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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?

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Versions

Version One of the Versions toolkit is out – http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/versions/VERSIONS_Toolkit_v1_final.pdf
I’m keen to add something like this to my repository info, especially after today’s ruptions re e-theses (don’t ask..)..

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I’m currently reading “The University of Google: education in the [post] education age” by Tara Brabazon. It’s absolutely fascinating, highly recommended for anyone interested in higher education and information skills in the digital age. I need to buy a copy myself, because as I’m reading I feel the need to highlight passages all the way, I’m nodding my head in agreement whilst I read..

I love this quote on page 45 – ‘Everything can be learnt from the web, except how to use it’. Brabazon notes Google Scholar as a welcome intervention to tertiary information seeking, as Scholar places the refereed literature amongst search results. Maybe I’m getting old, but it seems bizarre to me that higher education can function without the specialisation and expertise that comes from advanced information seeking – moving beyond Google and Google Scholar, which are great starting places, to the specialised databases and indexes. I think I’m finding Tara Brabazon’s book refreshing because after beating the infomation literacy /information skils drum for so long, especially *here*, it’s great to find an academic with the same beliefs.

I remember working on the reference desk at QUT, and one cohort of students arrived saying that their lecturer had set an assignment with a compulsory component of using at least three refereed journal articles. ‘What’s a refereed article?’ ‘What’s peer-review?’ It’s a convention particular to scholarly, academic literature, I guess, but it confers a value based on evaluation and quality control. We have sophisticated (maybe overly so) databases in which to search for this type of literature – I wouldn’t expect first year undergraduates to use these, but final year students who scrape by without them – are they cheating themselves out of really understanding their discipline?

So if we take Google Scholar, with its inclusion of refereed literature, as a step in the right direction, the problem of access remains. The commodification of information by international publishers placing tolls on access – a familar argument to those in libraries and repository circles. Interesting to see this coming from the perspective of information location, evalution and use.

Tara Brabazon is a key note speaker at the LILAC conference. I’ve been to the last two LILACs, they are the Kylie Mingoue’s of conferences – small but perfectly formed! Really enjoyable with a great mix of practitioners and researchers. I hope Tara Brabazon’s presentation goes online afterwards.

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Christmas reading

A few bits and bobs to read over the holiday season:
Developing an integrated institutional repository at Imperial College London by Afshari & Jones.
HEFCE Consultation on the assessment and funding of higher education research post-2008
Finally in the library, Weinberger’s Everything is Miscellaneous.
Or I may just swing by the Bath Central Library this afternoon and go on a Harlan Coben / Sara Paretsky murder-mystery binge…
Xmas tree at Bath Uni 2007

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Tomorrow it’s an early start on the train up to Nottingham for the UKCoRR meeting. The last meeting was in May – a really good day, where I wrote masses of notes (I wasn’t quite in post then, and everything was new) which was lucky because I’d left on the Sunday afternoon for a Monday meeting – note to self – travelling on a Sunday means over-running engineering works, cancelled services and lots of time to sit around train stations. Six hours it took me to get there from Bath. I stayed in the Jurys Inn – nice enough but clearly catering to the business crowd with expense accounts – £9.95 for breakfast. Ouch. I just couldn’t pay it on the principle, and maybe because we only get reimbursed a max of £5.00.
So tomorrow I’m up at the crack of dawn to try and get up to Nottingham before 10.30am when the meeting starts. Should be do-able. The event outline looks good again – I’ll write up a few notes here when I get back.
Otherwise, today I’m off to the maths department to chat with the mathematical biology crowd about self-archiving. Oh, and yesterday I spent over an hour with Clarissa going through the licences – she has a great attention to detail.

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Thanks to Gareth Johnston from the RSP in Nottingham for sending this on. I think it spells out the issues in quite the sophisticated manner. Nice one Gaz! 🙂

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Communities in DSpace

I met with Pete from UKOLN this afternoon to chat about communities and collections in DSpace. From the examples I’ve seen it seems most Higher Ed institutions use the communities and sub-communities to reflect the faculties and departments of the university, and the collections to describe the type of item, such as journal article, working paper, conference paper, etc.. I’m wondering if this is the best way to go about structuring the repository.

Pete had a different take on this – the communities reflect the administration requirements, so they’re structured from how you want people to administer them. This made sense at the time, and I expect to a large degree this overlaps with the departmental structure here, but it may help with deciding how to set out the tricky parts, like the Research Centres (which sometimes overlap departments).

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