Monday, 7 December 2009

JournalTOCs workshop & using alerts to populate your repository

On 20th November, I attended the JournalTOCs workshop.

I presented on the perspective of repository managers who might use the JournalTOCs tool, which offers a way for us to track what those at our institutions are publishing. In my work at Warwick, we've been using other alerting services, and I presented some statistics on how successful our use of the alerts has been.

You can see the presentation online at:

There are lots of interesting potential uses for JournalTOCs, including a prompt for us to write to individual authors inviting deposits of their articles in our repositories. The API could even be used as a way to populate a repository or a CRIS with articles which are already recorded as being affiliated to a particular institution or by a particular author. However, institutional affiliations are not recorded in all publishers' data.

JournalTOCs' advantage over other alerting services for such a purpose is really that its data comes directly from the publishers, and so it is particularly prompt. Promptness is important when you're asking authors for early versions of their journal articles!

Other uses for JournalTOCs might be as a way for an institution to create a search tool which would search the tocs for journal titles which the institution subscribes to. Or even a tool to search the tocs of titles which are available on open access. Any institutional tool would want to incorporate that set as well as building their own subscription set.

Anyway, there are lots of potential uses for this very clever tool. For more information on JournalTOCs, please see follow my link to their blog!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Survey on Open Access & features of a repository

There's a survey at:

Which repository managers might be interested in completing or forwarding to their contacts to complete. It is quite a long survey, and I didn't find all the questions easy to understand. I think it's mostly aimed at scientists who are reading and writing articles, rather than repository managers themselves.

I blogged my personal perspective on the survey on my WRAP blog:

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Twitter and repositories: keeping in touch.

I tweet about my work as wrap_ed and I just posted to our members' list to ask if other repository managers also tweet.

This resulted in the creation of two lists on my Twitter profile: one for other repository managers, and one for repository additions.

Les Carr blogged about "Getting Twitter" recently, and indeed I have been a bit slow to get it myself. I think that the new lists facility helps.

Twitter is an interesting mix of the public/private, as with conversations at conferences. I can see tweets from one person to another but I can't very easily follow their whole conversation. I just pick up bits as I walk past!

If I want to have a conversation in Twitter, then I need to be aware of when people are tweeting "at" me. I am likely to have missed some (and appeared to be rude, ignoring someone calling after me at that conference!) because I'm not always in Twitter. Nick Sheppard of Leeds Met just gave me a great tip: every search on Twitter can be turned into an RSS feed. So, I can watch out for tweets "at" me by searching for @wrap_ed and subscribing to that in my RSS feed reader.

Conversations at the conference might be small talk or about more personal stuff but they are all building networks, and as Les's blog post points out, it's the people who tweet all the time about everything who are also providing great informational tweets.

Which is why I particularly like the new lists facility. I can keep track of where the people are whose conversations I might want to dip into, without having to follow them all, all the time! I can also point people who I'm talking to at others whose conversations might interest them.

There were two lists which I created: one for repository managers (people) and one which is about repository additions, generated by code in repositories. I admit that I was sceptical about the value of this sort of tweeting, but if you look at that list you can see that these Twitter feeds do get a considerable number of followers.

In the great Twitter conference we are all saying stuff to audiences who might not exist and could change with the wind, so why not broadcast from our repositories?

Apparently, now I should "tweet" this blog post. My wrap_ed tweets appear on my WRAP blog but not as blog posts, thank goodness, because the headings of my WRAP blog posts are tweeted through the University of Warwick Library Twitter profile! I could then "re-tweet" those through wrap_ed, too, in the other new feature of Twitter, which is kind of like spreading gossip at the conference :-)

A summary of all UKCoRR blog posts goes to the members' list once a month, prepared by our committee secretary. In this instance, though, I started with a direct query to the list so I shall also email about this blog post. Can you all hear me?!

Monday, 16 November 2009

UKCoRR Handover

Nicky Cashman officially takes over from me today as Secretary of UKCoRR.

I have very much enjoyed my involvement in UKCoRR.

I wish Nicky the very best in her new role and wish you all happy advocating and plentiful deposits.

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

End of DRIVER, beginning of COAR

As our current Committee Secretary, Mary Robinson posted to our list with her other hat on about the press release about COAR on the DRIVER website( ) UKCoRR members will have noticed that the European DRIVER project is coming to an end and the Confedoration of Open Access Repositories has been established.

DRIVER's activities were largely twofold:
1) Providing a focus for the OA community
2) Technical developments to help the community to share their content.
... And the DRIVER guidelines lines for Repository Managers and Administrators which focus on how to expose digital scientific resources using OAI-PMH and Dublin Core Metadata, are really very useful. The DRIVER Guidelines can be accessed at:

As COAR is likely to establish membership through the payment of a fee, and as UKCoRR is not funded, we are not likely to be very closely involved with their work, but the JISC have joined and UKCoRR and the JISC can and do work closely together through the committee members' activities and through collaboration with the Repositories Support Project who have sponsored much of our activity and through contact when issues arise. JISC colleagues have said that they think it is important to work with/through UKCoRR to reach repository managers.

One thing to note here is that the community which DRIVER was serving, and which COAR will serve, is slightly different than that which UKCoRR serves: obviously there is the wider, European scale. But also there is the fact that COAR is about open access repositories and the open access community more broadly so it is inclusive of learning objects and other types of material. Meanwhile, UKCoRR is for research repositories, which might or might not contain open access materials!

I hope that helps to make sense of the repositories/OA landscape a little further!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

UKCoRR Committee meeting- minutes available

The UKCoRR committee met via telcon on 26th October

The minutes from the meeting are now available from the UKCoRR website

Friday, 2 October 2009

Report about UKCoRR meeting

UKCoRR member, Miggie Pickton of Northampton University has written a report about the UKCoRR meeting held in August this year, which appears in the October issue of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals' Library & Information Update.

Pickton, M (2009) Passionate about research repositories and open access. Library & Information Update, October 2009, pp. 18 - 19

Thanks Miggie!

Friday, 18 September 2009

UKCoRR at RSP Summer School

I presented UKCoRR at the RSP Summer School earlier this week. There were quite a few UKCoRR members present as well as non-members and representatives from other projects and groups. Full details of the event are available from the RSP website.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Cross Projects Forum

I represented UKCoRR in Birmingham on Tuesday at an informal meeting of several UK projects and organisations which support repositories. Representatives were there from JISC, RSP, ERIS, UKOLN, and the Welsh Repository Network and included our own Dominic Tate with his RSP hat on. One of the main reasons for the meeting was to minimise duplication of work across the projects and facilitate sharing and dissemination of outputs.

Using the results of the UKCoRR members survey earlier this year and issues raised on the list I was able to highlight some key areas for training or support, in particular copyright which is an ongoing concern to members. I reminded them that although membership of the UKCoRR list is limited to UKCoRR members, if projects wish to post relevant announcements/surveys to the list they can do so through the committee or members.

The UKCoRR blog was mentioned as being really useful to those outside UKCoRR so they can follow developments and issues of concern to members. A suggestion was made to include in blog postings anonymised quotes from list emails which explain issues of concern to the members.

Much of the discussions focused on support materials and resources that will be developed by the various projects. Within the UKCoRR committee we have discussed before having a webpage devoted to useful links and it was suggested at the meeting that we could use Delicious to develop and manage the links listed. I also spoke to the ERIS and the Welsh Repository Network about their various repository groups and the overlap with UKCoRR. Within the committee we'll be discussing the various ideas raised and continuing discussions with these various projects and groups so if members or indeed nonmembers have any comments please do email me.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

UKCoRR Committee meeting- minutes available

The UKCoRR committee met via telcon on 20th August.

The minutes from the meeting are now available from the UKCoRR website

Monday, 24 August 2009

Research Funding and Assessment: The Future

Hi All,

I thought I'd drop a quick couple of lines about an event that I will be attending on behalf of UKCoRR.

On October 14th there will be a fairly high profile meeting held at the Royal Society in London, to look at issues surrounding the future of research funding and assessment in the United Kingdom. As many of our members will not be able to make it I thought I'd ask to see if anyone has any particular issues you would like me to try and raise at the meeting? I'm not sure what chance we will get to raise issues or ask questions, but I thought I should give it a go. More details are available on the event's website at

I will of course be reporting back after the event, with a focus on any developments which may affect the work of repository managers in the UK. Do post any thoughts to the list, or if you'd prefer to email me in person, you can drop me a line to

I have spoken to David Lammy once before, when he was my MP when I lived in Tottenham - I'm not sure he will necessarily remember me though...


Friday, 21 August 2009

Cross Projects Forum

On 8th September I will represent UKCoRR at the Cross Projects Forum meeting in Birmingham.

The meeting is being held to bring together various groups and projects in the UK tasked with supporting repository development and repository managers. Representatives from RSP, ERIS, UKOLN, and the Developer Community will attend.

I will use the results of the UKCoRR survey and issues raised at the Members meeting on the 14th to identify key issues to raise at the meeting. If any UKCoRR members have any other issues they would like me to raise please let me know before the 8th.


Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Response from the JISC

I fed back members' comments from our event to the JISC, about wanting more lead-in time for JISC funded projects, when we can recruit staff. JISC have responded:

"...we have received such feedback before, and we're aware that this is an issue for many projects. However, we are very constrained in what we can do about it to be honest, because of the way in which our funding works. We do our best, but I agree that it does remain a concern. We do try very hard to work with projects on this, and we do suggest that the first three months of a JISC project should be considered as setting up time.
"Proposals acknowledging this, where appropriate, are regarded as realistic, and as having mitigated potential risks that any project set-up can introduce. Projects should discuss this issue as early as possible with their JISC programme manager, who will be able to work with them to help the project develop a project plan that reflects the realities of the situation."

For anyone who has not yet investigated the sessions from our event, please do see Dominic's presentation about the JISC Recruitment toolkit, which kick-started this feedback to the JISC.

Also see the JISC Recruitment Toolkit itself.

Monday, 17 August 2009

After our meeting

Our meeting last Friday went very smoothly, and the venue was a really refreshing change. Kingston is a lovely location and our hosts were especially accommodating, so thanks are due to Kingston University who not only provided the ample room but also all our refreshments.

Our speakers' presentations were thought provoking and entertaining, and members' contributions in the form of questions and discussion were also very valuable. The networking opportunity was excellent, and we are all hoping to take the UKCoRR forward with various initiatives, after the meeting. A proper write-up of the day will hopefully be appearing on the UKCoRR website soon, along with pictures and slides from our speakers (See our website).

I came away with two flip-chart sheets. One sheet lists issues relating to Open Access author-pays funds, after Theo Andrews of Edinburgh's presentation online at Theo's presentation summarises the issues relating to OA funds that many of us are struggling with. Institutions who are investigating/experimenting with such funds, who had members at our meeting are:
Edinburgh, Nottingham, Warwick, Kingston, Glasgow, UCL and Brunel.

There were different primary drivers for these institutions, including the finance office at Edinburch, Library and research support staff at Glasgow, researchers themselves at UCL and the Pro-VC for research at Brunel.

Issues which were discussed included...
1) Concern about the costs: these might escalate, and sometimes amount to "double dipping" (some publishers are paid by authors and subscribers because they charge authors for OA article publication but don't reduce their subscription fees).
2) Publishers who are aware of funder mandates for OA within 6 months, might introduce 12 month embargoes on post-print availability in OA repositories, in order to force authors to pay for OA publishing of the final version or miss their funder's mandate. (NB the point here is that funders are paying, as authors can claim such costs from funders. But we're all struggling to set up mechanisms by which this can be done - see Theo's presentation for a summary of the issues.)
3) An institutional response might be to set up an OA fund, or it might be to encourage authors to deposit post-prints into the OA repository, rather than paying such publishers' fees. Some researchers object to the fees being charged.
4) The Wellcome Trust does seem to prefer that the authors pay for OA publication, and indeed it suits authors better than depositing themselves because a part of the Wellcome mandate is for PubMed deposit. By paying, authors can leave the PubMed deposit up to the publishers to do. Is the Wellcome Trust's mandate skewing the OA landscape in the way publishers have responded to them, whilst other academic disciplines are no way near as well funded?

There is definitely a lot more to be investigated, on the topic of institutional OA publishing funds.

My other sheet records that the UKCoRR ought to feedback to the JISC that our members would very much appreciate a three month notice period from the JISC, before the projects begin, so that they can attempt to recruit staff before the beginning of a project.

On another note, I'm particularly pleased that my own draft Memorandum of Understanding was presented without any controversy, and so that will be the focus of my own efforts in the near future... watch out for further blog posts and e-mail list postings on that topic!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Our members' meeting, 14 August

As a committee we've been very busy responding to your survey information in order to organise the members' meeting. A date has been set, of 14 August, and we also have a venue at Kingston University. Kingston were able to offer not only an interesting and different venue to the usual ones, but are also sponsoring our refreshments which is very welcome indeed!

Full details of the forthcoming event are now available from our events page at:
...from where there is also a link to our booking form.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Well OAI6 was really interesting and hot! Due to the increase in numbers the event was moved to the University of Geneva in the city centre rather than at CERN. Overall I think the move was a good one with greater availability of accommodation and better transport links. The only drawback was the main reception area of the building had a glass roof so we all baked in the summer sun of Geneva. Have a look at all the shiny red faces in the conference photos if you don't believe me :-)

There was a real mixture of people at the conference which led to some interesting discussions. I particularly enjoyed the breakout session run by David Prosser of SPARC Europe on "Speculations on the future of Open Access and Scientific Publications". With representatives from Nature publishing and Elsevier in the audience as well as many repository managers it was a great opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas. One of the issues of concern to publishers was that the peer-reviewers are struggling to keep up with the volume of material they are being asked to review. I asked if peer-reviewers ever express an interest in whether the journal they review for is OA or allows deposit in a repository. According to the two publishers there the main thing reviewers consider is the prestige of the journal.

I did wonder if in our advocacy to researchers, particularly those keen on OA, if we should suggest they consider also the policy of the journal with regard to OA when deciding if they will review for it?

The DRIVER Tutorial, NECOBELAC and EM-Loader posters were all well received. In particular the EM-Loader project received a lot of interest due to its use of SWORD and by many repository managers interested in seeing if they could implement something similar and so enhance the service they offer their users. If you are interested in this have a look at the project website The poster and online demos of the service and contact details for the team are all available there.

There were so many great presentations and sessions at the event I can't go into them here but all are available from the conference website if you are interested .

P.S. Easyjet squashed my bag on the flight back, boo hiss.
P.S. Update: Easyjet sent me a cheque to cover the damage to the bag, yepee!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Attending OAI6

I'm off to OAI6 in Geneva next week. It should be a really interesting event and I'll be talking about the DRIVER Mentor Service ( in the DRIVER Tutorial on the 17th June.

The idea for the Mentor Service came about from our experiences here in the UK and seeing how groups such as UKCoRR and the SHERPA partnership can really help to support repository managers. Many of our international colleagues are very interested in the role of UKCoRR and how something similar could help in other countries. I'll let you know how I get on.

After that I'll be giving two posters (hopefully with help) one on NECOBELAC ( and one on the EM-Loader project ( which is co-authored by another UKCoRR member Theo Andrew of the University of Edinburgh, and Ian Stuart (Edina) and Fred Howell (Textensor Ltd.), and uses an installation of SWORD to automate the deposit of articles into the Depot repository from

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Second Committee meeting

Last Friday we held our second UKCoRR committee meeting, after the end of the RSP event on mandates.

The RSP event was very useful as a way to network with other repository managers as well as those from the publishing industry, from research funders and from projects relating to scholarly communications more generally.

Our committee meeting focused on how we will respond to the results of our recent survey of UKCoRR members, and on planning the next members' meeting. Essentially, we're feeding back survey results through our members' discussion list and we're hoping to arrange a meeting before the end of this summer.

(The agenda and minutes of our committee meetings are available on the UKCoRR website.)

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Useful slides

At the joint RSP and RIN event “Research in the Open: How Mandates Work in Practice” last week in London (for more event details and news see the RSP website) Bill Hubbard used a sequence of diagrams in his presentation to illustrate the decisions and information a researcher needs to know to be able to decide where to put their research to ensure it complies with their funder’s mandates.

Several people have commented on how useful the diagrams were so Bill has added those particular slides to the SHERPA website as a resource for others in the community to use.

Friday, 22 May 2009

The results are in!

Earlier this month we set up a survey to find out what members would like UKCoRR to do. The survey has now closed.

Approximately a quarter (24%) of members responded to the survey and it is really encouraging to see this level of response given that this is a particularly busy time of the academic calendar with many people away at conferences.

The committee will be meeting to review the results next week and in particular to make plans for the next UKCoRR meeting where we will take advantage of the various venues and speakers offered by respondents to the survey.

A tag cloud from the answers to our survey question "what themes or concerns would you like the meeting to address?

created at

Monday, 11 May 2009

We're setting this blog up to try out the software and consider whether we could maintain a UKCoRR committee blog, to report to our membership.

Last week I attended the JISC Repositories and Preservation Programme meeting. I was there as the manager of a start-up repository, funded under that programme, but I was asked to present on working with the repositories community, so it was a great opportunity for me to plug the UKCoRR and explain how I think it fits in with RSP, Sherpa and the jisc-repositories mailing list. The first day of the conference was also the date we launched our survey of UKCoRR members, and this week it really feels as though my role as Chair of the UKCoRR is starting in earnest. We were quick to meet as a committee, after having been appointed, but what with the Easter break and wanting to prepare content to put out to the membership, we have been working very much apart from the members until this week. Now we are beginning to hear more about what our members want, and opportunities may arise out of contacts I made at the JISC meeting, for me to represent repository managers' concerns more widely. There is so much that we could or should do, and I'm very keen to prioritise, in order to keep my aims realistic!