf11-VRE start up meeting

JISCcolour23I’ve just returned from attending the JISC Information Environment and VRE start up meeting, held  at the  Uni of Leicster July 7/8th 2009.

In summary, it was a very positive meeting – primarily aimed at explaining the JISC parent programmes  and also providing some useful hints and tips for project managers.  The 1 and 1/2 day event was pretty well attended by JISC newbies and veterans with the first half day aimed at new project managers and the second day describing the programmes and then a number of workshops covering areas such as communication, sustainability, evaluation and user engagement.

The second day started off with a particularly challenging requirement to present a summary of the project in no more than 30 seconds. This is not easy, and particularly for a project as broad as ERIS. The presentations were all video recorded and will be made availabe on the JISC project pages as soon as they have been sorted.  The presentations were varied, powerpoint slides banned, and a few poetic souls came up with some very imaginative approaches, making us boring people feel very innadequate….

Personal highlights for me were a number of very interesting discussions around benefits realisation management, on evaluation in general and I particularly enjoyed the all too brief user engagement session presented by Neil Chue-Hong from omii-ac.uk

However, without question the most valuable actvity was the networking. We had ‘suggested’ people to talk to, orgainsed by the JISC programme managers.  This was done in order to identify areas of the projects that had potential overlaps, and to speak with people who may have already had experience in certain areas.

The most useful connection for me was with the Repository Support Network and the Welsh Repositories Network both of whom are effecivley working in the same space as ERIS, but in different territories. There are differences between primary objectives, but we have all agreed to get together and find out where there are areas of synergy, and see what we might be able to do to help each other.  The RSP was a particularly good fit to the IRIScotland repository managers group, which I see as a sort of Scottish branch of RSP, and I’ve agreed to strike up a regular conversation with RSP Project Manager Dominic Tate, who is now reponsible for the next 3 year funding tranche.

The WRN are embarking on a mission to “investigate the potential of a collaborative, centrally managed model for accelerating the development and uptake of repository services in HEIs in Wales and across the UK as a whole”

All in all, a very useful couple of days, in not only for the sheer entertainment of watching Hull’s Chris Awre delivering a perfect 30 second pitch for his project whilst juggling. I thought I’d seen everything…