Bibliosight project website and blog

The Bibliosight project website is now online at http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/inn/repository/bibliosight/

There is also a blog at http://bibliosightnews.wordpress.com/

JISC have indicated that the blog should be the primary mechanism for reporting on our project – in lieu of a formal final project report – there’s not much there yet but I’ll rectify that as soon as I come back from holiday!

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OER projects – liaison with other projects in the institutional strand

Or come to think of it subject and individual strands too…

As a repository development officer working on an OER project – Unicycle – I am interested in how we can most effectively integrate with JorumOpen and liaise with other projects in the institutional strand around technical infrastructure, standardised metadata and version control (to name but a few). We are using the intraLibrary repository platform and our project will aim to disseminate OERs via both our own and the national service; such liaison could be of potential benefit to JorumOpen and the wider community looking at OERs. For example I would like to explore a deposit tool utilising SWORD which could deposit a resource into both repositories simultaneously – such a tool could potentially be used by other projects to deposit resources into their local repository and JorumOpen. (N.B. How would such a tool deal with version control/synchronisation across platforms?) When I saw the recent demonstration of the Jorum OER deposit tool at the programme start-up meeting I hoped this technology might be suitable for this but have since learned that it is based on MrCute and does not actually link in with IntraLibrary or any other repository platform – it simply stores the IMS packages on a file system (Question: Are IMS packages ingested into the repository from there?) I’d be very interested in any feedback from Jorum and/or the community of OER projects.

Open Educational Resources Programme start-up meeting: What I learned

I very much enjoyed the OER programme start-up meeting on Tuesday, in spite of the 05:30 alarm and having to hoof it across Manchester on account of ‘improvements’ to the Metrolink.  I recognised several colleagues from other JISC programmes and was socially disorientated once more by the 21st Century experience of finally  meeting f2f with real people with whom I’m already well acquainted in cyber-space – more so now than ever with fellow Twitterers.

Projects in the programme are divided into 3 discrete strands: subject; individual and institutional.   In the institutional strand, UniCycle will aim to build a prototype mechanism for the import and export of OERs using our intraLibrary repository and the new JorumOpen service.  Other projects in this strand are BERLiN, Open Exeter, OpenStaffs, Otter, Open Spires and Open Content Employability Project (link?).

The agenda for the day can be viewed at http://cloudworks.ac.uk/node/1725 along with aggregated tweets tagged #oerstartup ; Cloudworks is an environment that I haven’t encountered before but it looks very useful and I intend to explore it further – it was described to us as a way of making transient events more persistent and of bringing our fragmented online communications back together.

Like many on the day I was looking forward to the presentation from Jorum to learn exactly how that service is evolving to facilitate the OER programme.  I have a particular interest, of course, as we also use intraLibrary as our repository platform and Unicycle will aim to disseminate OERs via both our own and the national service.  The experience of Jorum and the problems they have had persuading folk to sign their institution up to their extensive licence agreement, become registered users and deposit their learning resources in intraLibrary – from where they can only be discovered and reused by other registered users – has been instructional for us and I am also aware, first hand, of the training required to use intraLibrary – an undeniably powerful system albeit where flexibility can perhaps translate to complexity for the user.  In short, I was keen to discover how they plan to tackle these issues with the introduction of their three licence model and by facilitating easy deposit and (where appropriate) open access to LOs.

Current Jorum model

Current Jorum model

In her presentation (available here), Nicola Siminson first gave an overview of Jorum and JorumOpen; how the current model (illustrated above), is developing and the technical and policy initiatives that will underpin this development.

The 3 new licensing regimes are key:

  • JorumOpen – for content whose creators and owners are willing and able to share their materials for anyone to use via the web, under Creative Commons (CC) licences
  • JorumEducationUK – for content sharing where creators and owners need to restrict the availability of resources to members of UK Further and Higher Education institutions, authenticated via the Access Management Federation (this is most similar to the current licence)
  • JorumPlus – for sharing content with additional restrictions, for example where material licensed via JISC Collections or from third parties is involved; this will require institutional authorisation

Work on the platform is ongoing and we were promised that:

  • access will be open to anyone
  • materials will be more discoverable – e.g. Google – JorumOpen will be exposed to search engines
  • users will be able to search the whole Jorum repository via the website – no logging on to download

These are all issues that we have also been exploring and I expect that Jorum will need to develop an interface based on SRU similar to that developed by IRISS and our own research interface.  It would be very useful too if we can compare notes on facilitating effective Google search/SEO.

Then came the demonstration of the OER deposit tool – http://deposit.jorum.ac.uk – which:

  • allows the deposit of a simple item, or collection of items
  • a link/URL to an open educational resource from a remote site
  • authenticated access and a simple one-off registration
  • UK Access Management Federation – single sign-on at home institution
  • upload content, submit basic metadata and select a suitable Creative Commons licence
  • with option to add more metadata, for greater discoverability…and will ultimately enable the sharing and finding of OER via JorumOpen!

It looks good.  Albeit in beta.  Jorum are keen for the community to test it over the coming months and submit any feedback from the website.

I asked whether the software/code will be made available so we may implement a similar tool as part of our repository infrastructure at Leeds Met; in addition, as Unicycle will use both our own repository and Jorum to disseminate OERs, I would also like to explore dual deposit from a web based interface so users may deposit into both repositories simultaneously.  As such I would also be interested in the workflow(s) and metadata templates that Jorum are using with the deposit tool. Will resources be published directly to the library, for example, or will they go into a user’s work area or into an administrative work area for metadata enrichment?

I was advised that the software will indeed be available to other projects though not in a neatly packaged format.

NB.  I had assumed that the deposit tool was based on SWORD which I know does facilitate deposit into multiple repositories – it appears, however, that it is actually based on MrCute which does not, in fact, use the SWORD protocol so this will need further exploration.

Finally delegates were urged to join the Jorum community – http://community.jorum.ac.uk/

Other useful presentations throughout the day included Project Management
Evaluation and Synthesis project
, OU-supported communities and OER infokit

(links to all presentations in one place at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/oer/startupmeeting090609.aspx)

And then, on the way back to Euston, I popped in the British museum and admired bits of the Parthenon and some Sarcophagi (Sarcophaguses?)

Open Educational Resources Programme start-up meeting

Twitter hash-tag: #oerstartup

(See http://cloudworks.ac.uk/node/1725 for aggregation)

Research in the Open: How Mandates Work in Practice

Bill Hubbard’s slides from last weeks event (which I didn’t go to) may come in useful.

(Thanks to UK Council of Research Repositories blog)

BiblioSight project recommended for funding

We’ve just learned that we’ve been successful in our most recent funding bid to JISC’s Rapid Innovation call.

Outline project description:

“The project will aim to exploit the Web of Science Web Services API that uses standard transport protocols, such as HTTP, and message formats, such as SOAP and XML, to facilitate the exchange of data between Web of Knowledge and a custom application. It will build on work undertaken by the JISC funded SUE project, Implementing an Institutional Repository for Leeds Metropolitan University to integrate bibliographic information from Web of Science into the Leeds Met Open Access repository of research; this will facilitate automatic update when a published article appears in Web of Science. The aim is to integrate the technology into an efficient workflow to populate the repository with citation information / full text; we will also build on work undertaken by the JISC funded PERSoNA project and aim to develop a ‘widget’ that can easily be added to a personal environment like iGoogle or personal/communal environment like netvibes and that will extract bibliographic information – and potentially also bibliometrics – for authenticated Leeds Met staff in line with Web of Science licensing.”

Development of Research Repository Aspect of IntraLibrary

On Friday Mike and I visited colleagues at Keele University for a meeting with Charles Duncan from Intrallect to consider development priorities for intraLibrary to better serve our needs as a research repository.  Over 4 and a half hours we considered the basic issues that need addressing as well as looking forward to some more ambitious functionality and integration with the wider research infrastructure as we move towards the REF.

I was particularly interested to learn about how Keele are implementing Symplectic’s publications management system – http://www.symplectic.co.uk/ – which regularly trawls Web of Science and PubMed central for information about Keele’s academic publications.  Symplectic have clearly been thinking about integration with IRs and there’s even a link to SHERPA/RoMEO.  The system was used at Imperial College London for the RAE 2008 process and includes link functionality with DSpace which is that institution’s IR platform – http://spiral.imperial.ac.uk/.  Intrallect are currently liaising with Symplectic about integration with intralibrary – I’m not certain precisely what form this would take but in an ideal world it would be great if we could auto populate as much metadata as possible (title/bibliographic info/abstract/author/copyright status according to RoMEO) and automatically nudge academics for full text where appropriate!

At Leeds Met we currently lack any form of research database which is why I’ve been exploring what are essentially manual workflows to populate the repository with all research output – I’m not sure how expensive Symplectic is and it may be difficult to justify given this institution’s relatively small research output and the repository may well have to be the research database which is the assumption I’ve been working on; we will also want to explore the soon-to-be-released Web of Science API which may, in any case, enable us to emulate some of this functionality ourselves.

The first item on our agenda was somewhat more prosaic and focussed on our immediate functional requirements – SRU searching and metadata.  Mike has been working on incorporating advanced search into the SRU interface and come up against a couple of issues when searching by author and date which are essentially artifacts of having to query DC rather than LOM; in the LOM, creators and contributors are clearly differentiated, however, querying by DC conflates creator and author roles which may (will) be different if resources are uploaded by someone other than the author.

  • Searching dc.creator will search for the creator and author roles
  • Searching dc.contributor will search for the content provider role

In addition:

  • Searching by dc.date only searches data that relates to the intraLibrary submission process (i.e. the deposit date, and perhaps modification dates if you added an author later on for example)
  • The only way to search journal dates is to use the default free text search that searches everything (or most fields anyway).

The solution, of course, is to make it possible to query the LOM by SRU and this is now Intrallect’s intention – indeed, to render all LOM fields query-able which would include user generated tags for example.

The next big question is exposure of open content to search engines and Charles gave us an overview of plans to develop an object “home page” with a static URL which should help in this area.  We also discussed sitemaps and what need to be done external to intraLibrary.  I’m still unclear on how we can improve the format of results returned by Google from the SRU interface; to repeat, Google IS indexing http://repository.leedsmet.ac.uk/ with site: http://repository.leedsmet.ac.uk/ currently returning over 500 records.  However this is fairly unstructured; Google is simply following links from http://repository.leedsmet.ac.uk/main/browse.php; any subsequent links Googlebot encounters are also indexed and returned as “The Repository search for [link name]” and ideally I’d like results to be returned in a more structured and user friendly form.   Many queries actually return no results where there is (yet) no content to find though where there is content, Google is indexing all human readable metadata.  I’m also not certain whether Googlebot is finding its way into the full text via the Open URL/virtual file paths generated by intraLibrary.  Full text indexing within intraLibrary itself has also been promised.

In short, I’m really not sure how all of these factors may combine to be exploited by a next generation SRU interface!

We then touched upon self-archiving and (semi) mediated workflows; potentially developing SWORD based quick deposit from desktop/web, ideally with automatic metadata generation.

The two other major issues we considered are:

  • Policy metadata – handling embargoes

This is pretty crucial to an OA archive of research as many publishers of academic journals specify an embargo period of 12 or 18 months from the date of publication before a paper can be made available in a repository.  We need to be able to add a paper to intraLibrary upon receipt but restrict access until the embargo has expired and for this to happen automatically.  On one level, this functionality should be fairly straightforward to achieve by having intraLibrary check today’s date against an embargo date specified in the metadata; it’s a little more complicated than that though as we would want the metadata to be visible before the embargo date, just not the full text.

  • Cover pages for PDF

It was suggested that a coversheet should be generated by intraLibrary on the fly which would certainly be useful as manually creating cover sheets for each and every article is time consuming to say the least; this would be useful functionality for CLA materials which also require a coversheet.

These developments will take some time to implement and the next stage is to prioritise – by anonymous e-postal ballot – Intrallect hope we will start to see some of the major initiatives in a build towards the end of the year.

Thank you to our colleagues at Keele for making us welcome and for feeding us!