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Snowman in a tree

Snowman in a tree


Requisite snowman picture

Yesterday’s launch of Opus, our repository was held in the department of Mechanical Engineering’s e-lounge. This location itself deserves a mention – it’s a fantastic space for students, with study tables, slim SunRay computers, food dispenser machines, and to add some class, some beautiful artwork on the walls. We took over half of the space for an hour for the Opus launch event (but the students did get the benefit of chips, drinks and sandwiches after we’d done!).

I mentioned that I’d post the information I’d covered in my part of the presentation. Brian Kelly has blogged about this at his UKWebFocus blog but I wanted to focus on a few things. We’ve been really lucky to have the support of the Vice-Chancellor for Research, as well as Library, Web Services, Office of Policy and Planning and also UKOLN. I tried to mention these people in my presentation yesterday, but also took the opportunity to take a captive audience of Heads of Departments and other guests to say a little about Opus and the surrounding issues. I suggested a few immediate courses of action to the researchers and authors present:
1. When you’re back in your office, check your publications list to make sure it’s correct. Send me any corrections or amendments.
2. Upload your latest paper.
3. Take the time to read the next Copyright Transfer Agreement that comes across your desk. Make sure it gives you the right to share the content of your work. Contact me if you would like help.
4. Save the Accepted Version of your papers as this is often the version you are permitted to place online under a standard publisher agreement.
5. Well, I’m sure there was more but that’s enough for today. I’ve got two departmental meetings to present at today, and on Friday there is a one hour session on Opus that focuses on the practical side of the things mentioned above. Uni of Bath staff are welcome to join us, contact me for details.

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Today saw the official launch of Opus, the University of Bath research repository (‘Opus’ being short for Online Publications Store). There is an internal news item on the uni website with a brief outline of events.
I am hoping this means the work will really begin, now that it has been officially put in the public sphere. I know there are publications details in there at present that need correcting, but it needs the owner of the work to point these out sometimes.
Still , a relief to get this up and out there. Thanks to Adam from Eprints Services who sorted out a few last minute bits and pieces, from possibly the most comfortable office in the world. Actually, speaking of thanking people, I’ll put an outline of the text of my speech up here tomorrow (too late tonight and I’ve got icy roads to navigate to get home).

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I’ve been doing a number of training sessions lately, for a number of different, err, stakeholders in the repository. Today I have my first session with the five librarians that will be helping to administer the collections, and perform the mediation on deposits.

I’ve split the sessions up, ostensibly into three meetings over three weeks. The first will cover the basics – open access, institutional repositories, copyright and permissions (plus licences and terms and conditions – exciting!) and versions. We’ll also go over the main features of our DSpace installation, from an end-user perspective. I’ll ask them to log in, then before our next session I’ll add them as administrators to their particular area of responsibility.

I’m aiming to give them all a chance to reflect on what they’ve covered between one session and the next. It really is a lot to take in, and I remember back to the three days I spent at the RSP Summer School in June 2007 and the breadth of information we took in – quite a lot to get your head around.

It will really help to have extra hands to check submissions – not because I’m flat out but because it provides a continuity of service (so I can go on hols over Easter!). Also I’m rolling out the promotion for the repository over the next few weeks, in a fairly understated kind of way. This week it’s e-theses, to coincide with the university ‘Innovations Week’, where e-theses get a stand in the Claverton Rooms cafeteria. The week after it’s ‘Meet the new Research Publications Librarian’ (me!) announced on the internal news pages. Finally, around, or maybe just after Easter it’s a ‘Know your Author rights’ campaign. *That* should be interesting…

Well, better sign off here. Almost time for the training session number one.

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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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It’s the little things that sometimes take ages.. like deciding how to describe the communities and sub-communities for our repository installation. We’re a University, so the faculties and schools are easy enough, and I can put the research centres and institutes together but what about ‘the leftovers’? What is the collective noun for the administrative services and support units? Everyone I spoke with had a different opinion.. Well I’ve finally found a page on the University website that covers ‘Administrative and Central Services’, so that’s what it is.. for now..

I’ve also spent bits of the last day or so tidying up our deposit licence and notice and takedown agreement. It’s coming along, and I’m writing up a checklist of things to consider before depositing – this is what I have so far:

1 Are you the owner of the copyright for this item? If not, do you have your co-author’s permission to deposit? Asking them to agree to the Deposit Licence is sufficient, but as co-owners of the copyright you must have their permission. (Charles Oppenheim made a good suggestion in response to a question on this today on a mailing list – agree to allow authors to self-archive before publishing..)

2 If the item is a journal article, does the journal publisher permit self-archiving? Have you checked RoMEO? Alternatively, have you negotiated the right to self-archive a copy of your work? There is more information available on the OPuS wiki (or there will be!).

3 If the item was sponsored by industry, do you have permission to make a copy of the item publicly available? You may wish to embargo the item to meet sponsor requirements, or check with your supervisor or Research Support Unit to make sure you meet contractual obligations.

4 Do you intend to publish this content commercially for the purposes of making a profit? If so you may wish to reconsider your deposit. The Bath OPuS is designed to make material widely accessible, enhancing impact, not necessarily income.

5 Is the item in a file format that is readily recognisable? Unusual file formats may create preservation difficulties and it is wise to discuss this with the repository manager.

What else needs to go in? Hmm.

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The Repository Support Project has just advertised a suite of events for repository practitioners in the UK over the next few months. Topics for the Professional Briefing and Networking event series include: Repository developments; Metadata issues; Stakeholder roles & perceptions and more to be announced.
Additionally, here at Bath there will be a DSpace Technical day on November 12, 2007. This provides DSpace users a similar event to that held recently for ePrints, where there will be the opportunity to attend a DSpace Surgery and ask installation specific questions. Alongside this are basic and advanced tutorials. I’m really pleased to see the RSP getting these events up and running, and I’ve just discovered their website is becoming more fleshed out with information useful for repository start-ups.

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Kelvin’s working on our DSpace install, wading through the documentation and nutting out integration issues. We paid a visit to the University of Bristol repository people on Friday afternoon, and I think this helped a lot. They’ve been in the repository game a lot longer, and Naveed, their tech support has implemented a lot of tweaks, including a patch for metadata only records which DSpace apparently doesn’t support. Again, being able to meet face to face with colleagues who have already been down this road is just invaluable.
I’m yet to find anywhere that has linked up their research expertise database with their full-text repository. Can the two not co-exist!?
Beagles
At the Frome Cheese & Agricultural Show on Saturday, the Wiltshire & Infantry Beagles

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