Repository Steering Group meeting: 22nd July 2008

The staff development festival in September is a unique opportunity to promote the repository and our agenda for yesterday’s meeting aimed to get some much needed input from the steering group before the quiet month of August.

Item 1. Recap of previous meetings:

Documentation approved.

Item 2. Update on progress with intraLibrary

2a. Configuration:

Search interface (SRU):

Getting the search interface on line is the first priority – my request for the server is still pending with IMTS but I hope we can install the IRISS interface as is within the next few weeks (JohnG is installing it on a local server as we speak which can then be tranferred to our Leeds Met domain when it is available) and I think it will be straightforward to switch the CSS to get a very rough Leeds Met branding.

Content structure:

This is also crucial and needs to be put in place ASAP. Several members of the group expressed the opinion that it should not be based on faculties which tend not to be fixed entities within the university; it was also thought that such a schema would not reflect institutional emphasis upon cross-disciplinary research. There was consensus that organisation at the top level should be by content type (i.e. Research/Learning Objects) but exactly what hierarchy should be employed beneath is still not clear (library of congress subject headings?). We also need to make a decision on what other material types will be accomodated in the prototype (e.g. Dissertations and Theses)

Landing screen:

Technical challenges aside, the current conception of the landing screen is that it will essentially use the same template as the search interface i.e. it will be branded the same and share the same look and feel; it will also share some of the same functionality and link back ‘home’ to the search interface.

Given the close relationship between these configuration issues, a sub-group was identified that will liaise as necessary to develop the content structure; branding; look and feel; usability and will also inform the technical development of the additional functionality.

2b. Policies:

The group was briefed on the types of policies that need to be developed (see last post) with emphasis on the fact that the ‘standard’ institutional repository policies may be insufficient for our requirements given our wider remit (i.e. not just research outputs). A sub-group was identified that will liaise as necessary to develop suitable policies.

2c. URL:

The suggestion mooted – – was deemed suitable by the group

Item 3. Content for the repository:

To discuss method of contacting researchers / research active staff and soliciting content

Review of draft correspondence for research active staff and discussion of when this would most usefully be disseminated; consensus that it would have the greatest impact some time after the staff development festival. Content was broadly approved though it was suggested that greater emphasis be placed on the benefits of OA to citation and the increased importance of citation under proposals for REF (to replace RAE).

Emphasis was placed on the need to identify and recruit interested parties within specific faculties/research groups to help drive the advocacy process to the wider community; liaison with University Research Office for appropriate contact lists.

(NB. This is an ongoing process that is already underway but will increase in profile with the implementation of the prototype system.)

The Staff development festival confirmed as a key opportunity.

There was discussion whether content would be full text only or would also comprise citation of material that we do not have copyright permission to make available as full text (i.e. bibliographic reference only). Given that including such material will enable us to ‘hit the ground running’ and considering the increasing importance of citation data/bibliometrics for the RAE / REF the consensus was that citations should be included at the outset.

Item 4. Authentication

It was emphasised to the group that we can be fully functional as a mediated repository without the need for authentication in the first instance.

A representative from IMTS was able to inform the discussion in the light of recent feedback from Intrallect and will continue to liaise as necessary.

Item 5. Integration with other Leeds Met systems

In light of the decision to include citations as well as full text, an important early integration will be with SFX such that citations in the repository can incorporate a link to Leeds Met holdings of subscribed material; hardly Open Access as it will only be available to authenticated staff and students but will offer another local route to that material and can also be used to generate data on OA friendly publishers and perhaps to raise awareness of OA.

The PowerLink to X-stream should also be a priority such that it is operational at the earliest opportunity.

NB. Precise functionality of the PowerLink still needs to be determined.

Other systems flagged up for integration were iTunesU and the streaming server; pending investigation!

The next meeting of the steering group will take place after the staff development festival, probably late September/early October.


3 Responses to Repository Steering Group meeting: 22nd July 2008

  1. Nick says:

    I now hope that it may not be necessary to have a landing-screen as such but rather that results can be returned in a way that incorporates the information that we require – pulled from the respective metadata fields in the repository. In fact this is a better solution than linking through to a landing screen as there is the potential to browse multiple results in detail (abstract; copyright info; type of resource etc)

  2. wendyluker says:

    This was a really useful meeting from a number of angles. We have tried to be meticulous in consulting with users at every stage of this project, and one of the lessons I’d feed back (but probably completely unoriginally!) is never to underestimate the time it takes to consult consult consult. I was reminded in a meeting yesterday of the number of large scale software implementations which have failed due to lack of user engagement, and I really hope that the work we’ve put in at the front end of this project will reap benefits. I’ve been told today that our Repository will play a key role in another Leeds Met / JISC project, so yet another opportunity to promote buy in beckons… Anyway, back to this meeting, we now have agreement around the basic scaffold of the repository, and will continue to consult to agree the final structure. I have in my mind a diagram which shows links between key Leeds Met Teaching, Learning and Research interfaces, and the level at which they speak to each other which, in my mind anyway, looks in fact very like a scaffold, with connecting walkways at certain levels. Ensuring that our users can navigate across the entire scaffold via those walkways is the next challenge.

  3. Pingback: Organisational structure, metadata and resource discovery « Repository News

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