Aug 042011

William Nixon is introducing our afternoon presentations:

Anna Clements & Janet Aucock (St Andrews University) – PURE-OAR Implementation

We started back in the day of cerif in 2003. In 2005 we set uo a link to DSpace. After our experience of the RAE we looked at setting up PURE CERIF-CRIS – a joint procurement in Aberdeen in 2010. There was a realisation in Scotland that we should work together over RAE/REF. We launched the Research Portal in 2011 ready to prepare for our REF submission in 2013. And we are thinking still about DSpace and our reseach data.

We pull in administrative information and we harvest publication, manual input and reference systems, we enter activities and impact, we link to full text, repository, open acces and these are fed out to industry/SMEs interface, HEI information, REF and funding councils etc, Public media and collaborations and resaeh pools.  And we are working on eResearch Repository (open access) and on the authority data from RCs IRIOS. And we are looking at WoS API from Thomson which is Cerifyed. And working with various JISC supported REF related projects.

Our graphs of activity we’ve had spikes in deposit – this is where we told our academics to deposit stuff in time for the research portal going live.

Over to Janet:

We have a robust infrastructure and that’s a real opportunity. We have substantial set of publication data, very rich research information, functionality to add full text in PURE and to send metadata and full text to our DSpace repository. The Research Portal is a great way to raise our visibility. We do still have some drivers here: REF, Research Council mandates and Open Access. These aren’t competing factors but engender the support services for research.

Our team is communicating more and more. We engage with training, information and guidelines far more now than we did previously. We have really had to up our game in research support. We are making it visible, we have to support it. Our research office staff help up information on research support on our research pages and joining that information together in a really constructive way. And the latest team to come on board are our liaison team in the library – we’ve really joined up the dots of what we have to do.

The portal lets you browse work, reseachers, etc. And we have been blogging and taking lots of advantage of the possibilities to highlight our research and engage with our researchers. Recent theses is important for our researchers, there are news items surfaced this way. And we have a midigraph – a mini monograph. The academic wanted to distribute this via the repository and it really fits into what we want to achieve. And we are hoping to become the distributor of several open access journals in the next year – really building on our infrastructure.

We have reached our 1000th full text item in June 2011. In graduation week we took a celebratory picture of depositors and staff.

Niamh Brennan (Trinity College Dublin) – CERIFy

Actually it’s not just one person but four! Niamh has been joined by Mahendra Mahey, Stephanie Taylor, Niamh Brennan (TCD) and Kevin Kiely (TCD). Mahendra is starting us off – he’s project manager for the CERIFy project. We want to engage institutions with the CERIF standard. We feel we have a methodology. We have an 8 month project which finishes in September. Aberystwyth University, University of Bath, Queens University Belfast, University of Huddersfield and Thomson Reuters (commercial partner) are all involved. Our philosophy was that institutions care about business processes and making those better. We got institutions to engage with CERIF by articulating their business processes.

We went on site visits to these institutions. We asked them to articulate their Research Information Management Process Mapping and Gap Analysis. This found us four priority areas to look at and this was a fascinating process. We also asked them about duplication, cross walking etc. We only asked one question about CERIF.

We then had data surgeries where we could drill down to the data level and really engage with CERIF. And we focused on two business processes: Measuring Esteem and Insight Exchange. And we CERIFied the data around these priorities so that it could be seen in a working CRIS system.

Over to Stephanie:

We wanted to put the users at the heart of everything we did. We spoke to everyone we could at these 4 institutions. We captured as much information as we could.

InCites Exchange of Data – we asked people how this was use. The highlights were: RAE requirement; comparison with themselves and other institutions. We asked about collecting data: a two way process with Thomson Reuters and local activity. User issues: there is a lot of effort involved in understanding the data – a big barrier to understanding and using the data. The dream scenario would be standard data, nightly updates etc.

Measuring Esteem – personal reviews, promotions, inward facing issues was an important as external needs for this. Collection of data was hugely varied and ad hoc. Everything was too wooly. Difficult to provide meaningful data. They dreamed of systematic capturing of data, bringing in huge numbers of resources, personalisation and personalised audit tools to be brought into RIM tools.

Over to Niamh:

We found such a huge amount

We used InCites in 2002 to populate our repository and our CRIS. But it’s not good enough. The data is unsatisfactory, the process of exchange is unsatisfactory. The views of the institution it provides can be really problematic. There is non standard schema. But you can find materials that are key to the REF. Huge amounts of effort involved to concert InCites to something standard. Queens University Belfast had already tried to build something and we were able to make this so:

Over to Kevin:

I’m going to talk about data conversion. The CERIF 2008 XML specification is extremely helpful for converting data. Ultimately we ended up with xml we could send to Thomson Reuters who could return the InCites data as CERIF XML with additional requested fields.

Back to Niamh:

We have a CERIF data model and a data exchange model. We have extended publication types here, we have multiple identifiers, full metrics.

The next step is to ask Queens University Belfast to properly pioneer this approach.

Notes on Esteem and the REF – although the guidelines don’t show Esteem it does say collaboration and contribution to the discipline. We will use our 2008 RAE Esteem factors, and everything else we can collect, to feed this reporting. We have models here from the PURE user group.

Issues: Most of the data is not currently available from sources other than narratives or reports supplied by members of academic staff. Where data can be imported from elsewhere it should be.

And now a very very short break….

Heather Rea (Beltane Beacon of Engagement) – Social innovation, research output and engagement

Unfortunately my blog has fallen over so this blog will be sorted out later, this portion covered: About heather; the beacons are; outputs; social innovation

Spectrum of Engagement – I have done a mapping that looks at how academics might contribute along this spectrum. From informing, to consulting, to involving, to delegating. The shape of this diagram is a wedge. That thin end of involved participation is very valuable but it is rare and expensive to achieve. You have to do everything before that to even get to that point. General informing is crucial to get you start.

Where does open data or open scholarship sit here – it’s between consulting and involving the public.

WE also talk about public engagement. We talk about the general public. No. It’s not the right way to think about it. It’s groups of publics. It’s people with special interests in your work. So you might think about:

– Policy makers – where are they, at what level. They could be local or institutional or they could be national, UK, EU etc.

– Community worker/NGO – communities of practice who will share their ideas. Also funders – these people look for funding and that’s a means of reaching out. And twitter is a tool that can be useful here

– Individuals, e.g. Patient – in doctors office/hospitals, community suport groups, online forums, searches.

You have to think about the audiences and how you might actually reach them.

With the NCCPE we have done some work on how engagement can be seen in REF impact. Engagement is not evidance of impact but it IS a pathway to impact.

We have approached our institutions and challenged them to change their culture. They have reached a concordat for engaging the public with research. This is a statement that is clear about the role of the university. Three of our four partners have also signed up to our manifesto “The Engaged University”.

My call to action to you: come to our conference: Enagaging Scotland takes place on 20th September 2011. And look at

Siobhán Jordan (ERI) – OpenBIZ – knowledge exchange between HE & Business

We work with universities across Scotland to engage them with conmpanies, particularly small and medium sized companies. Universities can seem like scary places to companies so we do a lot of face to face meeting with companies, it’s quite a resourece intensive project. When JISC put a call out for engaging with busienss it seemed like a great opportunity to pilot online engagement and I will be talking about the work we’ve done under that call.

Building a smarter future towards a sustainablle scottish solution for the future of higher education – scottish government 2011 – really supports this sort of interaction.

Busineses say that “we don’t know what we don’t know”. We were recently working with a small company working on speech technology for stroke victims. The anecdotal evidance was great but no clinical evidance. I suggested working with the Synapse group who look at brain images to give the business a whole new research area – their business has grown 25% just from the impact of working with the university. It’s great for the Scottish economy. And that company is now confident to go forward to work with other universities.

Our role is to overcome challenges to exchanging knowledge in these ways.

The OpenBiz project was to see what could be piloted online in the West of Scotland, where our uptake and connections were quite low. But it was important that we connected with Scottish Business Gateway and others that work every day with our audience.

To date we have worked with about 800 companies and we have taken forward about 400 projects or contracts. The first point of call for companies isn’t looking at a publications list. We wanted something accessible and some peer to peer interaction. So we started by making a series of short 1 to 3 minute videos. We worked with VidioWiki here at University of Edinburgh. This is quite a unique way to use the YouTube video to promote what we do.

We also wanted to increase the reach of our events. It’s hard and cost prohibitive to travel from remote areas to our events. But doing a webinar in a very active way and capture immediate feedback adn interest has proved very productive. We were able to triple the audience for our events. Our first event was on the day of the crazy snow in Edinburgh – we had a large event online as even those planning to attend in person attended online.

Over to Micheal Fourman:

Topic modelling: take a document and look at the words to find the topics. The word distributions are different for different types of documents. Can we simplify characteristics into a simple set of documents? Well we can if we have documents which we know are in the same topics. And we can look at what topics explain the variability of materials in a collection – the machine learns about papers with overlapping topics perhaps.

I was hoping to be able to topic modelling from resaearch materials and topic modelling of industrial materials and then use case  studies to cross search these. We didn’t have enough case studies to do this so instead used the topics to create word clouds to give a sense of content.

Back to Siobhan:

We want to challenge businesses to engage and for business and universities to find a common language. Early days but great potential here.

And our last workpackage in this project is an iPhone applications (Interface On) to connect businesses with universities easily.

We have kept a blog of the project – you can find it on the Interface website. We saw this as a great way to expand our contact with businesses. And this has been a unique opportunity for the parter universities to showcase their work to business across a wider area of West of Scotland.


Q1 – William Nixon) Do you see yourself being more involved in Impact in the future?

A1 – Heather Rea) We see ourselves working more with early stage bids with impact in mind but we’ve moved away from the Impact agenda as such as what we do isn’t directly an impact activity.

Q2- William Nixon) The CERIF project – you said you would be handing work over to Queens – are they ready for this yet?

A2 – Niamh) That’s just part of what we’re doing, taking our own researchers information and exchanging this data in a real world situation.

Q3 – William Nixon) Really interesting form of brokering that you are doing. Any upcoming webinars

A3 – Siobhan) we have a webinar coming up with our new office in Inverness and we are working on design led expertise, involving Glasgow School of Art for instance.

Q4 – Ian Stuart) We have a larger meeting next year  – Open Repositories 2012. How easy will it be to get businesses along to these sorts of events?

A4) One of the objectives of OpenBiz was to look at connecting research to business. We can try. I know that businesses are interested in searching for material and also social media aspects so any work in that area should interest them for sure.

 August 4, 2011  Posted by at 2:51 pm Live Blog Tagged with: ,

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