Archive for July, 2007

Clever branding of an institutional repository is not to be underestimated. Clearly a catchy name that reflects the purpose of the repository is ideal, but when you’re not a marketing guru overflowing with creative juices, it’s a tricky task.
So what have we got to work with – what’s out and what’s in:

Repository – Undoubtedly, the word ‘repository’ has got to go. a). It’s passive. A place to store material. What we’re working on is to make material more publically available for authors, and to showcase the research output of the university – active. b). Perhaps it’s just me but ‘repository’ isn’t a particuarly user-friendly word, I can never say it properly.
Depot – well, it’s taken
Store – ‘Managed Store’ is better according to Archivist Lizzy (and again, passive)
Eprints – very easily confused with the software platform of the same name now.

Collection – this is future proof, works well with the DSpace structure of communities and collections, and covers all manner of content likely to be deposited.

Other words that we might like to use: Bath, University, Online, Digital, Scholarly, Archive, Publication, Open, Access, Research, (and maybe Repository)

That leaves us with:

  • SPA (Scholarly Publications Archive) – very clever, seeing as how we’re in Bath, but what if we wanted to add data or other formats?
  • ORB (Online Research at Bath)
  • UBRO (University of Bath Research Online)
  • ORCaB – Online Research Collections at Bath (or minus the ‘research’ OCaB)
  • BORA – Bath Online/Open Research Archive – also a model of VW.. UBORA?
  • The big brains at Emerald have come up with ASSET – Accessible Scholarship Shared in an Electronic environmenT for their OA publishing model.
    A bit of a stretch with the ‘t’, but clever.

    *massaging brain* C’mon THINK!

    * The University of Bristol repository is cleverly called ‘ROSE’ – Repository of Scholarly Eprints.


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    I’ve had a response from the DCC helpdesk with this useful advice regarding DRAMBORA:

    “The second version is expected in early autumn 2007 and will reflect a second round of pilot audits. We are in the process of developing an on-line tool that can be used to carry out the self-audit and expect that this will be ready for release shortly after version 2 of the toolkit is released”.

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    I have made an initial foray into discovering who else is blogging from the repository frontline, after a quick email to the UKCoRR mailing list. So far two responses – Les Carr from Southampton University as Repository Man, and Dorethea Salo with her Caveat Lector ‘Reader Beware’ blog.
    I’ll put these in my blogroll (when I figure out how to make it display on my main page).

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    So I’m just starting down the DRAMBORA road for repository risk assessment. I’ve downloaded the toolkit from the website (including a 221 page document that nearly undid our printer) and arranged it neatly in a folder. It looks quite daunting at first glance. The website doesn’t offer any warm and fuzzy assistance – just a link to email or complete a form for feedback. I’ve emailed one of the authors of the toolkit, and also sent off a query to the feedback email asking whether there’s likely to be any further training offered for DRAMBORA users. So far no response.

    Therefore I’m tackling it the old fashioned way – nobbling a UKOLN bod (thanks Michael) for a coffee tomorrow afternoon in the hope he can shed some light on the process involved using little words and big sweeping gestures.

    The thing I’m concerned about is whether this toolkit is at the stage that it can be used by institutions – it says ‘draft’ on the toolkit I’ve downloaded. Page 96 mentions an interactive webpage to produce the audit report – when it becomes available. There’s no immediate sign of this on the Drambora website. To this end, I’ve just rung the DCC helpdesk, and been advised to put my query in an email and send to them. Have done this – fingers crossed.

    *(Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment)

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    I wrote a little in my last post about the ALPSP one day seminar Publishing and the Library of the Future. Here’s my presentation from its resting place on Slideshare (how easy is it to add Slideshare presentations to WordPress or WordPress blog entries to Facebook these days!), but the ALPSP have also made the presentations available from their website. The next edition of Ariadne will also have an event review from me – some excerpts:

      * The library user of the future will want experience-based information, interactivity, portability and accessibility
      * Publishers are grappling with pricing models and usage statistics which increasingly don’t accurately reflect the actual usage of a journal and its articles
      * Open access is adding pressure on society publishers, as are changing renewal patterns and uptake of online instead of print
      * The library management system of the future will focus on managing electronic resources and their relationship with interfaces, packages and licences
      * Researchers want quality peer-reviewed information, along with appropriate supplementary data, and the appeal of a journal goes beyond it’s scientific articles to the value-added information they also contain such as funding and conference announcements and news and opinion pieces.
      * Publishers are still very much concerned with upholding traditional mechanisms for organising and evaluating information, although there’s interest in moving this to web 2.0 type tools such as blogs and wikis.

    And my points you can see from the powerpoint below. Academic libraries need to focus on collaboration, preservation, findability and repackaging of our collections, both physically and online to offer a service which is dynamic and responsive to user needs.

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    Something caught my attention last week, at the ALPSP seminar on Publishing and Libraries of the Future (which I’ll blog about shortly). It was a comment by Diana Leitch, chair of the sessions. The seminar itself was intended stimulate thoughts on where publishing and libraries are heading, with views from a practising librarian (me), society publisher, scientific researcher and library technology provider.

    We had just finished the open panel at the end of the event, where comments on institutional repositories, publishing and librarians were made, obviously from various viewpoints. Diana’s comment was something along these lines – we may not all agree, but at least we’re opening up the discussion and talking about the future of scholarly communication. *bing!!*

    It seems to me that there’s been a disconnect between librarians and publishers and researchers for sometime now, and the advent of open access and repositories have forced us all to rethink our positions. The underlying issue is the facilitation of access to scholarly communication. Is open access and self-archiving a threat or an opportunity? Conversations at the end of the ALPSP event came from all perspectives but at least there was discussion.

    Kudos to ALPSP for setting up a platform to get the conversation moving.

    I’ve been having another conversation with a professor from Biology & Biochemistry about open access publishing and he has some very legitimate concerns about the impact of funding council mandates on researchers and the effect of OA on learned societies. This correspondence is very informative and thought provoking, and again, the conversation is invaluable. I’m sure there’ll be more on these conversations further on in this blog…

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    The Repository Support Project Summer School was held at Dartington Hall in Totnes, Devon. The event ran from 27-29 June 2007, and offered new or potential repository managers the chance to learn more about various aspects of repository development and management. More on the summer school itself can be found on the RSP website.
    I’ve written a two page report, which I’m happy to distribute although it really is quite reflective and I’ve tried to relate each topic to issues here at Bath. I’ve just provided a few excepts below:

    Alma Swan from Key Perspectives gave the first presentation on ‘Before you start’ issues to consider (this is available from the Key Perspectives website). Key points included:
    • Identify your stakeholders – what are the drivers and barriers for each group?
    • Use Key Performance Indicators to measure progress, demonstrate return on investment and measures of success.
    • Mandate! Mandating deposits of full-text at acceptance is the key to filling the repository
    • Plan for growth and sustainability
    • The communications gap between librarians and researchers needs to be bridged (amen?!)

    Sally Romsey from Oxford Research Archives spoke on populating and marketing your repository. Important points included selling the repository as a service, not as a project (an ’embryonic service’?). Think about what will sell the repository – make a list of benefits for ready reference and beware of complex messages and jargon.

    A cumulation of all session brought about a light bulb moment for me in creating a list of documents I need to develop, in order to focus the repository – a ‘to do’ list:

    • Project plan and timeline – deadlines and deliverables
    • Communications plan
    • Strategies for raising awareness
    • Information package on Copyright and OA
    • Identifying key dates in the academic calendar for each stakeholder group
    • Naming and branding the repository
    • Strategies for adding content – ie. batch from PIP, A&I database, etc
    • A list of researchers and research – amount of research produced each year out of Bath? What should our total number of deposits be if we have 100% deposition?
    • Get risk assessment done with Drambora

    Overall, these were three days cram-filled with information pitched really well at those starting out with repositories. I thought perhaps a few case studies (ie. copyright documents, deposit licenses, etc) from mature repositories would have been useful. Developing networks of people in very similar situations was also a very useful exercise.

    There is now RSP Summer School follow-on work to be completed, with a ‘reunion’ in 2008. I’ve heard there’s possibly a summer school next winter(?) – those thinking of attending would be well advised to do so.

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