We are one of twenty-two institutions in the UK who have been selected to participate in the Research Excellence Framework Pilot Exercise. This exercise will be looking at how well citation analysis, or bibliometrics measures up. I’m off to London next Wednesday to find out more at a HEFCE briefing, so will have more to report after that. What this does mean is that we’ll be collecting all staff publications between 2001-2008 – a huge job, and putting them in the repository. Clearly this isn’t something you can do without decent ingest mechanisms or import tools.
Speaking of tools, there’s a product that’s come up recently called Symplectic from Imperial College in London. It looks very interesting, with a publications management module, a content management system, and a module for student management. I believe they’re working on integration with DSpace (already available) and Eprints (working on this).


RSP Summer School 2008

I had a quick trip up to the Wirral on Wednesday for the Repository Support Programme Summer School 2008. The event was held at Thornton Manor, a fabulous country pile built by Lord Leverhulme of the Sunlight soap empire. I was only at the summer school for Wednesday afternoon but the RSP team pulled their speed networking card again, and I learnt a lot about the state of other repositories just from five minutes of introduction and synopsis from other attendees.
I gave a quick presentation as the Graduate of last year’s summer school, but the*really* interesting talk came afterwards, when we were treated to a telling of Leverhulmes’ life and achievements. The speaker called Lever one of the most well known men of his time, a real mover and shaker, one of the first to take corporate responsibility for his employees.
Then, ironically yesterday when I returned to work, I had a paper to upload which had been sponsored by BBSRC and the Leverhulme Trust. So that sent me over to the Leverhulme Trust website. Of course I’ve heard of UniLever and we had Sunlight soap when I was knee high to a grasshopper, but I would never have thought there was such an amazing story behind it all..
The RSP Summer School continues today and tomorrow, and I’ll try to link to any blog posts I find on the event.
Thornton Manor

Social Scholarship

This slideshow ‘ is a great summary of a very important concept.

Librarians have information literacy very high on their agendas. Part of IL is how to evaluate material found online – this is an important part of both scholarhip, and lifelong learning. The existance of pre-prints and non-peer reviewed material in repositories is something that often gets highlighted as questionable, rightly so. When explaining how to evaluate online material, some of the characteristics of repository material wouldn’t always fit into our ‘safe’ categories. The ‘matrix of authority’ that Laura Cohen is pointing out is a step in the right direction, bringing in additional criteria for evaluating material.

What’s happening..

After two long weekends in May, these five day work weeks in June are rough. June is looking busy though, with some big repository decisions coming up here, and then I’m out and about a couple of times. Next week, on the 12th June is the UKeIG Annual Seminar where I’m doing a session on Web 2.0 in academia : what works and why. I’ll put my slides on slideshare soon.
The week after, the RSP are holding their summer school again, this time in Thornton Manor in the Wirral.
I ranted about the beautiful location last year, at Dartington Hall near Totnes – someone is doing really well picking these summer school locations! After speaking with Stephanie yesterday, I think I’ll be giving a short ‘graduate’ talk.
Then, the week after that is the UC&R seminar at UWE on Web 2.0 (can’t find a link for this one at the moment).
Towards the Askenden Pub, Cambridgeshire
We were in Cambridge last week and stayed at a FarmStay in NE Essex called Rockells Farm – it’s a lovely spot, and for the fishing enthuasists, they have their own stocked lake.. We strolled to Arkesden for dinner at the Ax and Crosses – excellent food, get there early.

Top 100 Tools for Learning

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

Food for thought, possible mathematical fumblings following…
Snapshot of publications: January – February 2008 – Web of Science Alerts

•176 articles listed with University of Bath affiliated authors
•119 articles published with publishers offering an Open Access payment
• Therefore 67% of articles published are with publishers offering an OA payment option.

• Average cost of OA options = seems to be around £1000 – £1500
• Various publishers embargo articles for 6 – 24 months (ie. Taylor & Francis, OUP, Blackwells..).
• Of the snapshot total, 67 articles were with publishers who allow for immediate deposit of a post-print or publisher version of an article in an OA repository.

Therefore OA payment most useful to those who wish to get their material viewed quickly rather than for open access purposes?

A few weeks back I attended the Open Repositories conference in Southampton, UK. I’ve written up a few of what I took to be the main themes to come out of the conference below.

I enjoyed the poster sessions, and also the RSP Repository Managers meeting on the Wednesday evening. Although I had to cut and run to catch a train home, it was a great opportunity to meet with other repository managers from around the world. I would have loved to stayed and caught up with a few more people, but will have to wait until the next UKCoRR meeting I guess.
So, my thoughts on the conference:

From my perspective, main themes to come from the conference included:

o Capturing material to place in repositories (how to be part of the researchers’ workflow, to the extent of actually developing systems for writing up research)

o Integration of repositories within other services such as personalised scholarly profiles.

o Collaborative tools, and functions for adding comments, tagging or annotations to repository items featured in a number of presentations, with interesting work being done by the Linnean Society.

o Usage based evaluations of research (specifically a report from the MESUR project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, US) – investigation into whether usage statistics can provide similar metrics to citation statistics.

o Copyright issues for academic authors – what are the concerns, practical steps to address these (presentation by QUT Law Professor, Brian Fitzgerald).

o Open science and open data – particularly the technical aspects of extracting data from PDF documents such as e-theses.

Other reflections on the conference include thoughts from Pete Johnson, from Eduserve, Peter Murray-Rust has blogged a few of his thoughts, and added a postscript here, some notes from NoStuff here, some twittering here, and here.
Queue here for Portsmouth Ferry
Closure of the A36 out of Bath means diversion through the village of Hinton Charterhouse, where some clever soul is entertaining those of us stuck in the queues – the tiny blue sign says ‘Queue here for Portsmouth ferry’.. last week it was ‘Hinton Charterhouse – twinned with Detroit, motor city’. Very amusing..em>