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!