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|The I-WIRE Project - A Repository Enhancement Project|
I was fortunate enough to be able to take some time out of our busy testing phase last Friday to visit the Repositories Support Project's event in London on Open Access and the impact for libraries and librarians. I was drawn by the content and the speakers, and my instinct was right as it turned out to be compelling from start to finish. Here are the points that resonated with me and my world.
Bill Hubbard of SHERPA opened the event by defining Open Access, its background and drivers. Bill went on to give his view of where the academic community is with Open Access. The scope has always been more than outputs alone: it includes data, grey literature (e.g., lab note-books) and arts media amongst other things, but there is currently a big gap between 'open to read' - the focus of most repositories - and 'strong' Open Access that includes use and re-use of data.
While there have been a number of drivers on the road to Open Access, including the serials crisis, Open Access is a component of the overall shift in academic practices and is something that the community is shifting to 'because it can'. Change is coming, indicated by the academic use of Slideshare, Flickr, YouTube, Mendeley and personal web pages. Bill states that all three units that operate in the academic model - Academics, Funders and Institutions - are in favour of Open Access. The structures, services and processes are in place to support Open Access. Repositories add value to the processes by providing control and authority over content.
Alma Swan gave a very thorough overview of the JISC funded and well publicised economic case for Open Access, including John Houghton's modelling and the work that Alma has undertaken with institutions in the UK, Australia, Netherlands, Denmark and the US. Anyone familiar with the work will know that research intensive institutions don't always come out well in the model, in fact they can see a potentially negative financial impact where Gold Open Access (pay-to-publish) costs rise above a certain level. Alma acknowledged this and emphasised that the UK can save money overall and we need to discuss at a community level how the overall saving is managed so that individual institutions are not disadvantaged. These discussions are already taking place between research funders and institutions.
One of the questions at the end of Alma's talk highlighted that Subject Repository costs weren't included in the Houghton model as apparently no one can see their sustainability; whereas Institutional Repositories are sustainable due to the institutional imperative. In Alma's view, Subject Repositories should harvest their content from Institutional Repositories and not take direct ingest.
Wim van der Stelt of Springer provided a publisher's perspective on Open Access. He expressed his bemusement that Open Access is an academic's cause but championed primarily by librarians! He went on to assure the room full of (mostly) librarians that Springer is different, has an 'agnostic business model' and is driven by customer demand, and so is working with libraries on Open Access, pioneered the 'hybrid journal' and is a 'green' publisher on SHERPA's RoMEO database. The internet has helped change the publishers role from purely distribution since the 50's and Springer has adapted to this. However, the pay-to-view and pay-to-publish systems will need to co-exist for some time as the Gold route to Open Access is growing, but not quickly enough.
The development of the University of Glasgow's repository was covered in a case study from Susan Ashworth, providing a fascinating insight into the university's work since 2001 to create a culture of Open Access, not just an institutional repository, and to evolve the repository into a central publications management system.
Key drivers for this work have been increasing citations, presenting a public view of the university's research profile, demonstrating compliance with funders mandates, managing publications and preparing for the REF.
Sue pointed out that building relationships with the university research office and academic departments has been fundamental to the repository's success. There is also a strong national initiative in the form of the Open Access Team for Scotland, and talk of a Scottish council to help create a climate of opinion on the importance of Open Access. A Scottish Open Access declaration was made in 2004, spurring all universities on to set up repositories and put mandates in place. Glasgow's mandate was issued in 2008, partly influenced by the library's experience of collecting publication data for the RAE. The mandate covers new publications from 2008, requesting bibliographic data as the minimum, and also providing a standard form of address to aid citation analysis.
The university clearly recognises the importance of its repositories. It has three, making the management of different types of outputs more straight forward, and all three are harvested by the university's library catalogue discovery tool.
The university's research and strategy committee is given regular reports, generated using ROAR and Google Analytics. These reports show that the full-text ratio is growing from the current ten per cent.
Sue talked briefly about the Gold route to Open Access. Glasgow has a pay-to-publish fund but anticipates this being difficult to argue for in the next financial year, and expects academics to cover these costs in their grant applications.
Glasgow is currently conducting a mini-REF exercise using a modified version of EPrints that allows academics to rank their top four outputs with some supporting text attached to the publication record, and to record 'esteem' and 'impact' information. Academics can change these records at any time but it provides a good view in the lead up to REF, and has also seen an increased rate of self-deposit, some with full text.
Important lessons for Glasgow have been the importance of advocacy, relationships, acknowledging the variety of user needs (the repositories support multiple deposit methods), making use of external influences and linking the work to central institutional requirements. Which led on nicely to a question about the better driver for self-deposit: the mandate or REF? In Sue's opinion, while the mandate was instrumental in triggering the Open Access debate at the university, the REF preparation has resulted in deposits.
David Carr of the Wellcome Trust provided a funder's perspective. Maximising access to outputs is central to the Wellcome Trust's mission, and it was recognised in the early 2000's that traditional academic models were not consistent with this goal. The trust made it mandatory in 2006 for their funded outputs to be made Open Access and is working with the major Scientific, Technical & Medical publishers to achieve this. There are challenges: improving compliance, persuading researchers of the benefits, improving payment mechanisms, clarifying publishers' policies and flipping the model from subscription to 'author-pays'. Questions at the end of David's presentation demonstrated a strong opinion that the funders need to take a much stricter line in enfforcing their policies.
Chris Middleton of the University of Nottingham talked about the institution's approach to funding Open Access publishing. A survey in 2009 showed that 14% of institutions had a central Open Access fund and that there is generally a low awareness of such funds amongst academics. Chris also pointed out that it's difficult to budget for these funds as they are sensitive to author up-take.
A presentation of the role of professional librarians in repository management was given by Jackie Wickham of the RSP. There has been a phenomenal growth in this area in the last five years, partly driven by the global move to Open Access, central government support and JISC funding, preparations for REF and providing a service to academics. A recent survey conducted by the RSP identified that communication skills and perseverance are key skills for librarians working with repositories, as anyone involved in this area will know!
Paul Ayris of UCL provided the European perspective on things, and talked about some of the european initiatives such as the Open Access theses gateway DART-Europe, LIBER and LERU. Importantly, the Gold Open Access route has been acknowledged at a European level as being too expensive and difficult to justify in the current economical climate, so the community is at an interesting cross-roads for the Gold and Green routes. At the end of Paul's presentation, Ken Chad suggested that portals and aggregators should make more use of 'attention data' and that this could be a growth area where institutions' services could be developed to rival those of Google.
Bill Hubbard closed by stating that the community is moving to Open Access 'because it can'. The whole academic model can be changed. It is up to funders to set the direction through their funding and programmes, institutions to enable and facilitate, and researchers to research.
That's my take on the event, but you don't have to take my word for it as the presentations are now on-line.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Since our last blog in early November, we have been refining the 'ORCA Lite'* portlet, and addressing some essential technical issues regarding the 'My Publications' tab - as this was a major requirement that came out of our stakeholder engagement phase, we felt it was very important to get this right before launching the portlet for testing.
This week, however, we have started some end user testing with colleagues in Information Services, and so far the feedback has been positive. Comments include:
- 'Well done for getting this far! Overall looks great and is very easy to use.'
- 'Overall very easy to deposit, so far no issues with the process itself.'
- 'I have to say again how impressed I am with the portlet - love it!'
We are planning to involve more end user testers in January, before piloting with a few academic schools in February and March. We will keep you updated with our progress!
*We have been calling the portlet 'ORCA Lite', but are now having last-minute doubts about the name! While it is catchy, we are unsure that it fully captures the extent of the service offered - does it imply less functionality rather than offering a different but not reduced user experience? Any thoughts on this would be very welcome, so please comment!
Oh, and Happy New Year!
Yesterday we gave a demo of the ORCA Lite portlet to the Director of Information Services and the University Librarian and we are pleased to report that it was very succesful. They were extremely impressed with the work that has been done to date, and with the look and feel of the portlet. As with previous 'show and tell' sessions, the DOI deposit tab went down particularly well!
Key points raised were:
- Acknowledgement that the portlet design has been driven by user engagement, so is geared towards giving researchers and users the functionality they require.
- ORCA Lite has a nice, simple look and feel for the end user.
- The simplification of a complex set of functions is testament to the amount of work and creativity that has gone into ORCA Lite.
- The importance of getting the right senior stakeholders on board was stressed, in order to take advantage of ORCA Lite's simplicity to drive home the message of what has been achieved, and how it can benefit the research community, both inside Cardiff University and potentially the wider academic community.
- it is also important to disseminate the project outcomes and outputs to maximise the investment across the HE sector hopefully with the assistance of JISC.
In all, both were delighted with the work done and believe ORCA Lite will add great value to the university.
We on the project team are thrilled with this great feedback, but now have to buckle down and get on with getting the portlet ready for the first phase of end user testing, and also in engaging with the relevant stakeholders in order to increase impact and take-up of ORCA Lite.[Read More]
The Cardiff University Librarian has drawn our attention to a reference to the I-WIRE Project in an article by Rosemary Russell and Michael Day (of the University of Bath), entitled ' Institutional Repository Interaction with Research Users: A Review of Current Practice' in the journal New Review of Academic Librarianship (Vol 16, supp. 1, pp. 116-131). This is a special issue on dissemination models in scholarly communication, and this article focuses on the importance of institutional repository projects consulting all potential users and stakeholders, particularly researchers. Our comprehensive user requirements exercise that we blogged about previously (see entries on I-WIRE requirements from 10th, 16th and 22nd March 2010) has been referenced as good practice.
The University Librarian states that this is great recognition for the project and is an excellent endorsement of the approach adopted at Cardiff. Needless to say, this has made our week! We will be showing the ORCA Lite portlet to both the University Librarian and the Director of Information Services this week, so hope for more postive feedback to share.
Just back from showing the demo version of our quick deposit ORCA Lite portlet to a forum of Research Administrators. Great to recognise nearly half of the faces from our user needs analysis phase this time last year! As sustainability of the project's outcomes begins to shift to the forefront of our minds, I took the advocacy road and have hopefully started the Research Administrators thinking about how they can encourage Researchers in their Schools to use ORCA Lite. We'll be working with the Research Administrators more in the future under our longer term Advocacy project.
Questions at the end touched on the more subtle and complex challenges that the project has identified, such as the over-lap between ORCA and ResearcherID, and the approach to integration with already established publication management systems in some of the Schools; subjects that can't be addressed within the current project's timescales but are at the top of our list of potential future work.
One more demo scheduled before we let people get their hands on ORCA Lite for themselves: Alpha testing is planned for November and December.
We have been rather quiet on the blogging front of late, so here is a quick update of where we are with the I-WIRE project.
We are busy putting the finishing touches to the ORCA Lite portlet before we start end user testing with our volunteers in late November/early December. There is one major hurdle that we need to overcome before starting testing, and that is finding a way to allow researchers to indicate their selected publications (most recent, for example, or most cited) that will in turn allow them to populate web pages, appraisal documents or funding applications with this chosen data. This was one of the major requirements that came out of the Requirements Capture phase, and so it is important that we solve this. A member of the EPrints team at Southampton is coming down early next month to work with the development team on this.
Any thoughts on this are very welcome!
You may be wondering about the title of this blog, but 'chuffed' was one of the reactions we got when we gave a demonstration of our proposed portlet version of ORCA (which we are calling ORCA Lite) to the Deputy University Librarian and the Head of Technical and Operational Services for ULS, who are two of our internal stakeholders in the project. 'Bowled over' was another phrase used! Both were very impressed with the clean look and the functionality of ORCA Lite, and especially so with the ease of the DOI deposit tab.
We also gave a demo to the Head of Library Service Development, who also gave very positive feedback. She was very impressed with the work achieved so far, and particularly with the DOI deposit function (that's definitely a hit!). Two very useful suggestions she gave us were:
- would it be possible for the author to choose more than one school to be attached to the ORCA record? Interdisciplinary work and collaboration between two or more schools is of increasing importance and impact in academia. It is possible that having an 'Add Another School' button (similar to that for multiple authors) could be the answer.
- A field to indicate the funding body (if applicable) would be useful.
Overall all three internal stakeholders were very impressed with the work done so far. We are definitely heading in the right direction.
Last week, we began to demo our proposed portlet version of ORCA to some of our stakeholders, and the feedback has been very positive, confirming that we are aligned with our stakeholders' requirements. Outlined below are the key messages that we took from the interviews:
- All participants have said that the portlet looks very quick and easy to use, and that it would not take up excessive amounts of their time to enter minimum data.
- Researchers understand the importance of open access, and the part it can play in increasing the impact of Cardiff research
- Ease of access to publication data is key
- Being able to extract research data from the portlet to use in various reports would be a big time saver for them.
- The portlet version of ORCA would be particularly useful for reports, conference proceedings and working papers which are usually hidden away on web pages.
- A feed to web pages would be a good incentive to authors and beneficial to the academic school.
- Keywords are important to ensuring an article is targeted at the right audience, and to getting the article to the top of the search result list
- An indicator that the item has been refereed would be valuable
We are very pleased to receive such good responses! We also received good feedback from our colleagues in the INSRVeducation team yesterday. We have four more 'show and tell' sessions planned for August with more colleagues from Information Services and with some of our other academic and research administrator stakeholders in the academic schools, and are also giving a demonstration to fellow library staff on 1st September. So look out for more feedback when we get it!
The 5th International Conference on Open Repositories was recently held in The conference was of value to us as a team, as what attending the conference, listening to the papers, and reading the posters brought home to us is that the objective of the I-WIRE Project is unprecedented and specific. Ideas and concepts that repository managers and developers are currently preoccupied with, and the most obvious buzzwords, were: impact, co-operation, collaboration, access, preservation, open access, research outputs, engagement, performance measurement, mandates (are they necessary?), research information systems, and data management systems. In other I-WIRE news: we are entering a busy phase of our project, with various show and tells of the portlet scheduled for colleagues and for academic schools during August. We are starting work on our evaluation activities, and are considering attendance at the Repository Fringe event in
The 5th International Conference on Open Repositories was recently held in
The conference was of value to us as a team, as what attending the conference, listening to the papers, and reading the posters brought home to us is that the objective of the I-WIRE Project is unprecedented and specific. Ideas and concepts that repository managers and developers are currently preoccupied with, and the most obvious buzzwords, were: impact, co-operation, collaboration, access, preservation, open access, research outputs, engagement, performance measurement, mandates (are they necessary?), research information systems, and data management systems.
In other I-WIRE news: we are entering a busy phase of our project, with various show and tells of the portlet scheduled for colleagues and for academic schools during August. We are starting work on our evaluation activities, and are considering attendance at the Repository Fringe event in
Things are very busy on the I-WIRE front at the moment. We finished the design stage at the end of last month, have had approval for our portlet design from our project management group, and are now in the Toolset Development phase.
Our poster proposal has been accepted for the Open Repositories Conference in Madrid next month, so Scott and I have been working very hard on our poster. (I have also been working very hard on the conference registration, but that's another story!) We had the poster printed two weeks ago and are very pleased with it. The poster, along with Scott and Tracey, has taken a detour to the annual Gregynog Colloquium this week, where Scott and Tracey presented a paper on 'Encouraging author self-deposit at Cardiff University' which was well recieved. It was due to be filmed, but because of a technical fault this didn't happen - much to Scott and Tracey's relief! Hopefully, we will recieve some useful feedback on the poster before Madrid.
Great fun with Wordle today. I'm pleased that our word cloud shows the user firmly at the centre of the project.
We haven't blogged for a while, so this is to give an update on where we are at the moment.
We are coming to the end of our 3rd design iteration; just one more iteration and set of User Stories to go, and then we will be asking the Project Management Group to approve our findings and design at the next board meeting in May. Then its on to WorkPackage 4, the Technical Development Phase. We have a meeting with the Research Administrator and two IT developers from one of our partner schools today, so are hoping for useful feedback on the current design.
We are also hoping to soon hear whether our poster proposal has been accepted for the Open Repositories International Conference that is taking place in Madrid in July - fingers crossed!
Our lead developer Jim got this week off to a good start by showing us the work he has done on our enhanced deposit workflow portal. This is a proof-of-concept in a development environment but a picture - as they say - is worth a thousand words and we can now start to see what the user experience will be and so far it looks good. The portal has a very clean and crisp lay out, and Jim demo'd a dOI lookup and a Web of Science search, alongside the minimal-metadata deposit screen.
The Web of Science search uses the WS Lite API that the Bibliosight project has been working with, and will help authors who want an efficient way of depositing retrospective publications into the repository in bulk. Of course, this approach will not give full coverage of all research outputs for all disciplines, but it will help many.
The dOI lookup retrieves metadata from crossref and will cut down the deposit time for authors that have been given a dOI by the publisher of their article.
For scenarios where Web of Science and dOI can't help, we have been focussing on the very minimum metadata that saves the author time during deposit and is also enough for the reviewer to be able to validate the item and also add to the data.
Integration with Publication Management systems has also been on our minds as we have entered the design phase. The School of Medicine is in the process of rolling out the Symplectic system, and we are beginning to assess the I-WIRE project's options in this area. The I-WIRE pilot later this year is going to have to assess how our enhanced deposit process and associated bells and whistles stand up against Symplectic and other in-house Publication Management systems in their various forms.
The I-WIRE Requirements Report has been issued. I'll be discussing opportunities for dissemination of our findings with Andy McGregor, but in the meantime here is a high level summary of the top priority User Needs. Feel free to get in touch if you would like to discuss any of this.
Re-use of Data
- By academic authors. Publication data stored in one place and available to be re-used in multiple processes, including population of CVs and Performance Management documentation.
- By Web Site Managers. Easier and automated updates of publication lists on School’s and author’s web pages.
- By Research Administrators. Research Administrator’s able to retrieve publication data to populate School reports, funding applications and support the REF
A simplified deposit process with minimal effort and minimal data entry, and auto-completion of data as far as possible.
The deposit and retrieval processes should be flexible enough to cater to differing needs across the Schools.
These User Needs have been written as a set of User Stories that are being taken forward into the design phase. We have broken the design phase into a number of iterations, the first of which starts today, so watch this space for interesting snippets and issues as we start working through the detail of what we are going to develop, and how.
The I-WIRE project reached its first major milestone last Friday with the issue of our Requirements Report to the Project Management Group for their review and approval. While the PMG members are individually ploughing their way through the report - they have until next Friday to do this - we have a bit of breathing space to follow up on some of the threads that will be carried into the design phase.
Approval to proceed to design phase
A project proposal has been submitted to the Cardiff Information Services IT Programme Board for approval to proceed to the design phase. This is more of a formality at this stage, but does provide a check point that asks if we have the right stakeholder backing and the right technical people lined up for involvement in the design phase.
EPrints and 3.2
Our growing list of questions about how EPrints can help us meet our user needs has been shared with the EPrints Services team and will form the basis of planning a consultancy day with the team for late February or early March. The day will be an important element of our design phase. Questions fall mainly into the themes of: SWORD, EPrints 3.2 REST interface and our approach to unique author identification.
Analysis of APIs and plugins
I'm taking some time to explore the various databases, APIs and plugins that give access to bibliographic data and metrics, including the Web of Science Lite API (via the BiblioSight project) and Thomson Reuter's ResearcherID. This is not only to identify opportunities for our solution, but also to understand what I can only describe as 'the competition' !
Service Oriented Approach
One of the actions that came out of our meeting with Andy McGregor was to look at the e-framework and JISC Innovation Base. I'm trying to quickly assess how much time the project can give to adopting these and at what level, weighed up with the benefits. As these are new to me, I'd be interested to hear of anyone else's experiences.
Looking at next week, the Welsh Repository Network team are visiting us, and - of course - we will be working through the Requirements Report review comments, so plenty to do.
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|« May 2013|