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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..

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This is a great list from the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies – http://www.janeknight.com/downloads/top100S08.pdf

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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…
Pheasant

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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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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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I’ve noticed that Brunel do a very nice job of presenting statistics on the use of their repository and it’s contents. As a browser on the site, I find myself reading through to see which departments have deposited the most, who’s article is getting the most interest,etc.. They’ve got the Top 50 authors and papers, and provide stats for depositors. This is great stuff.. I know EPrints does similar..
Then at Loughborough mention was made of Google Analytics. The basic page provides info on who’s looking at your site, where they’re coming from, etc. Part of me is slighly concerned, it’s easy to forget how traceable you are on t’internet but part of me thinks how great this is to be able to say where your readership is, and use this information to promote the service.
I mentioned counter compliancy in an earlier post. It’s time to go read up a little on collecting stats..

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