Last week’s UKCoRR meeting in Portsmouth was my first and it opened, aptly, with a discussion of membership and the future direction of the organisation. As a new member, my main contact with UKCoRR has been via the mailing list and with those members I met at the RSP Autumn School. Gareth Johnson, Chair of UKCoRR discussed the difficulty of defining members – are we librarians, techies, researchers, information professionals? How should UKCoRR represent this group? Would it be a conflict of interest to accept funding from other bodies? I like the sound of the group taking more public positions and releasing statements on particular issues. Building closer ties with OER communities is also on the horizon, which is good news for this repository manager with an infant OER repository in need of some attention!
Yvonne Budden (University of Warwick) gave a 10 minute lightning talk on the strategic marketing project at WRAP (Warwick Research Archive Portal).This involved rebranding the repository and creating a core message for the service. The team chose ‘Highlight Your Research’ and paired this with a yellow-themed skin for their ePrints repository – to be launched in 2012. Following their initial marketing campaign, WRAP saw a 49% increase in deposits (500 items) in 10 months, although this did include a large import. I was particularly interested in the standardisation of communications for WRAP marketing materials, as the project resulted in a new set of documents and a clear communications plan.
Margaret Feetham (Southampton Solent University) won the admiration of the room as she described ‘running a repository on a shoestring’ without a FT or a PT official member of repository staff. Margaret outlined the challenges she faces including overcoming copyright issues and how support from academics doesn’t necessarily equate to full-text deposits.
Matt Smith from EPrints discussed the Shelves Project, the new functionality to create customisable lists of exportable ePrints records. This will be released as a Bazaar package and could be useful for creating bespoke publications lists for web pages or organising tricky working paper series.
Phil Barker (CETIS) discussed managing and disseminating OERs. Using MIT’s OpenCourseWare as an example, his key tips for creating popular and accessible OERs include hosting ‘linkable’ (tweetable?) content and course tasters in order to provide access to untraditional users without stretching VLEs. Difficulties include dealing with third party content and filtering for IPR issues. Phil also emphasised the importance of quality control and ensuring all items are clearly branded and include titles, dates and authors. Have a look at EQUELLA, HumBox and Oxford’s iTunes U for more…
Other presentations included Sara Gould (British Library) on the new EThOS membership model and progress so far, including enrichment of metadata and stepping up harvesting from institutional repositories. Marie-Therese Gramstadt (University of the Creative Arts) also reported on the KULTIVATE project and the resulting Advocacy Toolkit.