Archive for the ‘software’ Category

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..


Read Full Post »

Publish or perish

This is a desktop tool Brian Kelly has pointed me to – I’ve yet to have a good look at it, so I’m leaving it here to trip over later.

Read Full Post »

Apparently this isn’t as straightforward as the DSpace documentation might suggest, and further problems may arise when installing patches/plugins etc as most are designed with a PostgreSQL database in mind. This is a problem as it negates one of the main reasons for choosing DSpace, that of being able to use and feed back into community developments.

The web team are think-tanking this to work out a solution. We’d like to be able to extend our repository to also work with a publications database, so that’s an additional issue to take into consideration.

Any comments or suggestions appreciated..

Snapped at home – you can just about make out a pheasant strolling through the brambles.. This little guy has really been making himself at home around our place lately. Caught him strutting along the patio the other morning. I wouldn’t be bothered except pheasants are so pea-brained! As long as he doesn’t try any ‘why did the pheasant cross the road’ type stuff because pheasants don’t seem to be very successful at that…

Read Full Post »


Over at the social networking site Ning there’s a Library 2.0 community. Brian Kelly from UKOLN has established a little group within this to gather thoughts and ideas for a Blogging Masterclass that we’re presenting at the Internet Librarian International conference in London, 7 October 2007. Brian has a phancy new phone with a camera, so muggins here was caught off-guard this morning and has been roped doing a short promo for the masterclass and Ning pages. It won’t embed in this page so here’s a link:


Read Full Post »

What did we do before we had wikis? I really don’t know – had multiple versions of the same document floating around in people’s email I suppose, or saved it on shared drives that required emails back and forward to IT services for access to save in. Or internal intranets with designated staff only allowed to upload and edit material…
We have a university wide wiki system using Confluence, and it’s tremendous. Simple to use, easy to edit, history control, access and permissions which are easy to organise, simple exports to pdf, word or print formats, the list goes on.
I’ve been storing the work I’m doing for the repository on our wiki. The members of the repository working party can see exactly what’s going on and can make changes or leave comments. For me it’s a single storage point for the work I’ve done, which consequently makes it easy to visualise what needs to happen next.
I realise I sound like I’m evangelising but I’m definitely a wiki convert. These are great tools for brainstorming, managing projects and sharing information.

Read Full Post »

Are there any institutional repositories out there that incorporate social bookmarking tools?

A strong advocacy claim for depositing material in a repository is that this increases access to the material and subsequently increases citation rates. If we’re to look at web citations, wouldn’t adding options to post to del.icio.us, Connotea, CiteULike, etc. on each item record aid in resource discovery of that item and consequently increase the chances of citation?
I know RSS feeds can be set up from repositories, which is a useful alerting service for getting information out. However, I’m thinking of the viral attributes of social bookmarks, widening awareness of an item. The serendipitous discovery of the breadcrumb trail when following one item’s tag or viewing other bookmarks belonging to a person with whom you share a tag.
Adding social bookmarking options can be neatly done. I love the ‘Share and Enjoy’ option on the DigitalKoans blog from Charles Bailey (highly recommended – in fact it’s going on my blogroll). Not everyone uses all of these bookmarking tools, and to be honest there’s little need to use more than one but that’s one way of getting your paper or article bookmarked and collected.

It’s so obvious surely someone has had a crack at it?

Roof in progress

Photo: The other focus in my life at the moment – the saga of getting the roof re-felted and re-tiled. What do you need to know about membranes, slate tiles, scaffolding, … ?

Read Full Post »

WHAT DO WE WANT? *Immediate decisive action*

WHEN DO WE WANT IT? *Sometime quite soon I should think…*

It’s always the things you think are going to be straightforward that end up being riddled with detail and complexity. Choosing a software platform for the repository was a case in point.

It’s kind of like re-inventing the wheel. You know most institutions with a repository have been through this scenario. Having a quick reference guide comparing the software available would be fantastic – not just technical specifications but real selling points of one system over the other. This came up at the RSP summer school as a lot of people were in the same boat.

Just for the record, we found these documents to be really useful:

  • Technical evaluation of selected open source repository solutions on behalf of CPIT, New Zealand
  • Creating an Institutional Repository: LEADIRS Workbook from MIT and Cambridge Libraries
  • Notes from colleagues who had been through the same evaluation process were EXTREMELY helpful also (thanks D.)
  • At any rate, we short-listed EPrints and DSpace for comparison, as we wanted something ‘out of the box’, open source and with a good user community. Fedora would have offered a terrific solution, but unfortunately we ruled it out as we wanted something fast with minimal person-power to get it underway. I notice that some of the more mature repositories in Australia are moving to Fedora with various interface options, so something to keep an eye on.

    At the end of the day one of the key criteria that swayed our decision was integration with existing IT systems and expertise. Apparently we’re java based with better Oracle infrastructure and a SOAP web interface would map well to other applications (I feel like I’ve just started speaking another language..).

    The ideal solution would have been a platform with a robust user community (in the UK?), good integration with existing systems, and one to which the newly developed Scholarly Works Application Profile could be applied. I think we’ll need a FRBR based model as some point, particularly if we look at linking up datasets down the road.

    So we’ve chosen DSpace. I’d be really interested to see what kind of experiences other people had making this selection.
    Bath Spa
    A photo of the Baths to cheer things up.

    Read Full Post »