Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Repositories and CRIS / working smartly together - report from conference 19th July

I led the workshops on CRIS/repository advocacy. Do you advocate as separate systems or as one system? If the CRIS and Repository are integrated, do you need to brand the repository, is the focus on the CRIS or is a combination approach best?

The 2 groups all had different CRIS / repository models, some institutions had both and some were integrated/ some not. Other institutions had just a repository or just a CRIS so it was excellent to get a wide variety of views.

Key feedback :
  • the concept of the one stop shop so if staff are working in one system, be it the CRIS or repository, then advocacy was focused on the one system as the place to do all the necessary tasks.

  • that institutions can often put in artificial barriers between systems, often relating to the organizational unit that manages them and in terms of language and terminology

  • researchers don't care which system is doing what, they just need to know what they have to do

  • researchers want clarity with support so joint sessions, singe points of contact are key

  • repositories can provide real life statistics which can be used in advocacy sessions to promote the repository

  • the REF is a key driver for research strategy at many unis and is also having an effect on people's perception of the repository, on submission and Open Access. Some institutions reported that discussions were being had on what is good enough quality to be deposited into the repository and a suggestion that only REFable material should be submitted. Should the repository be for all research or just as a shop window for the highest rated research? Clearly this raises questions around the drivers for submission which may vary according to stakeholder group

  • In general, most of the institutions were giving their repository a brand and identity

I then weaved this feedback gained on the day into my presentation which provided a case study of how the questions were approached at Plymouth University.

My conclusion, which was backed up by the conference participants, is that researchers and senior university management want clarity and demonstrations of coherence and of support for individual and university goals.
The branding and advocacy strategy needs to be flexible and responsive to the audience and messages.
It is perhaps not a question of deciding a single focus on CRIS or the Repository or integration but a question of deciding when and how to apply a varying focus, depending on your audience/message.

Nicola Cockarill, Plymouth University

Monday, July 25, 2011

Break-out session on CRIS/repository community at RSP conference

One of the five topics that we covered through smaller group break-out discussion sessions at last week's RSP conference was all about how the CRIS and repository community might want to communicate. This nicely tied in with the end of Simon Kerridge's keynote speech about how linked systems mean that more communication between research office and repository managers is essential. The session's title was 'Community and Communications to Support the CRIS Model' and it was basically a facilitated discussion around whether this new CRIS->repository world requires new thinking and new means to share the knowledge and experience that's out there. Are existing discussion forums or mailing lists sufficient to the task?

I started by asking each of the two sets of people who had chosen to join this topic how they had found out about the RSP event itself, which lead on to an interesting look at which lists different types of people (RO = research office, RM = repository managers/library, IT = technology people) belonged to.

group 1:

group 2:

There was a bit of overlap but no obvious one existing place that all the groups who now are involved when CRIS systems (traditionally coming from the research office) are linked to institutional repositories (usually run by the library) or the link is under consideration - except perhaps for the JISC-repositories list, which is rather wide-ranging and already quite busy.

Then we had some discussions around open vs closed lists (the RePosit Google discussion group is now open to all new members) and the dangers of 'flaming'. We talked about how to avoid list fatigue - perhaps by using technical solutions to join existing lists via keywords into a super-list rather than creating anything new - and heard with interest that ARMA and UKcorr lists may be joining forces. Also, how to maintain the informality of a group - such as that which has helped make the RePosit Google group approachable for queries and discussions? Plus there were those who felt that existing communication was sufficient without needing anything else, using Twitter or Google searches to find individual sources of extra information - or just the willingness to pick up the phone and talk to someone in person.

All in all, some interesting discussion - but how to take this forward? In the absence of one obvious person who is so motivated to set up and run a CRIS/repository community, which is the body to run with the idea? In our discussions, the consensus seemed to be some combination of RSP/JISC and ARMA was our best bet.

posted by: Lizzie Dipple

What's happening at Exeter

We still don’t have a definite date for the roll out of Repository Tools here but crosswalks and collection mapper seem to be working so we’re almost ready for testing with users, hopefully starting next week or the week after.

An important breakthrough for us is that automated emailing of depositors notifying them that their submission has either been approved or rejected is now working. Thanks to Ian Wellaway for his hard work on this – if anyone else is interested we’d be happy to share what we (or rather Ian) did.

I’ve started planning advocacy activities in more detail in the hope that we have to be ready to go some time soon.

  • We’ve identified a number of testers from different subject areas – the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences are particularly keen as the new EPSRC open access ruling means they have to put all their funded research publications on OA starting September.
  • I’m having a series of meetings with the Academic Support Consultants to plan advocacy in the Colleges from September – hoping to get a clear picture of what they are able to do, to whom, when, and what supporting materials they will need me to create for them (adapting RePosit materials).
  • We’ve been invited to give a presentation to Associate Deans of Research in mid-September – a really great opportunity initiated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Knowledge Transfer, who is a real supporter of OA. These are obviously key people when it comes to influencing researchers in the various Colleges.
  • I’m aiming for a big repositories push during OA Week in October, plugging RT using RePosit materials at various events that I’m in the process of planning.
  • Have started work on an OA web site to be launched in OA week.
  • Seeing our design studio this week to talk about commissioning some UoE repository leaflets – to be used alongside the RePosit materials.
  • Started work on a Library ‘repositories@exeter’ web page providing a single point of access to repositories & Repository Tools, news, events, training materials, advice etc. – currently info is buried in the Library pages and difficult to find – this r@e link will appear prominently on the Library home page: http://as.exeter.ac.uk/library/
  • Working on content for a new course for PGRs ‘Getting yourself known: how to enhance your research profile’ – this will include a demo of Repository Tools.
  • Will be doing training with Academic Support Consultants after testing is completed.
  • Have started to use Twitter to alert people to repository developments.

We'll be doing more, but this is just to start with – I’ll post more as we start to make progress. If anyone has any comments or suggestions please let me know: jill.evans@exeter.ac.uk

posted by: Jill Evans

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

RePosit at yesterday's RSP conference

As has been mentioned in a number of recent posts on this blog, the RePosit project was very much involved in the RSP conference entitled 'Repositories and CRIS: working smartly together', which took place yesterday, Tuesday 19th July, at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham. We had an hour-and-a-half slot in the morning, during which we facilitated five interactive break-out discussion sessions (as listed below) and gave a series of presentations around those topics to share some of the findings from the project. The audience was a good mix of repository managers/library staff and people from the research office, with a sprinkling of IT and others, and we had some interesting discussions. There will be individual blog posts about each of the discussion topics in more detail - to follow.

1. JOINING SYSTEMS: WHO OWNS/ADMINS/LINKS THE SYSTEMS TOGETHER? In a blended landscape does it matter whether or not you have a separate repository? What are the implications for pre-existing repository services of the CRIS+repository model? How is legacy data handled? How do the two systems complement each other? Who owns the system?

2. CRIS/REPOSITORY ADVOCACY. Do you advocate as separate systems or as one system? If the CRIS and Repository are integrated, do you need to brand the repository, is the focus on the CRIS or is a combination approach best?

What will motivate researchers to upload to the repository using the CRIS? What is special about it? How do we SELL it? Carrot or stick?

4. DEMONSTRATING THE BENEFITS: ADVOCACY STRATEGY IN A CRIS->REPOSITORY WORLD. Any advocacy strategy begins with identifying stakeholders and advocacy methodology. In a CRIS-to-repository model are there people, issues and tools to consider that are different to other deposit models, and if so, how to we deal with them?

5. COMMUNITY AND COMMUNICATIONS TO SUPPORT THE CRIS MODEL. Does the CRIS->repository world require new thinking? How best do we share the knowledge and experience? Are existing forums sufficient?

posted by: Lizzie Dipple

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Busy busy with dissemination preparations

Despite the recent blog silence, in fact there’s quite a lot going on with RePosit at the moment. Next Tuesday is our main project dissemination event for the whole year (although Jodie Double has just agreed to present at the Repositories Fringe in Edinburgh next month too) – at the RSP event in Nottingham. Six members of the project team – Ellie James (Keele), Sarah Molloy (Queen Mary), Nicola Cockarill (Plymouth), Rachel Proudfoot (Leeds), Jodie Double (Leeds) and Lizzie Dipple (Symplectic) – will be there representing RePosit, outlining our project findings so far and sharing our experiences of advocacy planning and in action. Therefore we’re all busily making final changes to presentations, running over organisational details and tying together our sessions. We’ve been using our usual Skype call method of keeping in touch and facilitating necessary discussions. Roll on Tuesday...

posted by: Lizzie Dipple

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New project team photos

As at previous project meetings, after the day's proceedings were completed we took a team photo to commemorate our meeting in London on 16th June (above). Left to right: Ian Tilsed (Exeter), Gillian Still (Exeter), Nicola Cockarill (Plymouth), Jodie Double (Leeds), Rachel Proudfoot (Leeds), Sarah Molloy (Queen Mary), Lizzie Dipple (Symplectic).

Since Ellie had to leave very swiftly to catch her train she's in a separate earlier photo (below). Ellie James (Keele).

posted by: Lizzie Dipple

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th project team meeting minutes

Last month - on Thursday 16th June - we held our fourth project team meeting, in London (after previous meetings in the north and south-west of the UK). This was a crucial time to get the project team together because, even with our report write-up project extension, we're now in the final quarter of the project cycle. So it was key to make sure that the project advocacy work continues on track, and also to sort out any wobbles or issues. In addition, everyone who comes to these meetings has said that getting together like that is the best way to re-energise for the tasks at hand.

Aside from an update on the various strands of project progress - outputs, such as the advocacy materials (we saw Ellie's first printed posters and postcards for Keele - very exciting to see them in the flesh), the survey and the deposit community Google discussion group we've created and are trying to keep alive; and outcomes, such as how we're noting engagement with the repositories - we had two major areas to get our teeth into: (i) the upcoming RSP event taking place in Nottingham on 19th July, which is our major project dissemination opportunity, and (ii) how to put together the content for the final project report itself. Both subjects were large enough we could have spent twice as long on each, but at the end of the day we had shared out topics to work on for the RSP event and had brainstormed quite a good proportion of the sorts of points we already know we want to make in the final project report. Oh yes, there are plenty of lessons to be learned!

The full meeting minutes are available here.

Posted by: Lizzie Dipple

Friday, July 1, 2011

Advocacy materials

These are the advocacy materials developed for Keele University and are currently being distributed around the campus to raise awareness


Leaflet (2 sided)

An editable version of these will be made available for other Universities to use, as part of the outputs from the REPOSIT project

Ellie James
Keele University