Friday, 18 December 2009

Merry Christmas from the WRN

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our project partners. Thank you for your support and co-operation throughout the year without which the Welsh Repository Network Project would not have been as successful as it has been. Hopefully next year will be as much of a success with progress being made on the MDB and e-theses harvesting workpackages. We are also planning some new training programmes for the New Year that we hope you will find engaging and full of ideas that you can take back to apply at your institutions. We’re looking forward to coming to see you all soon but until then, best wishes for the festive break. The WRN Team. 

Monday, 14 December 2009

Official launch of Glyndŵr University Research Online (GURO)

23rd- 28th November was the official launch week of Glyndŵr University’s institutional repository GURO. Awareness of GURO was raised in the launch week by various methods, including:

  • An all staff email containing a short introduction and link to the repository website

  • Placement of a link to the repository on the University’s homepage

  • Two drop in sessions held for academic staff to come and ask questions

  • Distribution of promotional leaflets and posters

  • Presentation at an academic research forum

  • Attendance at a researcher’s breakfast group (think tank)

  • An entry in the University’s general newsletter and the Library newsletter.

Positive responses were received by researchers, students and support workers in relation to the repository; and a snapshot look at the repository stats showed a 39% increase in item downloads during the week of the launch compared to the previous week.

If you would like to find out more about GURO please contact Misha Jepson, Repository Administrator at

If you would like any help or ideas for what you could do to launch your repository or further raise its profile within your institution please contact the WRN team at

Monday, 7 December 2009

Open Access publication funds

The most recent issue of the Learned Publishing journal (23(10), January 2010) includes an article titled ‘Paying for open access? Institutional funding streams and OA publication charges,’ authored by Stephen Pinfield, Chief Information Officer at the University of Nottingham. The article made available to everyone via open access, looks at ‘the issue of institutional OA funds and summarizes the current UK situation.’ The paper also includes a 12 step guide for institutions considering implementing an OA fund based on the experiences at Nottingham, who have had an OA fund in place for the last three years.

The paper references a report co-authored by Universities UK and the Research Information Network (RIN) ‘Paying for open access charges,’ which also provides guidance to HEIs on the payment of OA publication fees.

A recent presentation by Stephen Pinfield at the OASPA 2009 conference on this topic was circulated via the UKCoRR e-mail list and a video of the presentation is available to view.

If you would like more information on OA publication funds please contact the WRN Team at

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Dipping a toe into Twitter

Communication and building a sense of community are two concepts which lie at the heart of our activities within the Welsh Repository Network. Consequently, getting to grips with, and exploting, those Web 2.0 technologies which enable new forms of communication and community building form a central part of our project plan. In some areas (such as this blog) we are already up and running, but in others we are still very much at the explorer stage. I plan to offer a series of posts here on our blog about our experiences with some of these tools as we start to engage with them. First up, Twitter.

I have been registed in a personal capacity with Twitter for a wee while now but my own use of it has been patchy and my interest has phased in and out over time. I am a terrible lurker and enjoy reading occaisonal tweets from others, but I've never quite found the inspiration (or time!) to share my thoughts and activities with others - always assuming what I was up to was of little interest to the wider world. Then last month I had the opportunity of hearing Brian Kelly of UK Web Focus give a presentation about the use of Web 2.0 in Universities and I picked up all sorts of new ideas about how some of these tools could be used in the workplace. In particular Brian's message that we should all be monitoring our brand through Twitter struck a chord and I headed back to the office with renewed vigour to look at this again.

So, gradually I am coming round to the idea of using Twitter for work purposes. I've started to use TweetDeck on a daily basis. TweetDeck is software which offers users a better way of managing tweets, allowing you to monitor searches, create groups of tweets and store the tweet traffic in a more organised fashion than that offered by the single stream interface you get on the Twitter home page. Then last week we launched the first of our WRN learning object and within minutes of our message hitting the mailing lists we were creating a little buzz in Twitterland with several people tweeting about our new resource! I was able to monitor this 'buzz' in TweetDeck and now have evidence of how widely our message is reaching. This will be very useful when it comes to reporting back to JISC. What struck me was that it was people external to our project who were doing the tweeting about our resources; while this was very welcome shouldn't we have got in there first and included tweeting the resource as part of our communications plan for the launch? Hmm, yes I think so. So we now have a Twitter username - wrnstaff - and plan to include tweeting into our communication strategy for future project deliverables. It is going to take some time and effort to maintain the mindset required to share more information in this way, but as our project starts to deliver more tangible outputs I think it will become easier to include tweeting in our thinking. It will also take time for us to build up the connections and followers required to find our place in the community so please do consider following us if you use Twitter.

Finally, the whole topic of Twitter is generating some interesting discussions within the repository community. There is a useful round up on the UKCoRR blog, while for more detailed information about tweeting repository deposits see the Enlighten blog.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Research 3.0 - How are digital technologies revolutionising research?

JISC has launching a year-long campaign called ‘Research 3.0 – driving the knowledge economy’, to debate how digital technologies are changing not only what research we do, but how it can be carried out. Key issues on the agenda for the next year will be how to share data, why collaborate and how to publish research work online.

A video has been made available on the campaign web site and the THE (Times Higher Education) has published a ’Data Revolution’ supplement, highlighting how JISC is supporting universities and the Research Councils to advance in the ever-changing technology landscape.

JISC’s new Open Science report written by UKOLN at the University of Bath and the Digital Curation Centre, is stimulating discussion about the impact of open-ness (making methodologies, data and results available on the Internet, through transparent working practices), data driven science and citizen involvement on tomorrow’s research practice. Read the Open Science report at

Join the debate and add your views on the JISC Research 3.0 blog

Thursday, 26 November 2009

WRN Learning Object launched

The WRN are pleased to announce the launch of their first learning object- ‘Multimedia Deposits: Complications and Considerations with Intellectual Property Rights.’

One of the aims and objectives for the WRN Enhancement Project is to create a series of learning objects relating to a range of repository management topics, to enable WRN partners and the wider repository community to continue their engagement with the repository agenda. It is understood that not everyone involved with repositories can dedicate the time and resources necessary to attend all of the current training opportunities available to them. It is hoped that these learning objects will go some way to filling in the gaps, offering training that can be delivered remotely, at a time convenient to an individual. Topics for future learning objects to be considered are: the application of metadata to varying repository item types; and issues surrounding e-theses.

We are looking for feedback on this learning object to aid us with the design and content of future learning objects we are looking to create. An online survey has been created for the evaluation of the learning object above, the link to which can be found within the last page of the learning object.

Monday, 23 November 2009

euroCRIS Members Meeting

University of St. Andrews- November 11-13

Earlier in the month I attended the euroCRIS Members Meeting hosted at the University of St. Andrews. euroCRIS is a not-for-profit association and aims to be the internationally recognized point of reference for all matters relating to Current Research Information Systems (CRIS). The organisation are also charged by the EC as the custodians of CERIF (Common European Research Information Format) an international standard for interoperation of CRIS, and an EU recommendation to the member states.

The first day of the meeting provided an introduction to the group for new members like me, through short presentations on the group’s current activities. There was also a tutorial on CERIF, describing the conceptual model of how the ideal CRIS would be structured and what information should be held to describe every research activity and the relationships between the key entities. The CERIF model is standardized but it is up to the institution applying the model within their system as to which semantics are used to describe each element. This is recognized as a barrier to CRIS interoperability and the euroCRIS Board have begun to look at a Publication Type standardization list. CERIF is a standard and there are a handful of CRIS that are CERIF compliant. CERIF has also been prepared in XML format so it can be applied to a system being designed in- house.

The second day of the meeting began with presentations from a number of specially invited speakers from Scottish HEIs. Valerie McCutcheon gave an interesting presentation on the University of Glasgow’s in- house CRIS. The CRIS is fed by the University’s HR, finance and student records systems as well as their institutional repository Enlighten. The system then in turn feeds the finance and student records systems, the institutional repository and University department’s research mapping databases and academic’s webpages. The system can keep tabs on everyone involved in University research regardless of whether they are internal or external to the University, or whether they are a member of staff or a student. The system is also set up to e-mail the lead researcher of a project to remind them of forthcoming project milestones such as reporting deadlines. Glasgow are currently funded by JISC for their Enrich project, looking to improve the integration of Enlighten with the CRIS.

The second presentation came from Lisa Rogers, Heriot Watt University who is working on the journalTOCs project. The project has aggregated the table of contents’ RSS feeds of over 12,000 journal titles to provide a search and current awareness service for journal publications. The project has also created a number of APIs which can be embedded within a website. One API can offer a search on journal titles, another on article metadata. A third API can limit a search down to those journals subscribed to by an institution. It’s also possible to create a MyTOCs list of selected journal titles. Lisa discussed two possible use cases for the application of a journalTOC API for a repository manager: the first, to help identify new content for a repository; the second, to enhance the metadata of existing recently added items in the repository. It is also possible to set up an alert when a pre-print within a repository is finally published in a journal. I asked Lisa afterwards about the possibility of applying the API in a repository as a way of auto-completing metadata when making a submission to a repository. It was thought that with some developer’s magic this could be possible. The use of the API in this method with some of the commercial CRIS was also discussed as highlighted by the journlTOCs team in their blog post about their attendance at the meeting: Presentation at EUROCRIS.

In the afternoon a presentation was given by Marjan Vernooy, SURFfoundation in which she outlined the results of an investigation comparing three CRIS- PURE (Atira), CONVERIS (Avedas) and Metis. The study compared the three systems on a number of points such as: input and registration; output and reporting; adaptability; and pricing. Although all three systems scored similarly, PURE was the system that scored the highest on most points.

Another presentation of note was given by Mark Cox, Kings College London about their R4R (Readiness4REF) JISC project. The presentation focused specifically on the project objectives directly related to CERIF which are based on the development of a CERIF4REF profile. This profile would act as a wrapper around current CRIS data to make it compatible for REF reporting. The project is also looking to work with both publishers and RCUK to explore the use of CERIF4REF in importing/ exporting data. The application of CERIF4REF with ePrints, Dspace and Fedora repository systems is also being considered.

With the forthcoming REF the implementation of CRIS within institutions has come to the fore. The euroCRIS group is a good point of reference for those interested in the benefits of a CRIS and their potential uses. euroCRIS can offer training in these areas and also hold biennial conferences on related topics. To take advantage of all of the group’s services it is necessary to take out an annual membership . Different membership types are available.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Citation Count APIs

A couple of weeks ago Stuart Lewis disseminated to the repository community some work he had been doing on a citation count API for use in repositories. The API created by Stuart creates a plug-in to a repository item record showing the citation count for that item in the SCOPUS bibliographic index. The API works by matching the DOI included in the repository item record with the DOI in the SCOPUS record for the same item. Discussion within the mailing lists however, highlighted that it would be fairly easy to extend the API to match with an item’s title/ author/ year etc. if DOIs are not consistently present within repository item records. A blog post about the API and how to implement it within a repository can be found within Stuart’s blog. Further examples of how the citation count API can be used are available from the SCOPUS website.

An example of the SCOPUS citation count API in action within a repository record can be seen from The HKU (University of Hong Kong) Scholars Hub . This item record example also has citation counts for the item within Web of Science. Through some Google searching I hunted down the following blog post by Jonathan Rochkind at John Hopkins University highlighting the application of the “Link Article Match Retrieval Service” (described at the bottom of the webpage). If your institution has a subscription to WoS, this API will provide you with the citation counts for an item matched by DOI/ author/ title for use within a repository record.

The use of citation counts within repository item records can be extremely useful within the forthcoming REF as a way of demonstrating the level of ‘Impact’ an item has had. It can also be a way of enabling institutions to select the publications they wish to put forward for the REF, highlighting a well received piece of research.

The APIs described above will give you the total citation counts for the item within those specific bibliographic databases. For some institutional reporting the citation counts per year are necessary but specific subscriptions to WoS and SCOPUS services are necessary to access these.

If you would like more information about the use and implementation of citation count APIs within your repository please contact the WRN Team at

Statistics follow up

Following on from previous posts about statistics and how to use them there have been a few more ideas circulating the community which I thought we'd share with you:

Firstly, Jenny Delasalle from Warwick has posted some further thoughts on using Google Analytics on the WRAP Repository Blog . The idea of sending out monthly email communications to the authors of the top downloads from within the repository is an inspiring way of generating institutional awareness of your content.

Secondly, William Nixon of Enlighten has shared the methods he uses with Google Analytics to create a top 100 list of search terms and phrases which they then promote on their repository. Full details appeared on the UKCoRR mailing list.

Please contact us via if you'd like to learn more about using Google Analytics with your repository.

News round up

A round up of a few news items for your attention ...

Welsh Repository Network - now on Wikipedia!
In order to increase our online presence and engage with Web 2.0 methods of communication we have now added a page all about the WRN to Wikipedia.

Study on links between repositories and OPACS
A new study has been published on the links between repositories and OPACS. The JISC-funded ‘Online catalogue and repository interoperability study’ carried out by the Centre for Digital Library Research at the University of Strathclyde suggests that although there is overlap between the types of information resources recorded in library catalogues and repositories, these overlaps are rarely apparent to the information seeker. This is because both types of system need to be searched separately as there is no interlinking. The study offers practical advice for universities looking to make improvements in this area.

Article on Open Access in the Times Higher
Learning to share
12 November 2009
By Zoë Corbyn, Matthew Reisz

This major and potentially significant article on the Open Access debate appeared in the Times Higher last week. (Link may need a subscription to the THE)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Text Mining for Scholarly Communications and Repositories Joint Workshop

The Text Mining workshop was held in Manchester on 28-29th October 2009 and focused on the challenges and priorities associated with integrating text mining technologies in applications to support scholarly communication and repository initiatives. With the vast amounts of information now available on the internet, the benefits provided by text mining for discovering relevant documents have become increasingly significant.

Professor Tony Hey presented the keynote and he spoke about the need for more intelligent data discovery in a multi-disciplinary and collaborative way for Science to move from data and information towards knowledge (DIKW). These complex technologies have been applied successfully to the Science domains, particularly chemistry and medicine and are being adopted by BioMedCentral and Elsevier. Rafael Sidi from Elsevier again spoke of information overload and the importance of building applications on top of content using open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This would allow interoperability and collaboration between publishers' collections and the potential for free access to content with subscriptions for the added services.

Emma Tonkin's overview of the FixRep Project at UKOLN that is examining text mining techniques for automated metadata extraction was particularly relevant to the repository world. Presentations are now available online at The National Centre for Text Mining.

Thursday, 29 October 2009


Research Scope is federated harvesting and discovery service that provides an appealing and useful single point of access to open access research in Ireland.

It works by harvesting information from research repositories across the country; by re-presenting them via ResearchScope as well as the original home repositories, the information is made more visible to web search engines. ResearchScope is powered by a piece of open source software called Harvester, produced by the Public Knowledge Project, a Canadian group based in Simon Frasier University. A video presentation about ResearchScope is available via YouTube.

This is a useful and interesting model for the Welsh Repository Network to consider and we will look at this in more detail in our next business meeting.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Welcome to I-WIRE Project Staff

Welcome to Scott Hill, Project Manager and Louise Harrington, Project Support Officer who have joined the team at Cardiff University's I-WIRE Project.

Scott and Louise joined the team last week, bringing the core project team to full capacity, and are now in the process of putting project controls in place and progressing the first of the Work Packages.

The I-WIRE (Integrated Workflow for Institutional Repository Enhancement) Project is funded by the JISC Information Environment 2009-2011 (INF11) programme. The project will develop a workflow and toolset, integrated into a portal environment, for the submission, indexing, and re-purposing of research outputs in Cardiff University’s Institutional Repository ORCA. This will be based on requirements gathered from academic Schools and administrative Directorates in the University.

The I-WIRE project BLOG is at:

If you would like any more information about the project please get in touch with either Scott ( or Louise (

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

CADAIR Repository Advisor new UKCoRR Secretary

Congratulations to Dr. Nicky Cashman, CADAIR Repository Advisor, Aberystwyth University, who is the newly appointed Secrteary of UKCoRR, ‘the professional organisation for UK open access repository administrators and managers.’

Speaking about her nomination, Nicky said “I have the enthusiasm to positively promote UKCoRR that stems from a desire to become an integral part of an ever-increasing repository community. I am in contact with several publishers, have a good working relationship with both university management and academic staff and thus have a comprehensive understanding of how present repository issues affect individuals such as ourselves”.

Any individual whose work is directly involved with a repository can become a member of UKCoRR and it is a really good forum to obtain advice and good practice from other repository staff. If you would like to become a member of UKCoRR, please visit and follow the instructions on the page.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Open Access Week Underway

Open Access Week is now underway and here in the WRN offices we've been gathering together some of the news stories we've seen...

Open Access for UK research: JISC’s contributions - Summary of achievements
This new booklet on Open Access ,published to co-incide with OA week, promotes the work JISC have been doing in this field and includes a nice name check for the Welsh Repository Network - see the purple box on the left of page 4 in the pdf version.

New Open Access website encourages exchange of research data
SURF, the higher education and research partnership for network services and ICT in the Netherlands, has launched a website to provide structured information about Open Access to research results and the advantages that Open Access has. Practical examples are used to illustrate the possibilities opened up by the Internet for innovations in scholarly communication.

University of Glasgow - Enlighten News Stories
The University of Glasgow are celebrating OA week by publicly recognising different people within the University who have been working hard to make their repository Enlighten successful. They will be featuring a different person (or people!) each day of the week with a news story on their site.

Institutional Repository Bibliography
To celebrate Open Access Week Digital Scholarship is releasing version one of the Institutional Repository Bibliography. This bibliography presents over 620 selected English-language articles, books, and other scholarly textual sources that are useful in understanding institutional repositories.

RSP Deposit Competition
The RSP is running a competition to find the institution with the greatest number of fulltext, open access items deposited in its repository during open access week. The top institution wins a fabulous RSP iPod!

It would be nice to gather together any stories from around Wales to do our own bit of OA promotion, so please do get in touch with the team via if you have done anything to promote OA week.

Monday, 19 October 2009

More on impact and value

This is just a quick update to pass on a useful article about repositories and impact. Colin Smith of Open Research Online has recently posted an article on his blog outlining the benefits of an IR when it comes to impact and demonstrating value for the REF. Definately well worth a quick read!

Friday, 16 October 2009

JISC Deposit Show & Tell

I attended the JISC Deposit Show & Tell event held at Birkbeck, London on Monday 12th October. The aim of the event was to identify deposit tools or combinations of tools that would clearly benefit repository users and to plot a path for those tools toward widespread and sustainable take-up. JISC's funding roadmap includes provision for sustained improvements to the 'deposit' process and it is hoped that the outcomes from the event will inform JISC's planning.

The first half of the day provided a stage for developers to 'show & tell' the deposit tools they have been working on so that a list of features/functions that have been used in a real end user deposit processes could be created. The second half of the day was spent mock prototyping projects that could further build and distribute the next generation of deposit tools to specific end users.

Stuart Lewis from Auckland University presented an interesting GenericDeposit via email (and SWORD). The aim is to provide academics and researchers with a familiar interface - an email is sent to the 'repository' with the title in the subject heading, an abstract in the body and files for deposit are attached. The author is assumed to be the sender and an email reply is then received on the status of the deposit. Very neat and very simple!

EMLoader, demonstrated by Fred Howel enables easier deposit of research papers through bulk upload of bibliographic metadata. The functionality again uses SWORD and connects two existing services: the Depot, a UK repository for researchers who do not have other provision, and, a web site for researchers to build a web page listing their publications.

The day was well attended and brought developers together from a range of projects in a productive session - JISC will issue a call for funding based on some of these ideas.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Edinburgh Repository Fringe 2009

"Beyond the Repository Fringe" was held on 30th and 31st of July in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. This followed on from last years successful gathering and was aimed at an audience of repository developers, managers, researchers and administrators to see how the Repository landscape is developing and what new techniques and ideas are on the horizon.

The event kicked off with a welcome from Sheila Cannell, Head of Edinburgh University Library Services. Sheila highlighted the current financial crisis and suggested that this may act as the catalyst to trigger real changes in methods of scholarly communication - will this alter the balance between journal publications and open access?

The opening Keynote was given by Ben O'Steen and Sally Rumsey from Oxford University. We had an interesting view of the history of the Bodleian Library - "an arc to save knowledge" - and the parallels with today's institutional repositories. Ben emphasised Clifford Lynch's idea of repositories as a set of services and like the internet they should be distributed across a number of nodes. So the idea of a single stand alone repository is on its way out. He also explained the importance of linked data and connections between 'things' on the web - RDF provides a framework for this. Sally summed up by saying that repositories are moving forward but it will be a slow incremental change and we are waiting for simplification of processes especially deposit and collaboration between IRs and publishers. My view is that technically, SWORD has gone a long way to simplifying deposit but there is a demand for auto-completion of metadata.

The rest of the morning session was taken up with a series of entertaining Pecha Kucha presentations which consist of 20 slides displayed for exactly 20 seconds each. James Toon from University of Edinburgh gave an interesting overview of the ERIS project which builds on the successful IRIScotland pilot. The aim is "to develop a set of user-led and user-centric solutions that will motivate researchers to deposit their work in repositories, facilitate the integration of repositories in research and institutional processes". There are strong parallels here with the WRN and RSP and we are already planning to link up and discuss possible ways collaborating.

Les Carr spoke about "Repository Challenges" and covered the themes of service integration, e-learning and the need for repositories to be efficient and effective and to "Pimp our research ride"! He also suggested that repositories are like a box of Lego so that you can put data together as lots of modular components. Richard Jones gave us an overview of Repository Tools that his company Symplectic have developed and Julian Cheal from UKOLN then gave an award winning insight in to his Adobe Air deposit tool. Rumour has it that the bottle of whiskey he won for his entertaining and informative presentation was finished off that evening during a lively debate!

Hannah and I presented an overview of the WRN project, how we aim to work with other groups and projects, offer support for partners and the e-Theses project. Joyce Lewis from Southampton told an interesting story about how repositories can be used in Marketing by creating a narrative that links to items. We also heard from William Nixon & Gordon Allan about the interesting work being done in Glasgow University by the Enrich project which aims to bring disconnected research elements together. They highlighted the fact that the research lifecycle includes a short burst of publishing but there is a lot of unpublished work and that repositories and research systems can no longer operate in isolation.

There were two parallel afternoon sessions: "Show and Tell" and a DataShare meeting. The "Show and Tell" kicked off with Morag Watson from Edinburgh University telling us about her experiences with Open Journal Systems (OJS) which is being used by libraries for publishing and managing journals at low cost. It is open source, has a flexible design, can be installed locally and is easy to use and administer. Hugh Glaser from Southampton University then took up the earlier theme of the Semantic Web by showing us how open data can be linked when identified by names. He concludes by asking can you reliably match your publications to a consistent author id?

Fred Howell gave a very interesting overview of the EM Loader project which connects to the Depot, a nationwide repository being run by EDINA. allows you to maintain personal publications lists and the metadata can be used to deposit items via SWORD. They also included a PubMed search to allow authors to find papers. Daniel Hook of Symplectic then described their system for automatic aggregation of data from key data sources to automatically generate lists of publications. Again the motivation here was to encourage authors to manage and deposit their research output by lowering the barriers and providing incentives in the form citation and usage statistics.

The second morning consisted of Digital Curation Centre network meeting and a series of Tutorials and Round Table discussions. The first of the Round Table discussions "Practical impact and experiences of institutional OA mandates for IRs" was hosted by Helen Muir of queen Margaret University. Not surprisingly researchers and academics tend to resent the pressure applied by the 'stick' approach of mandates and often it is better to emphasise the benefits of OA through the use of publications lists and Google Analytics etc. Of all those present for the discussion, without exception they used a mediated deposit process either through library staff or research administrators. Participants also expressed difficulty in getting 'final' versions but noted that targeting 'star' researchers tends to have a knock on effect.

Ian Stuart from EDINA chaired the Round Table discussion on "Where will repositories be in 5 years time?" This produced a lively session which saw IRs providing the core management of data but becoming part of a wider research management processes and questioned whether current peer review practices would change.

The Closing Plenary was delivered by Clifford Lynch from the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) who spoke about repository services, the life-cycle of what goes in to repositories, and building and selling repositories. More on the Closing Plenary can be found here.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

SPARC Deposit Mandate Resources

Using the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences as a case study, SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has developed a set of resources looking at how to develop and instate a successful open-access policy (or deposit mandate) within an institution in regards to its repository or website. Links to these resources are available from the SPARC Advocacy page Campus Open Access Policies. Resources are available for both those institutions who have already initiated such a policy, as well as for those who are considering the implementation of an open-access policy in the future.

If you would like any further information about open-access policies/ deposit mandates and how they can be inplemented within your institution, please contact the WRN Team at


Do you want to demonstrate the importance of your repository?
Do you want to demonstrate the global impact of the content you are collecting?
Do you want to know who is visiting your repository, where they come from and how they find you?

Statistics can help!

Collecting and analysing usage statistics can greatly help institutions demonstrate the world-wide impact of their repository and can help justify the input of effort required to gather that ever elusive content! Nicky Cashman, Repository Advisor at Aberystwyth University, has recently used the reporting tools in Google Analytics to create a usage report for AU's institutional repository Cadair.

Screen shot of Cadair statistical report

The report contains a selection of the 'big picture' repository statistics alongside name checks for the top downloads and contributors, and a selection of postive feedback and comments from repository users. The format is brief but it gets across the key messages in an eye catching way, especially with the use of colourful graphs and charts. Nicky will be producing these reports on a regular basis and is planning to use them in various forums where the repository is under discussion, including meetings with senior managers and decision makers. A copy of Nicky's full statistical report is available in the WRN document store on our web site. If any partners want more information about using and exploiting statistics, or want assistance getting Google Analytics up and running on their repository, please just email WRN the team.

Finally, it seems appropriate to add to this post the results of the recent WRN statistical census that we undertook. Between July and October 2009 we have seen just over a 12% growth in the number of items contained within the Welsh repositories. A table showing individual growth rates across this first reporting period appears below.

Fingers crossed we can build on these figures over the coming months.

Friday, 9 October 2009

New WRN website launched

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new Welsh Repository Network (WRN) website, available here

The new WRN website brings you information about the project, news on its current activities, and links to the documents and presentations produced by the project team/ project partners.

Other features of the new site include:

Project partner repository search: Allowing you to search for content across partner repositories by entering the search term in just one place.
Chat with the WRN team: Utilising the Google Chat client to offer instant support to project partner queries.
Partners Links/ WRN button: Clickable map giving the location and providing access to each of the repositories that make up the Welsh Repository Network.

**Coming soon**
Learning Objects: Online learning objects on various repository related topics to work through remotely from your desktop.

We would like to have your feedback on the website so have a look, give things a try and Get in Touch.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Research Management News

The second consultation document for the Research Excellence Framework has now been published. This document sets out the new arrangements for the assessment and funding of research in UK higher education institutions that will replace the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), including information about the proposals to assess the impact of research. Responses to the consultation should be made by midday on 16th December 2009.

Secondly, a euroCRIS membership meeting will take place in St. Andrews on the 11-13 November 2009. euroCRIS is the professional association of CRIS (Current Research Information Systems) experts and custodian of the CERIF standard, and is dedicated to improvement of research information availability.

The membership meeting programme will comprise: a euroCRIS overview session, including business meeting; a CERIF tutorial; progress of the new website; Scottish session and Jostein Hauge session. A one-day workshop on the last day will deal with CERIF-CRIS implementations, their benefits and problems.

Are any partners already members of euroCRIS? Or is anyone interested in joining? The membership fees are reasonable and given that a few of our partners are considering implementing CRIS systems we feel this is an area worth finding out more about. Please contact us via if you are interested in going to this meeting or already planning to attend.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Open Journal Systems (OJS)

During the last WRN video meeting, partners expressed an interest in Open Journal Systems (OJS) which is being used by libraries for publishing and managing journals at low cost. It is open source, has a flexible design, can be installed locally and is easy to use and administer. Morag Watson from Edinburgh University gave a very positive review of this system at the recent Edinburgh Repository Fringe 2009. There will be a further blog post covering this event in the next few days.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Successful Site Visit

Institution: Swansea Metropolitan University
18th September 2009
Subject: Site Visit

On Friday 18th September the WRN team conducted a successful site visit at Swansea Metropolitan University. At the invitation of Anne Harvey, Head of Library and Learning Services, Antony and I met with members of the institution’s Repository Working Group along with other Senior Academics, and delivered a presentation introducing the work of the WRN and the benefits of submitting to and using a repository. This presentation facilitated discussion with those present as to some of the organisational, cultural and professional issues associated with managing, populating and embedding repositories within the processes of the institution. Feedback from those academics present was positive and the position and development of the repository will be taken forward and discussed within future committees.

Anne Harvey, Head of Library and Learning Services, Swansea Metropolitan University
Hannah Payne, Repository Support Officer, WRN

Following a tasty buffet lunch, Antony and I then demonstrated the workflow submission process within DSpace, highlighting the methods for administering workflow steps and managing workflow permissions. Antony then met with members of the University’s technical team to talk through some of the particulars of Swansea Met’s repository installation; whilst I explored collection policy ideas in relation to the Welsh E-theses Harvesting Service and Mediated Deposit Bureau workpackages with Anne and Dr. David Ashelby, Dean of Academic Affairs. Help was also given with the completion of the e-thesis questionnaire.

If anyone wants any further information about these site visit elements, or would be interested in the delivery of any similar training within their own institution, please don’t hesitate to contact the WRN Team at

Thursday, 24 September 2009

News Round-up

Two interesting pieces of news from repository land this week ...

Enabling Open Scholarship

EnablingOpenScholarship (EOS) is a new organisation for universities and research institutions worldwide. It is acting as both an information service and a forum for raising and discussing issues around the mission of modern universities and research institutions, particularly with regard to the creation, dissemination and preservation of research findings. Of particular note is the fact that EOS is primarily aimed at senior institutional managers who have an interest in, and wish to help develop thinking on, strategies for promoting open scholarship to the academy as a whole and to society at large.

Repositories are mentioned widely on the site and we would encourage all our parnters to explore this new resource and promote it within their own institution.

Open Access Week & RSP Deposit Competition

To coincide with Open Access Week (19th-23rd October 2009) the Repositories Support Project (RSP) is launching a competition! The UK institution with the greatest number of fulltext, open access items deposited in its repository during open access week wins an RSP iPod!

With our next WRN statistical census date fast approaching (1st Oct), our attention will be drawn to the progress (or otherwise!) with getting full text content into our own Welsh repositories. Perhaps we should all enter into the competitve spirit and use Open Access Week as an opportunity to encourage academics to deposit more content?

Monday, 14 September 2009

JISC Cross Project Forum: 8th September, 2009

On Tuesday 8th September, Antony and I represented the WRN at a JISC organised Cross Project Forum. Also in attendance were representatives of the RSP, UKCoRR, ERIS (Enhancing Repository Infrastructure in Scotland) and UKOLN. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together similarly focussed repository projects and groups to consider and discuss repository development and support across the UK. It was hoped that the forum could be held at regular intervals over the next 18 months and that over this time those within the forum could collaborate with each other in order to meet the individual aims and objectives of each group.

Points of interest from the meeting in regards to the WRN and its partners included:

  • Dominic Tate, RSP Project Co-ordinator, relayed to the group that the focus of the new phase RSP was looking to continue its support of Repository Managers within England and Wales; with the continued focus of encouraging more content within HE repositories. The RSP hoped to deliver ‘campaigns’ on certain repository topics, entailing high level events; training; and support materials.

  • ERIS, represented by Project Manager, James Toon, is looking to work with both Repository Managers and Researchers within Scottish HEIs to create tools and solutions to encourage engagement and content within Scottish IRs. A special focus is on the work of cross-institutional research pools and the curation of any data produced. ERIS will build upon the work of the previous IRIScotland project. This project established two pilot services: a cross repository harvesting service to aggregate research outputs; and a hosting service based at the National Library of Scotland for those without repositories. These services are of particular interest to the WRN in light of our proposed e-theses harvesting work package. The previous project also produced a draft metadata policy between partners which may be useful to inform our Mediated Deposit Bureau.

  • The possibility of special interest/ software user groups within the bigger UKCoRR structure was suggested by Mary Robinson, UKCoRR Secretary. The IRIScotland and WRN groups already create forums for the included Repository Managers/ Staff and possible ways for those groups as a whole to be represented within UKCoRR were considered such as the creation of group ‘reps.’

Other interesting points discussed included:

  • The creation of academic profiles to identify the types of ‘academic’ that are out there and their views on OA publishing along with their potential relationship with a repository. Suggestions for advocacy and engagement strategies for each type will also be produced.

  • The creation of a ‘How to’ advocacy pack including model answers to academics’ repository FAQs.

  • The use of Twitter to raise awareness of individual repositories. A suggestion was to have repository staff appear as personal members but to use it as a professional site; making tweets about repository achievements and developments. Rather than having a repository account automatically tweeting when particular items were deposited. A repository RSS/Atom news feed maybe better suited for this purpose.

  • Development of a technical awareness list for JISC projects so results of past projects within one technical area are grouped together and easily searchable so developed software is not lost.

  • Forthcoming publication of a JISC study on Repository and OPAC links. James highlighted that work has been carried out at the National Library of Scotland connecting their repository with a Voyager OPAC, an area of interest for many of the Welsh HEIs.

See the UKCoRR blog for another post about this meeting and other posts regarding repository issues and UKCoRR.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

JISC Inform article

Just a quick post to pass on the news that the Welsh Repository Network has received a nice write up in the latest issue of JISC Inform ...

A nice overview of our success to date - let's keep the momentum going!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Support Query: Author Name Versioning

Institution: University of Glamorgan
Date: 30th June 2009
Subject: Metadata

A recent query came in from the University of Glamorgan who were looking as to how ‘to build some robustness around the issue of duplicate authors appearing in DSpace when the same author has a variety of author names.’ The phenomenon of different author names for the same author comes about from different publishers enforcing different citation styles and restrictions on an author. If each of these different names is entered into the ‘Author’ field of an item’s metadata record then there will be as many ‘Browse by Author’ records available in the repository as there are varieties of the author’s name.

A response to the query came from Bangor University who are planning in the future to agree a name format with each author and to use this agreed name in the ‘Author’ field. The publisher’s version of the name could then appear in the citation for the item entered into the ‘Citation’ field. By entering the data in this way only one ‘Browse by Author’ record is ever created but the name variant still appears in the item record and is therefore, a searchable object for search and discovery services such as Google.

This method offers a very straightforward solution to the problem but relies on the individual to recognise which author the variant name is associated with. I put the query forward to the JISC-REPOSITORIES mailing list to see if there were any other methods being utilised within other repositories and if any of these were a more automated solution to the problem.

I was previously aware of the Names project, which is developing a name authority system to reliably and uniquely identify individuals and institutions. This project has received further JISC funding and they are developing their prototype API which uses the Zetoc service to identify authors by assigning a unique id to each individual, and then associating each variant of the author’s name to this id. Current documentation on this API is available from, along with some example searches from the prototype. Networking Names, was highlighted as another initiative which looked to identify components of a “Cooperative Identities Hub” which would store information to help identify unique entities such as individual authors.

Another development which was of interest was CoNE (Control of Named Entities), a module which, according to the developer, can sit over DSpace, EPrints or Fedora repository software. It allows you to create an authority record for a number of metadata fields, including Author Name, so you can add all the known variants of that field into the module but you are prompted to use the confirmed authority record (or name version) for that entry. This module also applies to Journal Titles which may be of use if some contributors use title abbreviations.

A number of the respondents to the query were EPrints users, this software already offering auto-completion for a variety of fields including Author Name, using information from a known database or web service, i.e. LDAP. The ‘Creator’ (Author) field is a combination of a ‘name’ and an ‘id’ i.e. an e-mail address, which gives further authentication for each author. A citation in EPrints is not entered as a separate field however, but is concatenated from a selection of the other item record metadata fields. Therefore, whatever name is entered as an author will then be used within the citation.

This functionality means that it is not possible for two variants of an author name to appear within the same record, and if you wanted to stay true to the publisher’s version each time you would be back to having different ‘Browse by Author’ records again; although, in the repository database each name variant would be associated with the same author id. It was pointed out however, that this functionality does allow a controlled house citation style to be used within each repository record citation. As one respondent said, ‘The form of a citation always depends on the publication in which it appears, not on the publication to which it refers.’ Perhaps then the publisher’s version of an author name does not need to be stuck to rigidly, or even reflected within an item record, and an agreed in-house style for citation can be used each time.

If anyone would like further clarification of this information, or would like help with any other item record queries then please do not hesitate to contact the WRN team via

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The REF: Results of Pilots and Future Developments

I recently attended a one day programme organised by Kings College London on The REF: Results of Pilots and Future Developments. Supported by HEFCE, the day gave those involved, and not involved, with the pilot alike the opportunity to learn more about the planned direction of the REF. The day consisted of a number of presentations to all delegates in the morning including two speakers from HEFCE, with parallel sessions on various related topics running in the afternoon.

A large emphasis within the REF Pilot had been on citation analysis, with debate circulating as to the use of such analyses to replace the peer review process used previously within the RAE. What papers would be considered within the REF was also the subject of debate with the pilot considering three possible methods of identifying academic’s papers for citation analysis (as explained to the WRN at this month’s Gregynog Colloquium Repository Stream by Lyndsey Savage, Bangor University): all academic papers identified by author’s name; all academic papers by author’s institutions; selection of academic papers for authors.

From attending the London event, it seems that the REF will bear a resemblance to the previous RAE, with a selection of an author’s best papers being put forward for peer- review assessment, and the citation analysis for each paper being provided to inform the panel. What still remains unclear is which sources will be used to inform the citation analysis. Web of Science and SCOPUS were both used within the pilot but concern was expressed by a number of delegates within one of the parallel sessions I attended that their institution either subscribed to one service or the other, and not both. The use of Open Access sources such as repositories was not going to be used to gather citation analyses as far as I could tell from discussions.

The assessment of ‘impact’ of research will also form part of the REF, a factor that none of the discussions I'd heard previously had even considered. How institutions will construct, record and store such information along with the author data, the research ouput data and the citation data is a new challenge to be met.

The use of repositories for the management of such information to construct an REF return was touched upon. Two JISC projects presented in one of the afternoon sessions were R4R (Readiness for REF) and a project at the University of Reading, with both looking specifically at how a repository can be developed for this purpose.

The second afternoon session I attended ‘ICT implications for the REF,’ discussed research conducted on behalf of JISC that surveyed REF pilot institutions as to their use of ICT in preparing information for the pilot. The study found that the use of ICT was varied between each institution, and that institutions would have to develop much better processes for capturing research outputs, the crux point for all being trying to successfully link research output data to staff data.

A number of systems were being used within the institutions of the attendant delegates, with both research management systems and repositories in place. A second JISC study, ‘Repositories and Research Management Systems,’ found minimal integration between the two systems or their processes when in place within an institution. Some of the newly funded JISC projects, including Cardiff University’s I-WIRE project, which are looking as to how such systems can be integrated were presented on the day.

There were around 300 delegates in attendance on the day and it was interesting to see the variety of job titles; with a large majority either affiliated with the research office, the library or the repository. This highlighted to me the number of stakeholders involved in an institution with an RAE/ REF return and brought home further the need for not only integration between disparate systems but collaboration between disparate departments.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Gregynog 2009 - Presentations now available

The presentations from the repositories strand held at the recent Gregynog Colloquium 2009 are now available online:

  • 'Copyright & Repositories' Jackie Knowles, WRN Presentation slides

  • 'Multimedia Deposits: Complications and Considerations' HannahPayne, WRN Presentation slides

  • 'EThOS and the Aberystwyth Experience’ Dr. Nicky Cashman, Aberystwyth University Presentation slides

  • ‘Repository@Bangor and the REF pilot’ Lyndsey Savage, Bangor University Presentation slides

  • ‘Integrating ORCA: Cardiff University's journey to an institutional repository with a service oriented approach’ Tracey Andrews, Cardiff University Presentation slides

  • ‘Repository Management: the University of Liverpool experience’ Shirley Yearwood- Jackman, University of Liverpool Presentation slides

  • ‘The Welsh Repository Network: Where do we go from here?’ Jackie Knowles, WRN Presentation slides

  • 'Repositories and JISC' Andy MacGregor, JISC Presentation slides

The WRN team would like to extend their thanks to both the presenters and the participants attending the strand whose enthusiasm and hard work contributed to the success of the event. The extended two day programme we offered this year proved to be well justified with excellent attendance across the board. If anyone has any queries about any of the sessions, or if you would like follow up on any particular topic, then please do not hesitate to contact the team using the usual address.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Support call: metadata advice

Institution: Bangor University
Date: 28th April 2009
Subject: Metadata

Bangor University are using their master publications database to feed information about research outputs into their repository. They recently called the WRN team to seek advice about transferring various fields of metadata from their database into the repository, and specifically which of the Dublin Core (DC) fields were most appropriate for various bits of publication information. These are the fields in question:

Conference name
We advised to map this to the publisher field in DC. Even if the conference is not strictly 'published' this is probably still the best place for the conference name information to be stored as the DC qualifier nameConference can be used in this field.

Commissioning bodies
We advised to map this information to a DC description field. It could be mapped to a contributor field but the catch all of description is probably the better option.

Patent number
We advised to map this item to a DC identifier field. At present there is no qualifier within the identifier field for patent numbers but one could be used in the metadata scheme as a local modification so on the full item record the field would be tagged as identifier:patent number.

Media of output
During discussion we discovered that the media of output field is used at Bangor to house a mixture of information, sometimes containing information about the type of deposit such a conference poster and sometimes about the format it comes in such as on CDROM etc. As such we advised to again map this item to a DC description field as it is a catch all place for information to go, much like an additional information field. The varying contents of this field raised an interesting question about item types in the repository. The type information about publications in the Bangor publications database is stored as a letter code in a specific field and this should transfer over to the repository and into the DC type field quite happily. However, when we were asked about agreed terminology for the types within the repository we uncovered an interesting conundrum. There is a recommendation within DC standard to use a vocabulary within the type field, but this is quite restrictive and does not align with what are typically considered to be publication types in the repository. The vocabulary categorises most repository item types as 'text' which is not sufficiently detailed to indicate whether the item is a journal article, a book chapter, a report etc. We consequently advised Bangor that two DC type fields can be used within the metadata schema, one to store the required DC vocabulary terminology, and a second one to contain the more descriptive item types we would expect to see. At Aberystwyth University we have made this addition to our metadata scheme and added a local qualifier to the second type field - type:publicationtype - and defined our own set of values for this field to reflect the various types of information we store.

If anyone would like further clarification of this information, or would like help with their own metadata choices then please do not hesitate to contact the WRN team via

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Technical Priorities Survey

Work package 4 of the new project is looking to build and implement a variety of technical tools and services to develop and enhance repository infrastructure and usage. A large number of possible tools were suggested within the original project bid:

  • Copyright checking by journal title integrated into the workflow process

  • Automated metadata completion e.g. gathering journal metadata from external databases

  • Automatic cover sheet generation for repository deposits

  • Embargo management

  • Enhanced metadata collection (author affiliation etc. etc.?)

  • Import/Export of metadata
  • Generation of online CVs bibliography web pages from repository content

  • Export/import of publication information from repository to chosen citation software

  • Export/import of publication information into other university systems e.g. library catalogue

  • Export/import of publication information into other repositories

  • Repository management
  • Improvement of repository statistics and reporting

  • Integration of repository in REF requirements for reporting and statistical analysis

  • Integrating preservation services into the repository

  • Handling storage capacity for large items such as data and multimedia

  • User experience
  • Shopping basket facility allowing users to collect items together and download as a single package

  • Embedded players and streaming for display of multimedia deposits

  • We are currently surveying the WRN community as to which of these developments they see as priority for the project team to work on. Project partners should submit their choices by email by Friday 22nd May 2009.

    Tuesday, 12 May 2009

    Gregynog Repositories Strand 2009

    Booking for this year’s Gregynog Colloquium is now open and the WRN project is able to fund the attendance of two delegates from each WRN HEI to the organised Repository Stream. The stream will take place from Tuesday lunchtime through to Wednesday afternoon and will comprise of practical workshops, presentations and a face- to- face WRN business meeting to be held on the Wednesday afternoon.

    Tuesday 9th June

    2.00 - 3.15
    Copyright Workshop: Jackie Knowles and Hannah Payne, WRN (AU)

    3.15 – 3.45

    3.45 - 5.00
    Multimedia Deposits Presentation & Workshop: HannahPayne, WRN (AU)

    Wednesday 10th June

    9.30 - 10.00
    'EThOS and the Aberystwyth Experience’ Dr. Nicky Cashman, Aberystwyth University

    10.00 -10.30
    ‘Repository@Bangor and the REF pilot’ Lyndsey Savage, Bangor University

    10.30 -11.00
    ‘Integrating ORCA’ Tracey Andrews/ Anne Bell, Cardiff University

    11.00 - 11.30

    11.30 - 12.00
    ‘The Welsh Repository Network: Where do we go from here?’ Jackie Knowles, WRN (AU)

    12.00 -1.00
    ‘Repository Management: the University of Liverpool experience’ Shirley Yearwood- Jackman, University of Liverpool

    1.00 – 2.00

    2.00 – 3.30
    WRN Business Meeting

    Full Colloquium programme details and the booking forms are available from

    To take advantage of a funded place please register and provide contact details for invoicing as instructed in previous emails from your project team, alternatively contact us via for further details.

    Wednesday, 29 April 2009

    Introducing the Welsh Repository Network (WRN) Enhancement Project!

    The Welsh Repository Network (WRN) Enhancement Project is looking to sustain and build upon the technical infrastructure and support network established between all twelve Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) within Wales during the WRN Start-Up project (

    The Director of this new WRN project is Bill Hines, Assistant Director (Library Services) at Aberystwyth University. Jackie Knowles will take the role of Project Manager, and will be supported by Hannah Payne as Repository Support Officer (Organisational) and a yet to be recruited Technical Support Officer.

    Within the WRN Start-Up Project support was delivered face- to- face through quarterly site visits and via e-mail and telephone support. Within the Enhancement Project we are looking to continue to provide support through these methods as well as by providing support through Web 2.0 technologies such as live chat via an interactive support website. The project team will also create and deliver via this website a range of interactive learning tools including mini tutorials, news feeds, and online demonstrations allowing WRN partners to utilise these materials in their own time.

    Within this project we will also be exploring the idea of a centralised mediated deposit service for the WRN. It is hoped that provision of such a service by project staff will determine whether outsourcing item record creation enhances the rate of material being deposited within a repository; and whether the concept of remote mediation results in a successful workflow which embeds into the culture and policy framework of institutions.

    The project team will look to work with WRN partners and other JISC repository projects to build and implement a variety of tools and services to develop and enhance repository infrastructure and usage. The following key areas for development have been identified: Workflow; Import/Export of metadata; Repository management; User experience. Based on feedback from WRN partners we will develop those tools and services which have been identified as the priority enhancements to their repositories.

    The last element of this project will look to develop a thesis harvesting service within the National Library of Wales (NLW) providing a central hub and searchable interface for theses produced within the HEIs of the WRN. Working in liaison with the British Library’s EThOS project, the NLW will be the national point for providing Welsh e-theses content for the EThOS repository.

    Welcome message

    Welcome to the Welsh Repository Network Enhancement Project blog. The project team will be adding content to these pages very soon.