Archive for the ‘social software’ Category

At our meeting yesterday, Mahendra from UKOLN raised a very good point about directing traffic to our repository. Considering that conversations about page ranking and Google keep cropping up, particularly with reference to linking to the publisher version of paper, this is an important way of directing traffic and raising our profile. Obviously I need to get the repository linked from as many places as I can. The obvious place to start is the Open Access repository registers.
I’ve registered with most of the Open Access registeries of repositories I can think of – ROAR, OAI, the BASE search engine, and ScientificCommons. I’ve got my eye on the Intute Repository Search project, starting late January. Have I missed any, or is there a list of sites to register with, somewhere?
Probably – please drop me a line and let me know.


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WordPress gives you a page on blog statistics, showing things like page visits, links followed to come in and out of your blog, and search engine terms used to find your blog. This is the kind of things I believe repository statistics show that is of interest to researchers – I know I find it useful.

However, from my WordPress stats, I deduce that there is a global shortage on information about … beagles. At least once a day people stumble into my blog looking for beagle info – for which I have one post here.

Note to self – improve repository statistics by writing articles about beagles…

Beagle people – try Wikipedia, or if you’re a Darwinian, try HMS Beagle..

Stalking Beagle! From cgines, licenced under CC on Flickr.
Gratitutious beagle shot (from Flickr, photo by cgines, licenced under CC)

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I’ve been neglecting the blog about lately as I’ve had my attention diverted elsewhere. This week has been taken up with the Internet Librarian International Conference in London. It seemed to be a well-recieved conference (apart from lots of muttering under the breath about the ridiculous cost of wifi – I mean, honestly, in this day and age a hotel that charges £10-$20 per day for wifi!?), with lots of attendees from the UK, the Netherlands, Scandanavia and more.

There were a number of repository related events, including a pre-conference Masterclass on Sunday morning presented by Frank Cervone from NorthWestern University in Illinios in the States. Frank covered the whole gammit of repository development which was useful although he lost me a bit on the OAIS Model and Objects and Behaviours – that’s going to be homework..

If you’re interested, many of the presentations are available from the conference website, including the presentations from Brian Kelly and myself in the ‘Blogging Inertia and 2.0 Scepticism’ slot. Nice to see the conference wiki, which is a great place for finding all those clever people who were blogging or twittering throughout the event.

There are photo’s from the event collected via Technorati available here.

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Despite the fact that I’ve really got a million things to do, including preparing for at least three upcoming presentations – two on self-archiving and the repository, and one on blogging, I’m off work this week. And in Stockholm. It’s a family thing.
But an interesting thing to report – I put my powerpoints for the Blogging Masterclass at ILI on Slideshare.net and the one for ‘why have a blog’ has been really popular – over 350 views in the last two days! That just amazes me – has it just been picked up by someone with a large user group, or do people have search alerts set up to send them new stuff on their topic of interest? How did this get viewed by so many people? This is the power of open access. How else would my powerpoint have been distributed amongst so many in such a short space of time? Clearly a popular topic, and the nice thing – it’s been favourited 5 times. 🙂

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Yes, me going on about blogs again.. I’ll put these on Slideshare eventually, but as I’m working through my ILI presentation I’m focusing on why I’ve got a blog about setting up our repository (although most of these posts lately are about blogs and conferences, sorry..)

So why blog about my repository experiences – here’s a few reasons:

Sharing good practice

Relating our experiences – perhaps these can be of use to someone else?

Engaging with the community

Using new technologies

An informal record of my activities – and showing a path of progression

A place to record and hopefully answer the questions that I had when I was starting out…

I really would like to add to my list of repository blogs and feeds. Send details if you have one..
Worth checking out on this topic, a slideshow from Robert & Maryam Scoble:

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We’ve recently launched a small collection of book records on the library catalogue that offer library users to add comments, reviews and recommendations. Our clever systems librarian Laurence has hooked up the collection to a wiki, where users can leave comments which are then fed back into the catalogue.

We did a lot of thinking about this, with issues like moderation, risk management, the authority of the catalogue, seeding the conversation and more to be decided on. The collection itself, called ‘Around the world in 80+ books’ is a selection of world literature, chosen by our international students and staff so already it’s very personal. By adding a comments function to the catalogue records, we’re hoping to gather thoughts or conversations. For example, I chose the Australian book selection which includes Dirt Music by Tim Winton, A True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey and Down Under by Bill Bryson – but just a flamin’ minute mate, Bryson isn’t Australian? Well, no, but Down Under is a really good reflection on Oz, and on Aussies.. IMHO. I’d welcome a bit of controversy to say there are better choices.. but that’s all part of the process.

Since this is just baby steps for us, only University of Bath users can log into read comments (safe for moderation purposes), but I believe they can be read by anyone who access the catalogue record.
Is there any point offering a comments function on the repository? As much as I value the communication benefits provided by comments, my presumption is that people will still operate by email should they want to comment on a pre-print – actually I’d like to find out whether any repository managers have heard of whether pre-prints do actually garner much interest or response from peers of the author? Sounds good in theory but does it happen?

Anyway, we’ll wait to see what happens with the catalogue reviews. My manager Kate and I are presenting on this next week at the Libraries Without Walls Conference (which *unfortunately* happens to be in Molyvos, on the Aegean Island of Lesvos, Greece – what a sacrifice!). The written report with the discussions behind our decisions will be in the conference papers. I’ll put the powerpoint up on Slideshare soon-ish.

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