Linking from a research paper to associated OER and thoughts on extending the CRIS model to OER

With our “blended” repository comprising research and UKOER, I still feel very much like I have a foot in two camps. A feeling that, ironically, is reinforced, by my role as Technical Officer for UKCoRR – the UK Council of Research Repositories!

I think I’m right in saying that it’s still atypical to manage both types of resource with a single repository platform and there are certainly considerations why it may not necessarily be desirable – both from a technical and political perspective.

The main repositories that have been developed as part of the ukoer programme are modifications to DSpace (Jorum) and EPrints (HumBox, EdShare), the two main open source repository software platforms that were both initially developed to manage research. In contrast, we have worked with intraLibrary, a commercial learning object repository, to manage both OER and research and while this certainly hasn’t been without it’s problems, I’m naturally interested in potential benefits from this approach both in terms of “reward & recognition” for OER by something analogous to peer-review perhaps (a theme that was explored as part of the Unicycle project) and also in terms of work-flow, possibly mediated via a CRIS-type system such as Symplectic Elements or Atira Pure…

intraLibrary has a workflow to link related resources which I can easily use to link a research paper with associated OER, so in the example below I can link…

Coates, C., Smith, S. (2010) Promoting the concept of competency maps to enhance the student learning experience. Assessment, Teaching and Learning Journal (Leeds Met), 10 (Winter), pp.21-25.

…to the three ALPS Common Competency Maps in the OER collection (see Linked Resources at the bottom of the record):

ALPS Common Competency Map – Communication

ALPS Common Competency Map – Ethical Practice

ALPS Common Competency Map – Team Working

These records, in turn, comprise links back to the research paper (and associated conference paper):

With such an approach, is there perhaps an opportunity to tie research and OER more closely together at an institutional level (if this isn’t politically naive!) and contribute to research led teaching?

The next stage might be to develop a common workflow for research and OER…

Workflow, in fact, has long been a bug-bear of mine and, for both types of resource, essentially remains fully mediated by me and administrative colleagues. In all likelihood, however, as are many institutions, we will soon be implementing a CRIS that will make it easier to collate institutional research outputs by harvesting research data from external bibliometric sources, as well as allowing records to be added manually, and integrating with the repository such that academic staff are able to attach an appropriate full-text to a record and upload it along with metadata into the repository directly from a “user-friendly interface” (TM).

At a recent demo of one of these types of system I confirmed that it could transfer a range of file-types to a repository (utilising SWORD) as well as allowing various licences to be configured including (I think) Creative Commons so there seems no fundamental reason why such a system could not be used to support the workflow for both OA research and OER.

Of course I will need to get my hands on one of these systems before I can properly investigate exactly what is achievable…watch this space.

Repository deposit from the desktop

Thinking about repository workflows for staff – put a deposit client where their resources live, on their desktop…

What I have:

A (slightly unwieldy) set of files comprising:

Quick drop file set

How it works:

The VB script was written by Boyd Duffy at Keele University and, as a non-developer, I know only that I need to edit  sword_deposit.vbs with my SWORD DEPOSIT_TARGET. It’s then simply* a matter of dragging and dropping a file (or multiple files) onto the VBS icon for them to be uploaded into the repository (workflow can obviously be configured in the repository itself, to be published immediately**, for example, or, more likely, go into a workflow where metadata can be added according to a particular Application Profile).

** I think Keele use it as a quick and dirty method for image files to be transferred from desktop to repository from where they can be immediately accessed via a VLE PowerLink.

Here is a screen capture that I did a while ago: http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/inn/repository/video/SWORD_drop_from_desktop/

* Re simple – I can, in fact, only make it work from a Leeds Met IP!  Perhaps something to do with PROXY_HOST / wireless?

What I need:

METADATA of course!

The current tool is of limited use as it just pushes a file into the repository. In fact, it will quite happily push a Content Package – a Zip comprising a file and some metadata as XML – either an IMSMANIFEST (which I would need for intraLibrary) or METS for DSpace (i.e. Jorum.)

Though I don’t have the skills myself, I’m hoping someone can tell me how we might develop a desktop app to integrate a way of capturing the metadata associated with a resource, converting it into an IMSMANIFEST and/or METS, zipping the whole lot up and pushing it to a repository (or multiple repositories) via SWORD …

If we were to use our current ukoer AP we would need to capture:

  • Title
  • Description
  • (Uncontrolled) Keyword(s)
  • Author / owner / contributor
  • Date
  • Type of resource
  • Technical format
  • Licence information
  • Subject classification (HEA and JACS)

Click link below for an example IMSCP:

http://repository-intralibrary.leedsmet.ac.uk/IntraLibrary?command=open-package-download&learning_object_key=i3605n162666t.zip

Or link below for METS (with cut-down metadata); this package has been successfully deposited in Jorum (dev) via SWORD:

http://repository-intralibrary.leedsmet.ac.uk/IntraLibrary?command=open-preview&learning_object_key=i3128n92902t

N.B. A practical issue with this approach might be including such an application on an institutional staff build and I have heard rumours that it might be possible to achieve similar drag and drop functionality with a web-based app using HTML5 – browser support still inconsistent though I think.

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