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.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Repository take-up and embedding: the future of repositories

  Being already in Birmingham for the JISC Deposit Project Meeting on Mar 1st, Sonex stayed in town for attending the JISC Repositories Take-Up and Embedding Meeting as well. Start up meeting for this new JISC programme aimed to outline the future of repositories, dealing with specific issues such as (automated) deposit, shared services like RoMEO or OpenDOAR, repository integration into general software infrastructures for research information managament and promoting national (via RSP) and international (via KE, COAR and OpenAIRE) collaboration.

Six projects were presented along this programme start up meeting:

- Bringing a Buzz to NECTAR (Miggie Pickton, University of Northampton)
- Hydrangea: letting the repository flower (Richard Green, University of Hull)
- MIRAGE 2011: Repository Enrichment from Archiving to Creation (Xiaohong Gao, Middlesex University)
- Enhanced interface design for supporting take-up and embedding of the Glasgow School of Art research repository, including visual
engagement with practice led and applied outputs (Robin Burgess, Glasgow School of Art)
- eNova (Marie-Therese Gramstadt, VADS)
- EXPLORER: Embedding eXisting & Propriatary Learning in an Open-source Repository to Evolve new Resources (Alan Cope, De Montfort University)

An extra postprandial presentation on repository consolidation within a university research information management environment and the way it was done at University of Glasgow Enlighten IR was delivered by Willian Nixon. Statements like "Silos are the past, embedding repositories -through the use of tools like Sword or LDAP- is the future" made the point on how repositories should evolve in the future. According to William, repositories are to exploit new opportunities for data mining, business, intelligence, KPIs, analytics, 'stickiness' and visibility (some of these issues being thoroughly dealt with at Enlighten repository blog).

There was a remarkable presence of image-related projects among the presentations, Glasgow School of Arts, eNova and MIRAGE 2011 dealing with archiving of images into repositories one way or another. This is great news for momentum-gaining development of new information infrastructures in the area (also traceable at the JISC Deposit Programme meeting the day before), which will no doubt benefit from these projects outcomes.

After watching project presentations from a Sonex point of view, it seems they could particularly benefit from interacting with JISC Deposit projects in terms of implementing resulting strategies for automated content ingest into repositories. A handful of the take-up and embedding projects would thus be the soundest candidates for initial "customer implementation" of the various resulting methods for quick population of repositories with institutional research output (the take-up bit, prior to embedding) coming from the Deposit strand. As these projects will run
until the end of 2011 and the ones from Deposit strand should deliver around July, interaction among them could probably be easily achieved.

There was one particular project among those presented that captured Sonex's attention: MIRAGE 2011, Middlesex Medical Image Repository with a Content-Based Image Retrieval Systems Archiving Environment. MIRAGE is both an image-related repository project (as it deals with medical images) and a research data project, and it's this latter feature what gets it fully within scope of Sonex activity with regard to research data management. Ongoing data management projects (either JISC-funded or otherwise) usually deal with either numerical or textual data, but projects dealing with the deposit of graphical research data are rare (save for Data Management in Bio-Imaging - DMBI project run at The John Innes Centre, BBSRC, Norwich).

A couple of references were shared with MIRAGE project manager Dr. Xiaohong Gao, 'Feeding Neuroimaging Repositories' poster presented at OR2010 Madrid last July by a team of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)-Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau researchers in Barcelona, and the MIDAS/National Alliance for Medical Image Computing (NAMIC) medical image repository as to promote synergies among different projects on the same area.

The meeting presentations will shortly be available.

1 comment: