Eprints REST Interface

Our web team are looking into using the Eprints REST interface to pull information from the repository onto other sites. Has anyone had any experience with this?

Opus Launch part 2

Snowman in a tree

Snowman in a tree

Requisite snowman picture

Yesterday’s launch of Opus, our repository was held in the department of Mechanical Engineering’s e-lounge. This location itself deserves a mention – it’s a fantastic space for students, with study tables, slim SunRay computers, food dispenser machines, and to add some class, some beautiful artwork on the walls. We took over half of the space for an hour for the Opus launch event (but the students did get the benefit of chips, drinks and sandwiches after we’d done!).

I mentioned that I’d post the information I’d covered in my part of the presentation. Brian Kelly has blogged about this at his UKWebFocus blog but I wanted to focus on a few things. We’ve been really lucky to have the support of the Vice-Chancellor for Research, as well as Library, Web Services, Office of Policy and Planning and also UKOLN. I tried to mention these people in my presentation yesterday, but also took the opportunity to take a captive audience of Heads of Departments and other guests to say a little about Opus and the surrounding issues. I suggested a few immediate courses of action to the researchers and authors present:
1. When you’re back in your office, check your publications list to make sure it’s correct. Send me any corrections or amendments.
2. Upload your latest paper.
3. Take the time to read the next Copyright Transfer Agreement that comes across your desk. Make sure it gives you the right to share the content of your work. Contact me if you would like help.
4. Save the Accepted Version of your papers as this is often the version you are permitted to place online under a standard publisher agreement.
5. Well, I’m sure there was more but that’s enough for today. I’ve got two departmental meetings to present at today, and on Friday there is a one hour session on Opus that focuses on the practical side of the things mentioned above. Uni of Bath staff are welcome to join us, contact me for details.

Today saw the official launch of Opus, the University of Bath research repository (‘Opus’ being short for Online Publications Store). There is an internal news item on the uni website with a brief outline of events.
I am hoping this means the work will really begin, now that it has been officially put in the public sphere. I know there are publications details in there at present that need correcting, but it needs the owner of the work to point these out sometimes.
Still , a relief to get this up and out there. Thanks to Adam from Eprints Services who sorted out a few last minute bits and pieces, from possibly the most comfortable office in the world. Actually, speaking of thanking people, I’ll put an outline of the text of my speech up here tomorrow (too late tonight and I’ve got icy roads to navigate to get home).


Hello to any UWE MSc in Information and Library Management people who may be reading this! Tonight is the first session this semester for the ‘Academic Libraries’ module I’m teaching. I’m looking forward to it, and to meeting the students. I’ve been buried in repositories for so long now that the MSc Academic Libraries module is an opportunity to keep up with library life outside of open access and publications lists.

We’re using Peter Brophy’s ‘Academic Libraries’ as the core text, but I’m slipping in a chapter from Tara Brabazon’s ‘University of Google’ in week 5 when we cover Information Literacy and Educational Technology.

Any suggestions on what should be covered in an academic libraries module for an MSc welcomed.

I made an enquiry to the UKCoRR mailing list asking whether anyway was using a CRIS in the UK. The replies were interesting, with a lot of interest in Symplectic. Only one reply from the list used InfoEd. The other options I asked about included PURE from Denmark, and the ProQuest Research Support Suite, which is a bit of a red herring, I don’t think it really performs entirely the work of a CRIS, especially when looking internally at an institution.
It’s quite obvious that in the lead up to the REF there’s a lot of naval gazing going on in terms of how universities are managing their research information. There are discussions over buildiing in-house systems, versus buying in a solution. I do think it’s a niche market here in the UK that Symplectic have jumped into. We’re in the process of considering how to go about this – a few things spring to mind for anything that eventually fills the gap:
Must be able to import our existing information from a legacy system
Should be able to integrate with various university systems (not the least being the repository)
Must be based on CERIF standards (I need to read up more on this).
Any comments on experiences with using a CRIS most useful. I wonder how they do this in Australia and elsewhere abroad..

For shame, for shame. The thing I hated most when researching on blogs in libraries: the abandoned blog. I think perhaps it’s been more of a dry spell really. A long time between drinks? A hiatus? And WordPress have moved everything around in here.
We spent the summer collecting and then checking and re-checking publications for the Research Excellence Framework Pilot on Bibliometrics, which was a mammoth task, although now hearing of other larger institutions woes, perhaps we got off quite lightly.
Very busy with Opus, our repository, tidying up records and getting ready for our launch in February. Go and take a look. Can I just say how great Eprints Services have been? They’ve been great. And the silver lining to the REF cloud is that now we have masses of metadata records in our repository.

Changing to Eprints

Apologies for the lengthy delay between posts. It’s very bad form on my behalf but it has been an exceptionally busy couple of months.
We have been involved in the Research Excellence Framework Bibliometrics Pilot Exercise, so it was a summer of collecting references. Now we wait whilst the company doing the data crunching, Evidence Ltd tidy up the material submitted then start investigating the metrics. Results won’t be back until next March but details on the Bibliometrics pilot are available from the HEFCE website – http://www.hefce.ac.uk/Research/ref/

Otherwise, the summer was spent working with the Eprints Services team at Southampton. We have taken the big step of changing to a hosted Eprints solution. We have Eprints 3.1, and have started populating it, pulling in our old material from existing systems and DSpace. I really think it’s a beautiful interface, especially for depositing items. The Eprints team have been really helpful, very patient and it’s great to be able to draw on their expertise. There’s still a lot of tidying of the references now in there to be done, but we’re hoping to launch late next January. Progress!


We are one of twenty-two institutions in the UK who have been selected to participate in the Research Excellence Framework Pilot Exercise. This exercise will be looking at how well citation analysis, or bibliometrics measures up. I’m off to London next Wednesday to find out more at a HEFCE briefing, so will have more to report after that. What this does mean is that we’ll be collecting all staff publications between 2001-2008 – a huge job, and putting them in the repository. Clearly this isn’t something you can do without decent ingest mechanisms or import tools.
Speaking of tools, there’s a product that’s come up recently called Symplectic from Imperial College in London. It looks very interesting, with a publications management module, a content management system, and a module for student management. I believe they’re working on integration with DSpace (already available) and Eprints (working on this).

RSP Summer School 2008

I had a quick trip up to the Wirral on Wednesday for the Repository Support Programme Summer School 2008. The event was held at Thornton Manor, a fabulous country pile built by Lord Leverhulme of the Sunlight soap empire. I was only at the summer school for Wednesday afternoon but the RSP team pulled their speed networking card again, and I learnt a lot about the state of other repositories just from five minutes of introduction and synopsis from other attendees.
I gave a quick presentation as the Graduate of last year’s summer school, but the*really* interesting talk came afterwards, when we were treated to a telling of Leverhulmes’ life and achievements. The speaker called Lever one of the most well known men of his time, a real mover and shaker, one of the first to take corporate responsibility for his employees.
Then, ironically yesterday when I returned to work, I had a paper to upload which had been sponsored by BBSRC and the Leverhulme Trust. So that sent me over to the Leverhulme Trust website. Of course I’ve heard of UniLever and we had Sunlight soap when I was knee high to a grasshopper, but I would never have thought there was such an amazing story behind it all..
The RSP Summer School continues today and tomorrow, and I’ll try to link to any blog posts I find on the event.
Thornton Manor

Social Scholarship

This slideshow ‘ is a great summary of a very important concept.

Librarians have information literacy very high on their agendas. Part of IL is how to evaluate material found online – this is an important part of both scholarhip, and lifelong learning. The existance of pre-prints and non-peer reviewed material in repositories is something that often gets highlighted as questionable, rightly so. When explaining how to evaluate online material, some of the characteristics of repository material wouldn’t always fit into our ‘safe’ categories. The ‘matrix of authority’ that Laura Cohen is pointing out is a step in the right direction, bringing in additional criteria for evaluating material.