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.