First objective of the JISC-supported Sonex initiative was to identify and analyse deposit opportunities (use cases) for ingest of research papers (and potentially other scholarly work) into repositories. Later on, the project scope widened to include identification and dissemination of various projects being developed at institutions in relation to the deposit usecases previously analyzed. Finally, Sonex was recently asked to extend its analysis of deposit opportunities to research data.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

SONEX at the Kultur/Kultivate workgroup meeting in London

by Richard Jones

On 8th September 2010 the JISC-funded Kultur project group gathered for a meeting at the JISC Offices in London, to carry out some post-project discussions and to look to the future with the Kultivate project. During the meeting William Nixon, University of Glasgow, presented "Minding your P's and Q's: Enrich-ing Enlighten at the University of Glasgow" on their work at the Enrich project and the enhancement of Enlighten Institutional Repository, while Richard Jones from Symplectic (and SONEX) presented "A whirlwind tour of repository deposit technology and use cases". This latter presentation covered his work at Symplectic and the Symplectic Repository Tools deposit technology (c.f. the CRIS to Repository use case), as well as the current state of the SWORD 1.3 standard and the future of SWORD through version 2.0. He also then presented some slides on SONEX describing the key identified use cases and suggestions on the way that Creative and Applied arts might engage with the SONEX process.

Some key realisations from this meeting for SONEX are that:

1) The deposit use cases in Creative and Applied Arts may not be significantly different from the use cases in STM, but the devil will be in the details

2) CRIS systems are being used to some degree in Arts Institutions, and undoubtedly there is work which will be considered research in these fields, but automatic acquisition of content for these systems is virtually impossible, because ...

3) There are no comprehensive or even substantial Creative and Applied Arts data sources online, because ...

4) The publishing lifecycle for the Creative and Applied Arts is not only significantly different to STM but also non-standard across the discipline. It was suggested, for example, that YouTube and Vimeo were likely to be some of the largest repositories of research outputs from these fields.

It is hoped that if the 4th JISCdepo project goes ahead it should be easier for SONEX to engage in this field. In the meantime, any people working in Creative and Applied Arts should feel very welcome to contact SONEX members with a view to understanding the variations in the standard deposit use cases which would meet their needs.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Sonex presentation at the 2nd workshop on Digital Library Interoperability

(picture by: Anna Nika, University of Athens)

The paper 'Handling Repository-Related Interoperability Issues: The Sonex Workgroup' was presented last week at the 2nd workshop held in Glasgow in conjunction with the 14th European Conference on Digital Libraries (ECDL2010, Sep 6-10, 2010). The workshop was scheduled under title "Making Digital Libraries Interoperable: Challenges and Approaches" and it featured several presentations by working groups on the DL Reference Model, such as DL content, functionality, users, architecture, quality & policy (see programme). An invited talk by MS Research Alex Wade, "Digital Library Interoperability: An Industrial Perspective", was also held, where most recent MS developments in the area of DL interoperability were summarized (Zentity, Article Authoring Add-in for Word, DepositMO Project, MS Academic Search or the WorldWide Telescope among others).

The Sonex presentation was delivered on Fri Sep 9th by Peter Burnhill and Pablo de Castro along the workshop's Day I. Sonex approach to interoperability being quite pragmatic in scope, it fitted in well alongside's more theoretical-founded model. Complementary approaches by both initiatives may in fact offer perspectives for further collaboration between them after this workshop.

Friday, 3 September 2010

RepoFringe 2010: lots of interesting presentations plus a Sonex Pecha Kucha

The 3rd edition of the Repository Fringe was just held in Edinburgh along Sep 2nd and 3rd 2010. This new edition of the RepoFringe (see programme) was a good opportunity to learn about the most recent advancements regarding repositories in the UK, and new ideas for their development were shared in an informal, stimulating atmosphere. This edition's success story was undoubtedly EPrints Bazaar app-store for its new version 3.2, as live demoed by David Tarrant and Patrick McSweeney, with Les Carr's cooperation as an inspired pre-recorded speaker. EPrints will also shortly release its CERIF4REF plugin in order to comply with the R4R schema, thus proving that repository software is swiftly progressing towards anticipating user needs by closing the gap with CRIS systems from a research output perspective.

Further talks were also held at RF2010 on CRIS systems and IRs. A lot of universities do already have CRIS systems running, and some voices in the community start wondering whether CRIS systems might eventually replace institutional repositories as an "entrance door" to the institutional research output. Projects like RePosit (see Queen Mary University of London Sara Molloy's presentation for more info) on the contrary are exploring ways for batch ingestion of contents flowing from CRIS systems into a currently low-populated array of repositories.

Quite a number of other subjects were amusingly dealt with by other speakers, such as timestamping the web through the Memento project as presented by Herbert van de Sompel (LANL), Topic Models by Michael Fourman (University of Edinburgh Informatics Dept), or Repositories and data at Closing Keynote by Kevin Ashley (DCC).

RF2010 had also its traditional 20-slide-20-secs-per-slide Pecha Kucha sessions once again. There was a Pecha Kucha on the work by Sonex on Fri Sep 3rd, and projects like Enlighten, Jorum, Open Access Repository Junction, ERA, ShareGeo and some others were represented at this light speed presentation variety as well.

On Sep 1st a SHERPA RoMEO API workshop was also held by Peter Millington, Jane H. Smith and colleagues from Nottingham at the e-Science Institute facilities in Edinburgh as a RepoFringe pre-event. As presented last July at Open Repositories Conference in Madrid, major improvements in the RoMEO service are being worked at, and this workshop was an opportunity to get feedback from the RoMEO API users on its performance and suggestions on possible enhancements for version 3 currently in its final stages of development (due Autumn 2010). There were also interesting presentations from outside the UK on the implementation of RoMEO mirrors such as SHERPA RoMEO deutsch in Germany and service internationalisation was extensively discussed along the meeting (Portugal and Spain were scoped as potential areas for development of specific interfaces). An online survey on the RoMEO API was previously distributed among the workshop delegates and its results were discussed and analysed in fruitful specific breakout sessions.

From a Sonex perspective, the RoMEO service does fit into the Sonex proposal for a distributed national- or regional-level automatic ingest system based on an array of brokers dealing with publisher- or funder-driven ingest of contents into a network of national or regional institutional repositories. From this point of view, RoMEO, such as other general-purpose services as OpenDOAR or the broker itself, are pieces of the required infrastructure for this approach to grow real. Find more information about this Sonex proposal in the Sonex paper 'Handling Repository-Related Interoperability Issues: the SONEX Workgroup' to be presented in Glasgow later this month at the 2nd workshop "Making Digital Libraries interoperable: challenges and approaches".