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, 29 April 2010

BioMed Central partners with MIT Libraries to deposit open access articles using SWORD

BioMed Central, the leading open access publisher, has worked with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries to develop an automated system that uses the latest technology to automatically populate MIT's digital repository, DSpace@MIT, with the official version of articles by MIT researchers that have been published in BioMed Central's journals.

In order to make it easier for MIT authors to submit articles to DSpace@MIT, the MIT Libraries worked with BioMed Central to set up an automatic feed of MIT articles, using a version of the Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit (SWORD) protocol. The SWORD protocol allows the institutional repository to receive newly published articles from any of BioMed Central's 200+ journals as soon as they are published, without the need for any effort on the part of the author and streamlining the deposit process for the repository administrator.

In describing the importance of the SWORD integration, Matthew Cockerill, BioMed Central's Managing Director said, "Campus open access policies are hugely important, but the effort involved in compliance can be a major obstacle to their success. That is why we think that automated deposit has an important role to play. We hope that this pioneering work by BioMed Central in collaboration with MIT Libraries will encourage other institutions to work with us to establish similar automated feeds, and we encourage other publishers to adopt a similar approach".

Read more at BMC Press release.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Richard Jones joins Sonex workgroup

After Jim Downing announced last March he would be forced to leave the Sonex workgroup later this year, group members were discussing possible candidates for bringing a similar technical profile into the workgroup. Richard Jones, Head of Repository Systems at Symplectic Ltd, was nr 1 on the resulting list of repository techies. A few weeks after these conversations, Richard has agreed to become part of the Sonex workgroup, and will be contributing his large experience on Publications System's integration with digital repository systems and general interoperability issues to further Sonex analysis of the deposit landscape worldwide.

Richard is Head of Repository Systems at Symplectic Ltd, and is responsible for integrating their research and publications management system (Symplectic Elements) with a variety of digital repository platforms.

Prior to joining Symplectic, Richard built and deployed repository systems for three large universities: the University of Edinburgh, the University of Bergen, and Imperial College London. He also spent some time as a research engineer at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, working with cloud services and content management systems.

Richard is a founder member of the DSpace Committer Group, although is now much less active in that community than he would like. He plays an active role in open standards development; he was on the technical committee defining the Open Archives Initiative Object Re-use and Exchange (OAI-ORE) standard, and has recently taken up technical lead for SWORD standard, in which he has been involved in since near its inception. He is also chair of the Developer Focus group, part of DevCSI representing developers in and around higher education. He has written numerous articles on repository development and Open Access, as well as a book concentrating explicitly on Institutional Repositories.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

CRIS/IR integration at Trinity College Dublin

Several initiatives are presently being developed at various academic institutions across Europe for materialising Sonex usecase nr 2, ie CRIS systems as a source of documents for Institutional Repositories. One of the most successful examples of system integration is taking place at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), where integration between TCD in-house developed CERIF-based CRIS and TARA DSpace-based repository is under way (see for instance "CRIS Cross: the repository in the research information system"). APIs for ingest of metadata-only records from international databases such as WoS or PubMed were also developed at TCD as part of the interoperability effort. Finally, TCD solutions are being exported to developing countries via the Irish-African Partnership for Research Capacity Building and
Contact person at TCD: Niamh Brennan

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

OA-RJ Multiple Deposit meeting (HEFCE, London, 2010/04/08)

This meeting aims to debate relevant issues for the already running Open Access-Repository Junction (OA-RJ) project, as a means of advancing with successive phases of it. The meeting, organized by OA-RJ manager Theo Andrew (EDINA), joins up different stakeholders related to OA-RJ, such as publishers (NPG, UKPMC, BMC), funders, IR managers, the Sonex workgroup, the NAMES project, the SWORD protocol and JISC (represented by David Flanders and James Farnhill).

Some meeting conclusions from a Sonex viewpoint (general conclusions summarized by Theo in a post at the OARJ blog):

- The PEER project should be considered as a key reference for OA-RJ, at least at its initial stages, for there are important similarities between both projects. NPG has also taken part in the PEER project, which dealt mainly with publishers depositing authors' manuscripts into an array of IRs, and warns about risk of redundancy at this stage. However, publishers as deposit agents is just one of the OA-RJ lines of work, so overlapping between both projects should be just partial. Nevertheless, whenever PEER previous developments may be reused for OA-RJ purposes, a strong effort should be made to ensure this is done. Sonex may be of great help in achieving some degree of cooperation between both projects.

- The Sonex workgroup may eventually support the OA-RJ project for tackling some of the basic issues at design stage (such as the multiple copy vs one copy+multiple links dilemma or the way deposited items may be kept at the OA-RJ deposit until -and even after- receiving notification from target IRS of the item going live). These points are dealt with in the meeting, but there are still questions remaining and new issues are likely to show up along the project development. If Sonex succeeds in organising the proposed Deposit meeting (initially set for Oct'2010) on ongoing deposit initiatives worldwide, it may also be a good opportunity for discussing different approaches to the same objectives among members of the represented projects.

JISC Deposit Call

As of Mar 9, 2010, JISC Grant Funding Call 2/10 on "Deposit of research outputs and Exposing digital content for education and research" was released. Strand A in such call relates to Deposit, with the specific objective of "Ensuring take-up of solutions that enable and encourage author deposit of Open Access research outputs into repositories by embedding deposit into research or related practice". Sonex already working on the issue, there is an opportunity for the workgroup to assist projects funded under the JISC Deposit Call by supplying the bigger picture of repository deposit. The possibility of providing a webspace where people interested in deposit can go to learn about deposit work was also suggested.

Upcoming Sonex-related events

OR10: The 5th International Conference on Open Repositories (Madrid, Spain, Jul 6-9, 2010)

CRIS2010: Connecting Science with Society (Aalborg, Denmark, Jun 2-5, 2010)

Learning how to play nicely: Repositories and CRIS (Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK, May 7, 2010)

Repository Multiple Deposit meeting (London, UK, Apr 8, 2010)

Readiness for REF (R4R) Workshop (King's College London, Mar 23, 2010)

OpenAIRE Inaugural Conference (Athens, Greece, Jan 13-14, 2010)

• JISC Deposit Show-and-Tell Barcamp (University College London, Oct 12, 2009)

Meetings held & Documents available

International Repository Workshop (Amsterdam, Mar 16-17, 2009)
Repository Handshake strand - Action plan

• Edinburgh workgroup meeting (EDINA, Edinburgh, June 10, 2009)
Notes on meeting
Repository Handshake (actor-based) use case scenarios: a summary
Notes from whiteboard

OAI6 Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication (CERN, Geneva, June 17-19, 2009)
The Repository Handshake - a followup

• Copenhagen workgroup meeting (DTU, Copenhagen, Aug 12, 2009)
Notes on meeting

• Madrid workgroup meeting (CSIC, Madrid, Nov 2, 2009)
Notes on meeting

• Informal workgroup meeting in Cambridge (Cambridge, UK, Mar 21, 2010)

Related projects

The following projects are dealing with some kind of deposit action into repositories, and are therefore related to the Sonex initiative:

• JISC-EDINA’s Open Access Repository Junction (OA-RJ) Project

PEER Project

• Knowledge Exchange ‘CRIS/OAR Interoperability Project’ for defining a CERIF-based metadata exchange format between CRIS and Institutional Repositories,

SWORD: Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit
Sword overview
Sword2 final report

• JISC-Heriot-Watt University’s JournalTOCsAPI project,

• JISC-The Deposit Plait

• JISC-EM-Loader

• JISC-EIDeR (Enhanced ingest to digital e-research repositories)


Sonex timeline

At the Amsterdam workshop the initial time horizon was estimated to be two to three years in a multi-phase activity, with Phase 1 being rapid engagement over a six+ month period. Once the RH workgroup started dealing with the use case analysis and selection for implementation, the timeline was scheduled in terms of milestones:

June 2009 - State of development of Repository Handshake works to be summarized at OAI6 (CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication) in Geneva

October 2009 - Production of a 2-page preliminary workplan document for each of the three selected use-case scenarios in relation with actual projects being presently developed. To be presented at the JISC Deposit show and tell barcamp, London, Oct 12th. Upload of resulting information to the wiki

End of 2009 - Gap analysis and complete study of all selected use cases

2010 - JISC Deposit Call - SONEX potential supporting role

Sonex objectives and development

The Repository Handshake/SONEX objective was firstly to identify and analyse deposit opportunities (use cases), which map on to different business processes from which there is prospect of prompting and assisting deposit of research papers (and potentially other scholarly work) into the repository space. These include processes within the repository space to alert and assist transfer/access across multiple repositories (in the use case of multiple Institutional Repositories). An incomplete list of other deposit opportunities include: institutionally-assisted deposit (typically from CRIS systems but also research group activity); grant-funded mandated deposit, with requirement for award referencing; deposit from publishers as OA services for authors; assisted deposit as part of desktop authoring applications).

Once a complete use case list was obtained, the work was to be focused on identificating the most interesting deposit opportunities in terms of populating repositories. This analysis should result in proposals for cooperative development and for implementation possibilities.

The following key use case scenarios were identified and associated with projects being already developed (or to be developed) by the institutions taking part in the workgroup. Participation in the use case development and implementation is open as well for other interested institutions:

• Use case nr 1, PI/author for multi-authored, multi-institution journal articles - related to Open Access Repository Junction (OA-RJ) Project at EDINA

• Use-case nr 2, CRIS systems as source of documents for IRs - KE's strand 'Exchanging Research Info'. There are also several ongoing institutional initiatives for CRIS/IR integration, such as those at the University of Glasgow or the Trinity College Dublin

• Use-case nr 3, Publisher as the source of articles - also related to the EDINA-JISC OA-RJ Project, as well as to European PEER Project

• Use-case nr 4, 'Our Bibliography' as source of references for IRs, meaning lists of publications supplied by individual researchers, research groups or departments

• [Potential extra] Use-cases nr 5 (Subject repositories) and 6 (Research evaluation agencies).

See a brief summary of the four main SONEX use cases/deposit opportunities at:

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

No 'Repository Handshake' anymore?

The Repository Handshake workgroup started its activities along the International Repositories Workshop held in Amsterdam on Mar 16-17, 2009. This workshop was organised by JISC, Surf Foundation and DRIVER in order to (i) identify the essential components of an international repositories infrastructure and (ii) agree ways to resolve any issues identified as such essential components, including areas where practical international collaboration would help. Task analysis was divided up among four workgroups, Repository Handshake being one of the strands. Its objective was to improve the ways in which repositories can be populated with research papers from a range of sources by automating negotiation between depositing agent and repository(ies), building from the SWORD protocol. At the end of the Amsterdam work sessions several relevant use cases had been identified and an action plan was designed for carrying out further analysis on the main ones along a preliminary 6-month phase that would lead to funded projects. The Repository Handshake workgroup would deal with this preliminary phase analysis.

Later on the Repository Handshake strand was renamed Scholarly Output Notification and Exchange (SONEX) by the members of the workgroup, in order to get a more accurate picture of the scope of the works. The new name narrows the scope of the analysis to the actual operations that are being examined, that is, metadata and digital object exchange, leaving out the potentially misleading Handshake terminology.

More information on the other strands developed at the Amsterdam International Workshop in:

Workgroup members and affiliation

The Sonex workgroup at DTU Copenhagen, Aug 2009. Left to right:

Pablo de Castro (Chair) – Carlos III University Madrid (UC3M), Spain

Jim Downing – University of Cambridge, UK

Mogens Sandfaer – Danish Technical University (DTU), Denmark

Peter Burnhill – EDINA-University of Edinburgh, UK