Aug 032011

Welcome and Introduction by Prof. Jeff Haywood, VP and CIO University of Edinburgh

Jeff spends quite a lot of time drifting around the edges of repositories and I get the sense of it being quite an interesting time in terms of repositories that hold publications, and that hold data. The very way of storing and translating data into academic publishing and also in the grey ways academics have traded their data in various ways. We used to openly trade within such domains but only between those who knew and trusted each other. There’s a step up now that is part of a general move towards open everything that will really challenge us in terms of long term sustainability at a sensible price.

It’s also interesting to see the number of events targetted at senior managers, those staff making policy decisions about how the university will act. We see examples of “open university x” as people make a concious decision to make their outputs available. There is a recognition that the open agenda is important, but there is also some hard action to be taken to work out how that is funded and sustainable. It was be good if we had a strong human and physical network across the UK and I know that JISC is doing some work on this. In Edinburgh we have done quite a lot of work around research data management and storage. We have spent some time making that process one process and defining roles for academics and support staff. We have work now to encourage and ensure compliance. My colleagues Robin Rice and Sheila Cannell will both be able to speak more

Two final events to announce. The Open Repositories 2012 is coming to Edinburgh next July. The annual international preservation conference from the DCC takes place in December in Bristol. Finally I do hope you will have time to see some of the Fringe whilst you’re here!

And with that Jeff hands over to Stuart Macdonald who is chairing our first show:

Opening Keynote: Eloy Rodrigues, Director of the University of Minho Documentation Services

Eloy has been heavily involved in repositories for some years and is currently working on the Open Access Science Repository, a project that began in 2008. Over to Eloy:

I will be talking mainly about the RCAAP project – Repositorio Cientifico de Acesso Aberto de Portugal

We started our first institutional repository – Repositorium – at Minho University in 2003, and our policy in 2005. In 2005 the activity on open access was still very limited in Portugal. Scielo already existed in South America and we set up a Portuguese section, we also set up the first conference on open access.

In November 2006 the Portuguese Rectors Council (CRUP) published a “Declaration on Open Access” and created a working group – there was real support for moving forward with this.

Before our RCAAP project started we had fewer than 10 repositories and fewer than ten thousand items across them. When the project began we aimed to set up a portal to promote the visibility of Portuguese research, improve access to national scientific output and to integrate our work into the international context. At this time there were very few university repositories so there was much to do.

UMIC – Knowledge Society Agency funded the project, also helping to govern the project were FCCN (general and infrastructure service), and the University of Minho (for the scientific and technical expertise for the project).

Although I will focus mainly on the policy and management of the repository I wanted to give some idea of how the infrastructure for the project is set up – we have two clusters and a database, some of this was set up in 2008, some is still being completed.

The RCAAP Portal is an OAI-PMH Harvester and Data Provider, a Search Interface, a Directory of repositories, and SARI.

Repositories are visible in google or they are not visible. So search interface useful but not so important.

We do a daily harvesting and indexing of the fulltext of every Portuguese Repository, we validate the results, and we send the harvesting repor to repository administrators on a daily basis. The OAI-PMH interface is also provided here:

Our search portal,, combines institutional reposiories, several national, and one Brazillian repository. We have a Search Portal where you can search either only for Portuguese or both Portuguese and Brazilian content. We have various search options, tag clouds, etc. When you search you see a result showing the title, linking to the fulltext in the repository, and authors link to current researchers information system – so you can find profiles for the authors. You can also share each item via social media.

We have a directory of repositories on the portal with pages on each repository, text about that repository, links to relevant information and icons showing the compliance of each repository with standards.

The last component is the validator which checks if the repository is compliant with the project asking requiremenets or rules. These are based on the draft guidelines (the second version was issued some months before this project began in 2008) and that offers some basic level of interoperability. So we check that each record has a title, author, URI, is in the correct language, provides rights, and a date.  You can find the validator:

If you have closed or embargoed access content in your repository or items that are not scholarly content, if those are more than 3% of what is in your repository, then we ask that those are not exposed to our harvester. 3% is fairly arbitrary but we knew we wanted the majority of materials to be open access. When our repository harvester goes to your repository it will go either to the driver set that you have specified or can harvest the whole collection – that’s why it’s important to provide drivers if you have more than 3% that is not scholarly or open access content.

An example validation report shows errors clearly and lets repository adminstrators test out what does and does not work.

SARI – Institutional Repository Hosting Service allows academic and research institutions free repository space on a SAAS model (Software As A Service) which is regulated by contract. We (RCAAP) house the data, provide infrastructure management, provide software management, training and helpdesk support. We also harvest the data automatically for the portal. The institution gets 1TB of storage, institutoinal branding and support in exchange for meeting a regular annual deposit target and complying with the rules of the project.

SARI funs on DSpace 1.6.2 + addons (stats, request copy, oaiextended, portuguese help, send to curricula Degois). Each institution is on the same code base, just installed locally for them.

You can’t tell on the RCAAP portal site who is on the hosting site and who is not. They are managed in an autonomous way and there are loads of external interface customisations. There is a free helpdesk by email and phone. There are 24 repositories hosted at present – three of those go live today!

On top of those 24 repositories we have a Common Repository – it was practical but also political as we didn’t want anyone to say we couldn’t have a national open access policy

We use OAIexteded Addon to create virtual sets for DRIVER, OpenAIRE, ETDs, and activates DIDL. Its based on Filters and Modifiers (such as dc.types, dc.rights, open access >> info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess). It’s highly configurable and perhaps will be included in DSpace 1.8 in October? We would certainly be pleased to see that happen.

We also use the UMinho Stats add on which gathers and process information about repository usage on access, downloads, internal stats etc. There are different levels of analysis (repository, community, collection, document) and it is highly configurable.

We also have the Request Copy Addon and this is for the restricted access items. It sends an email to the person who deposited the item, requesting a copy. Connects you to the Author or Depositor who can reply in 2 clicks! They select either “send copy” or “don’t sent copy”. One thing we would like to change is that the depositor is the person who receives the request for the document, we want to alter this so they directly send to the author no matter who deposited.

We also have the Sharing Bar Addon. This allows visitors to share items on Social Networks and on Reference Management Tools (Endnote, Mendeley, Bibtex) and allows sending to DeGois, a Portuguese system. The DeGois Add on allows items to be sent to DeGois Curricula – the Portuguese Current Research Information System (CRIS) via SWORD.

A recent activity has been co-operation with Brasil. The Ministers for technology for both countries signed a memorandum of understanding. Mainly they agreed that there should be search portal interoperability, there should be an open access Portuguese-Brazilian Directory and there should be an annual conference.

Brasil and Portugal both aggregate national resources and we aggregate with each others’ content – we do this via OAIS. The Portuguese-Brazilian conference took place for the first time in Minho last year. This year it takes place in November in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil – there is still time to get your proposals in!

Disseminate, Advocacy, Networking and Training – we have created flyers, mousemats, we have created elearning materials and we have been very lucky to be featured on two national television channels giving us a chance to

We are finishing off a new website for RCAAP. You will find various modules there on open access, on the process, on copyright, etc. Well worth a look. We have also created several studies and documents including the State of the Art Report on Open Access in Portugal (2009) and two reports in 2010.

We set up 5 new repositories on SARI in 2008, now 24 and we have a total of 36 repositories in Portugal, We have gone from 1300 items to some 63700 now. The introduction of policies, mandates and toolkits have made a big difference here. Several Portuguese institutions have introduced mandates and policies in 2010 and we expect more to follow in 2011.

At present we are working on a pilot project on data repositories – this  is a small experiment for several institutions with datasets in local IRs. We hope to also have these on the national portal soon – we hope to let you filter for items, journals or data. We have different metadata schemas in use here and are using DSpace for this work again.

We are working on aggregated/centralized statistics (SCEUR workbench) for 36 repositories. We want to look at views, downloads and deposits. We want to create evolution data/charts and rankings. And we want to enable graphics customisation and embeddable charts around these statistics.

We are setting up a hosting service for OA journals (SARC) on the SaaS model.This one launches in September and this is based on OJS (version 2.3.3). We have one OJS instance for several journals (rather than one per journal). Highly cofigurable to accomodate different journal practices and brandings. We have selected 8 journals for 2011 and will have them in production by the end of the year.

We will do another State of the art report on digital preservation. And we are developing and progressing our collaboration with Brazil around repositories.


We think that RCAAP has been a successful project for various reasons. We have achieved our objectives. The growth indicators are positive, RCAAP has obtained national and internal visibility and we have increased the uptake of repositories in Portugal. We think this is down to having a real global and integrated vision here – we think this is particularly important for a country like Portugal but having awareness of what else happens outside of the country is still important for a country like the UK. Our governance model has been very successful – we have political, management and operational commitment here and it is based in centres of expertise. We are open to partnerships (e.g. Blimunda – translating SHERPA/ROMEO into Portuguese, Data Rep,, Brazil) . We have a service model that allows institutions to focus on their own core activities, and we also offer economies of scale through this model. We have a methodology for repository creation. From the first meeting with them to delivering a finished repository is less than 2 months now. And we have worked hard on community building – we include academics, researchers, libraries, the community at all levels. And we hope to host more repositories in the future building on these successes.


Q1) That was an impressive array of repositories. I was wondering if you have looking at author identifiers. There was some chat on Twitter about how small countries are doing better than bigger countries in some of these areas.

A1) That is an area we will consider for the workplan for the next year. We will try to get some partnership in Portugal on digital preservation. The issue of identifiers needs to be. There is an author identification system in Portugal but that is not interoperable with any other system. We aim to have identification schema that can be used and interoperable at a number of levels. We are interested and happy to co-operate and yes, we are following ORCID of course.

Q2 – Neive Brennan, Trinity College Dublin) It’s worth saying that Eloy has also been enormously helpful on compliance with standards like OpenAIRE for us in Ireland. Have you overcome that issue with OpenAIRE over provenance?

A2) No, the problem is identifying the provenance from the repository. For the time being we harvest directly from repositories. It should not be difficult to do technically but we have not defined yet how the problem should be addressed. It would be easier to aggregate one OAI aggregator but it’s not a problem. But we do want to go on and do it

Q3 – Vicki Picton, University of Northampton) Particularly interested in Journals hosting with OAJ. We use that at Northampton but combining that with  a repository is really challenging – it’s quite hard to advocate and promote and get that message across coherantly.

A3) Our main focus is on repositories. We don’t see it as a competing service. We decided to create the service – the project is named Remiunda after a woman with special powers to see what others cannot, which is an appropriate name for our project – it was after seeing if there was demand for this. We are converting some of those 8 journals from closed print runs to open access electronic journals. We have worked with journals, mainly from universities and scientific societies. We are helping them be open access friendly for repositories as well as for the journals. We will try to take advantage of that connection with the repository and the journals – we are helping them engage with the open access agenda. We want to at least get them to support self-archiving in repositories

Q4 – Les Carr, University of Southampton) A cheeky question: experience would say that technical infrastructures, software etc. but the real challenge to knowledge management is human. How does it feel to be in Portugal now you have all your technical problems taken care of: has that lightened the burdon for repository managers hugely? Or are repository users still your main problem?

A4) For many repositories the managers and librarians find things much easier now. We had 13 repositories when we started and 36 now. Hard to compare when you go from no repository to one. But those who already had a repository still host theirs locally. The migrated repositories it has helped them focus on users and promotion rather than technical issues – we have some successes on that front. But users can still be the problem and we have much to do to get content onto repositories.

 August 3, 2011  Posted by at 8:42 am Live Blog Tagged with: ,

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