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.