Monday, September 26, 2011

Advocacy session at Exeter

I forgot to mention in my previous blog that we recently gave a presentation on our research repository, ERIC, to Associate Directors of Research at Exeter. We discovered there was quite a low level of awareness of the repository and what it’s for – for example, that depositing in the repository often allows a researcher to fulfil his/her obligation to the research funder. They were interested to hear about the integration with Symplectic and generally in favour of it (although some still queried the amount of time it would take to deposit). This led on to a discussion about Open Access and the feasibility of imposing a mandate for both research publications and primary data. There was a lot of support for a mandate but also recognition that a change in culture, especially in certain disciplines, would be necessary for it to work. The Open Access agenda will, again, be picked up and taken forward by the Open Up! project mentioned previously.

Jill Evans

University of Exeter

Update from Exeter

Work on integration is continuing at Exeter. We’ve made significant progress, for example Repository Tools 1.3 has now been installed but we’ve also hit a number of unexpected technical hitches that have held things up a little.

Testing has been going on for a few weeks, initially with the Engineering department, which has produced some very useful feedback. Crosswalks and collection mapping have also been tested extensively and we’re now working our way through the list of identified issues. We’re still not sure when we’ll be in a position to go live but we’re moving nearer to that point!

We’re looking at ways of getting publications into ERIC quickly as soon as Repository Tools goes live. For example, some funds have been put aside for a postgraduate to deposit the top four ‘favourites’ for all researchers participating in the REF in ERIC via Symplectic. We’re also aware of a number of publications collections around the University that are, with a little copyright checking, ready to be uploaded.

Advocacy planning is ongoing but we’ve had to scale back some of the activities planned for Open Access Week as it’s unlikely Repository Tools will be working by then. We’ll still be doing general awareness-raising, however, and will follow up with our own OA week when the integration’s been completed.

Some good news – we were successful in our recent bid to the JISC for funds to continue our pilot research data management project. The new project, called Open Up! for the moment, will start in October and will, amongst other activities, look at embedding use of repositories in the research lifecycle. We will have a full time advocacy officer for 12 months, picking up from and building on RePosit advocacy work. We’re aiming for much closer integration of our repositories and deposit procedures, particularly the linking of research publications with the underlying primary research data. So Symplectic will continue to be a focus of advocacy work but through Open Up! rather than RePosit, which will soon come to an end.

If you’d like further information about our integration work or Open Up! email me:

Jill Evans

University of Exeter

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Update from Plymouth University

The sharp eyed will notice the change in the University's name to Plymouth University.

The summer saw significant progress in the work on the integration between Symplectic Elements and Pearl, following a visit from Symplectic and ongoing work here. After testing, we are currently in the final stages of working through the last issues with the crosswalks and the file handling scenarios.

I also ran the RePosit survey using the Test systems and chose a select group of the 60 most frequent users of Symplectic Elements Publications to pilot the Repository Tools and test out the process. This proved an insightful exercise, the feedback showed that there was confusion around versions and copyright information. I now know how to amend the user documentation in response to this feedback. As Plymouth are using a self deposit model, I am also now going to roll out RT, by starting with one Faculty, in order to able to provide support to users and not be overwhelmed.

Open Access Week (beg 24th Oct) is a key target and I will be running advocacy events around OA so ePHDs and masters as well as Pearl. Due to some staff illness here, our plans for getting the integration live have had to be reevaluated and I can not set a date for the integration to go live. However I will be running advocacy activities in OA week and will adapt what I do when I know if the integration will be Live/Test.

Nicola Cockarill

Plymouth University