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.

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

  1. Pingback: Linking Research Papers to OER |

  2. amber thomas says:

    A long overdue response, sorry for absurd delay.

    I think you’re really on to something. Most academics do teaching and research and whilst we usually model those workflows seperately there must surely be points of convergence. I would imagine those points are around storing stuff, finding stuff, and curating/bookmarking stuff.

    If/when instututions can get to a point where they have clear data models, through CERIF, or even through course information data models like XCRI, then it will be easier for providers of content infrastructure to support workflows in more holistic ways.

    So yes! Good post :-)

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