Wednesday, 24 February 2010

UKCoRR Meeting- 19th February 2010

Venue: University of Leicester

On Friday 19th I attended the UKCoRR Meeting hosted by the University of Leicester at their VERY impressive David Wilson Library (a clear picture of what can be done if you have £32 million available!). I had been invited by the UKCoRR Committee to speak about the work of the WRN and more specifically about the tools we have created (learning objects) and the services we are looking to offer (NLW e-theses harvesting; events). A copy of the presentation is available from CADAIR.

The meeting itself boasted a full day of presentations from members and also offered a great opportunity for networking with others in the repository community- especially those with hands-on, practical experience of repository issues.

The day opened with a Welcome address from Louise Jones, Director of Library Services who provided highlights of the achievements and future plans for the repository at Leicester:

  • mandates for both e-theses and all academic research outputs;
  • Research Information Management System bid in conjunction with the University’s Research Office;
  • hiring of a Bibliometrician to aid with REF/ research reporting;
  • plans for an Open Educational Resources repository- named OTA I think (?).

This was followed by presentations from Jenny Delasalle, UKCoRR Chair and Dr. Nicky Cashman, UKCoRR Secretary (and AU Repository Advisor). Nicky talked about her experiences as a Repository Advisor so far and highlighted the current ‘Opt-in’ repository deposit aspect of AU’s e-theses submission mandate and how this may conflict with EThOS digitisation requests in the future. This prompted a small discussion about how e-theses mandates had been handled in other institutions. At Leicester, permission has to be sought from past students before a thesis is made available to EThOS for digitisation. This is similar to the situation in Southampton where students have had to be contacted through the Alumni Office before their already digitised theses can be made available via the repository. Another institution uses the Freedom of Information Act to fall back on if a previously embargoed thesis is subsequently requested by EThOS for digitisation.

The next presentation came from Nick Sheppard and Wendy Luker at Leeds Met University about their recently completed Bibliosight project. The project was looking at streamlining the method for populating repositories using metadata from WoK’s WSLite API. The code developed by the project is available as a JAR file. A query to WoK will return an xml page of results which can then by converted to xslt where extra fields can then be added. These results can then be deposited into a repository via SWORD. There are highlighted problems with the API however:

  • only certain fields within the records are returned, abstracts are not included as WoK are not able to grant a license for their transfer;
  • it is not possible to distinguish between the publication type of the items returned;
  • a limit of 100 records return per query. If more records are found a second query specifically requesting records 101-x/200 has to be made.
The attempt at a live demonstration on the day also highlighted that IP authentication may prove a problem when using the API. It was unclear whether this was from WoK’s end or something within the developed code. The mechanisms of how to populate a repository with WoK records has been the focus of the Bibliosight project rather than the management issues surrounding it so the copyright implications related to data re-use have yet to be considered. Please see Nick’s blog post about the meeting and to view his presentation.

Gareth Johnson, our host at the University of Leicester, gave a very entertaining presentation about his experiences as University of Leicester Repository Manager; a copy of his presentation is available from SlideShare. An interesting anecdote he raised in his presentation related to commercial bodies’ use of an institution’s repository and its content for vetting researchers. If a commercial body is looking to approach an academic to collaborate with them in a research project the availability of that academic’s full-text gives them an insight into the quality of research being produced by that individual. A useful element to include in any repository advocacy! Gareth has also created a useful commentary of the meeting as it happened available from the UoL Library Blog.

Another useful presentation came from Jane Smith and Peter Millington from Nottingham looking at the additions that have been made to SHERPA RoMEO and its cross-over with SHERPA JULIET. Jane highlighted that although one of the new additions to RoMEO was an ‘Updated on’ field to records they still did not have the capability to display all past versions of a publisher’s open access policy. They do however, store paper copies of each incarnation of a policy they are aware of and copies can be made available on request to

Hopefully all the presentations from the day will be available via the UKCoRR website.

Please see the UKCoRR membership pages for info on how to join.


  1. Just to say that IP authentication shouldn't present a major issue if there are the right tech folk in your institution communicating with Thomson Reuters - it's just that Gareth and I weren't those folk!

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  2. It's called Otter, as in the watery weasel (and no I didn't have anything to do with its naming!)

  3. Many thanks to Nick and Gareth for the updates and clarifications.