Posts Tagged ‘events’

Çhaghnoaylleeaght ayns y Lioar-hasht

Posted on July 5th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

RushenLaa Tinvaal Sonney Diu!

Shoh rolley lioarlannyn ayns Mannin:

Ta mee gynsaghey foast! Please accept my apologies for any mistakes I’ve made, especially with mutations. Corrections and suggestions for improvement will be gratefully received.

LIDP / “Making an Impact” event, 28th June, Leicester

Posted on June 14th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

I’m speaking at a CILIP UC&R East Midlands members’ event called “Making an Impact“, on Tuesday, 28 June, at De Montfort University in Leicester, about our involvement in Huddersfield’s JISC-funded Library Impact Data Project (LIDP).

Making an impact: The JISC Library Impact Data Project

Paul Stainthorp will give an overview of the JISC-funded Library Impact Data Project (LIDP). This project, led by the University of Huddersfield, is testing the hypothesis that there is ‘a statistically significant correlation across a number of universities between library activity data and student attainment’. To do this, the team is gathering and analysing library activity data (book loans, gate count figures, e-resource accesses, PC logins) from eight UK university libraries, and comparing that data with student attainment. Paul is the electronic resources librarian at the University of Lincoln and currently project manager for the JISC-funded resource discovery project ‘Jerome’.

Web history: Lincs to the Past

Posted on May 13th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

I’ve just returned from the formal launch event for Lincs to the Past, the new flagship website from Lincolnshire County Council which provides online access to “the cultural heritage collections” of the county.

Lincs to the Past launch party
The launch party was held at the Collection museum in Lincoln.

Lincs to the Past builds on a previous project of the county council called ‘Cultural Collections‘, which provided a unified search interface for resources held in various cultural-service catalogues (library, museums, archives).

The new website adds a whole load of interesting functionality on top of that single search, including:

  • Records collected together to form exhibitions
  • Very-high-quality digitised image browse (example) including rich navigation using Zoomify
  • User tagging and commenting
  • Faceted search (by date period, subject term, and domain: i.e. library, museum, or archives)
  • Online help

You can find Lincs to the Past at:

An elastic bucket down the data well (#rdtf in Manchester)

Posted on April 20th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

I was in Manchester on Monday for Opening Data – Opening Doors, a one-day “advocacy workshop” hosted by JISC and RLUK under their Resource Discovery Taskforce (#rdtf) programme. I delivered a five-minute ‘personal pitch’ about Jerome, open data, and the rapid-development ethos that’s developing at Lincoln.

Ken Chad is writing up a report from the day and Helen Harrop is producing a blog, both of which will be signposted from the website:

The big data question

All the presentations can be viewed on slideshare, but there were some particular moments that I think are worth picking out:

The JISC deputy, Prof. David Baker was first up. His presentation, ‘A Vision for Resource Discovery‘ should be compulsory reading for university librarians. See, in particular, slides #6 (guiding principles of the RDTF), #8 (a future state of the art by 2012), and #11 (key themes).

Slide from David Baker's presentation Slide from David Baker's presentation Slide from David Baker's presentation

Following this introduction, there were three ‘perspectives’, short presentations “reflecting on the real world motivations and efforts involved in opening up bibliographic, archival and museums data to the wider world”: from the National Maritime Museum, the National Archives

…and from Ed Chamberlain of (Jerome’s ‘sister project‘) COMET (Cambridge Open METadata), the perspective from Cambridge University Library on opening up access to their non-inconsiderable bibliographic data. N.B. slides #4 (what does COMET entail?), #9 (licensing) and—more than anything else—slide #16 (“beyond bibliography”).

Slide from Ed Chamberlain's presentation Slide from Ed Chamberlain's presentation Slide from Ed Chamberlain's presentation

The first breakout/discussion session which I sat in on looked at technical and licencing constraints to opening up access to [bib] data. This was the point at which the tortured business metaphors started to pile up. ‘Buckets’ of data. ‘Elastic’ buckets that can expand to include any kind of data. And (my personal contribution, continuing the wet theme): data often exist at the bottom of a ‘well’. Just because a well is open at the top, it doesn’t necessarily make it easy to get the water out! You need another kind of bucket – a service bucket that makes it possible to extract and make use of the water. Sorry, data. What were we talking about again?

Then a series of 5-minute ‘personal pitches’, including mine just after lunch. I didn’t use slides, but I’m typing up my handwritten notes on Google Docs and I’ll post them as a separate blog post when I get a chance.

David Kay (SERO), Paul Miller (Cloud of Data) and Owen Stephens delivered the meat of the afternoon session in their presentation, ‘The Open Bibliographic Data Guide – Preparing to eat the elephant‘. The website containing the Open Bib Data Guide (which has not been formally launched until now) can be found at:

The site itself is going to be invaluable in hand-holding and guiding institutions through the possibilities in opening up access to their own bibliographic data (OBD). Slides from the presentation that are particularly worth noting are #8 (which shows the colour-coding used to distinguish the different OBD use-cases) and #14 (examples of existing OBD).

Slide from the OBD presentation Slide from the OBD presentation

Paul Walk’s presentation, ‘Technical standards & the RDTF Vision: some considerations‘, is the source of the slide which I photographed (at the top of this blog post). Paul talked about ‘safe bets'; aspects of the Web that we can rely on playing a part in allowing us to create a distributed environment for resource discovery: including “ROASOADOA” (Resource- / Service- / Data-Oriented Architecture), persistent identifiers, and a RESTful approach. See also this blog post.

In the second breakout/discussion session, we discussed technical approaches. One of the themes which we kept coming back to was that of two approaches (encapsulated by Paul’s slide) which—while not mutually exclusive—may require different business cases or different explanations in order to be taken up by institutions. We characterised the two approaches as:

  • Raw open data vs Data services
  • Triple store vs RESTful APIs
  • Jerome vs COMET (bit of a caricature, this one, but not entirely unjustified!)

I was gratified that Lincoln’s approach to rapid development and provision of open services was also referred to in non-ungratifying terms, as a model which could be valuable for the HE sector as a whole.

Finally, we heard what’s next for the #rdtf programme. It’s going to be rebranded as ‘Discovery‘ and formally re-launched under the new name at another event: ‘Discovery – building a UK metadata ecology‘ on Thursday, 26 May 2011, in London. See you there?

Ken Chad is writing up a report from the day and Helen Harrop is producing a blog, both of which will be signposted from the website:

Repository team news & report on RSP Winter School #rspws11

Posted on February 24th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

The latest news from the Repository team at the University of Lincoln:

RSP Winter School 2011

I was lucky enough to attend the three-day Repositories Support Project Winter School (#rspws11), which this year was held in the impressive surroundings of Armathwaite Hall near Bassenthwaite in the Lake District. As you can see from my photos, it was a real hardship.

Avenue of trees #rspws11

The programme included a keynote address by the immensely switched-on Professor Martin Hall, V-c of the University of Salford (and the first UK V-c on Twitter!), which touched on archaeology, museums, data preservation, open access, mobile learning, and the meaning of the modern university. The remaining speakers and discussions over the three days seemed to relate to two main topics:

  1. Data preservation and OA to datasets: Max Wilkinson on the work of the British Library and the BL datasets programme (; Miggie Pickton from the University of Northampton about their ‘KeepIt‘ project to preserve university research data.

The consensus about research data seems to be this: don’t rely on your existing processes for your ‘publications’ repository. Keep a clear wall between a publications repository and a data archive. The requirements for describing/cataloguing, preserving, and providing access (sensitive data, etc.) are all just too different for datasets and publications. Also, there seems to be a general agreement that a more national, shared approach is appropriate for datasets than the strongly institutional focus of publication repositories.


  1. The options for CRISes and Repositories when gathering data for the REF: presentations from Keith Jeffery; Mark Cox

It slowly emerged that there seem to be at least two different approaches to REF data-preparation that universities are taking: some [generally large, research-intensive universities] are investing heavily in a CRIS (which is impacting on the role of the Repository); others [generally the smaller HEIs, though with notable exceptions] are developing and enhancing their existing Repository systems, and relying on EPrints/DSpace to do more heavy lifting.

Bassenthwaite Lake

Interestingly, there was relatively little talk of e-theses in all this. We did however manage to slip in an advert for the UKCoRR members’ meeting (tomorrow!)

Slides and notes from the various presentations and workshops are available to download from the RSP’s website.

Tweets bearing the Winter School’s hashtag #rspws11 are preserved in a Twapper Keeper archive.

Armathwaite Hall

Meanwhile, back home in Lincoln…

And at our regular Repository team meeting on Friday, 18 February. It seems to be a particularly busy time, Repository-wise, at the moment. Welcome to David Young who came to his first Friday team meeting.

Present: Bev Jones (BJ), Paul Stainthorp (PS), Rosaline Smith (RS), David Young (DY).

  1. We’ve hit 2,800 items on the Repository, which is a credit to Lincoln’s academic staff, as well as to the tireless efforts of RS and BJ! We’re aiming for 3,000 items by the end of April, 2011. If we hit that target, I’ll be doing some more baking.
  2. There are a number of useful training events on at the moment: some organised by the RSP (e.g. this one), as well as this extremely valuable-looking non-RSP event in Glasgow. Many of the events relate in some way to getting data in/out of repositories for REF purposes (c.f. the discussions at the Winter School, above). Unfortunately, Lincoln people aren’t able to attend many of these events, so PS and DY are going to meet to discuss the possibility of running/arranging a similar event in the East Midlands.
  3. The group discussed some EPrints tweaks: publisher search, the ability to ‘bounce’ a Repository record from one owner to another, the perennial unique author IDs …all of which are possible and in place in at least one other EPrints repository. We also touched upon our succession/emergency planning (i.e. how would the Library cope if and when the volume of Repository traffic outstrips our resource to deal with it: our “Plan X“.)
  4. RS updated us on the Kultivate project: there’s another workshop in London on Monday, 28 February; RS is still planning a meeting with the Faculty of Art, Architecture & Design. RS has issued her final reminder by mass email to academic staff, asking them to attend a Repository workshop or/and to get in touch to discuss depositing their items.
  5. BJ reported that all Repository records from the calendar years 2010/2011 (so far) are now identifiable to a quarter. (We need this level of specificity to produce our Quarterly Research Output Reports.) However, there’s still some confusion over exactly how we can construct date-limited queries in EPrints – BJ is going to ask on the eprints_tech and UKCoRR mailing lists to see if we can get a definitive answer.
  6. Now-quite-finally, I (PS) ran through a number of things I’m going to bring to the next Repository steering group: including technical developments and where we might need to take EPrints in the run-up to the REF, as well as improving the Repository’s presence on our corporate website. I’m also going to speak to the chair of the steering group (University Librarian, Ian Snowley) about the date of the next meeting.
  7. Did I mention it’s the UKCoRR meeting tomorrow?

Bassenthwaite morning reflection

Mashing for the M25 consortium

Posted on February 16th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

I’m speaking at a one-day cpd25 event on ‘Mashups And Libraries‘ at Goldsmiths, University of London, on Wednesday, 13 April 2011. cpd25 is a ‘Staff Development and Training Organisation working in association with the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries‘ in the south-east of England.

The event costs £45 for cpd25 members (£65 for non-members). I’ll be talking/demoing/guiding people in using Yahoo! Pipes and Google spreadsheets for library mashups.

From the cpd25 website:

This event will give you an overview of mashups from some of the experts, relating mashups to the Library setting. Then in the afternoon you can have a go at creating your own mashups.

What are Mashups?

They are web applications that combine freely available data from various sources to create something new and potentially more useful into a single tool. They can be a very powerful way to meet our user’s varied expectations and provide excellent web-based services adding value to library websites and library catalogues. They can also allow libraries to promote Library services where the users are.

Venue: Goldmsiths, University of London

Event programme

9.30-10.00 Coffee and registration
10.00-12.45 Presentations including examples of mashups in Libraries
12.45-1.45 Lunch

1.45-4.30 Create your own mashups – hands on session (Paul Stainthorp Electronic Resources Librarian) yahoo pipes/google data 101 session. Parallel session tba.

All day event – you can come for just the morning presentations or stay for the whole event (both options include lunch)


Chris Keene Technical Development Manager(Library, University of Sussex)

Julian Cheal Systems Developer (UKOLN)

Gary Green technical Librarian (Surrey County Council)

Paul Stainthorp Electronic Resources Librarian (University of Lincoln)

to attend the morning session – £35 for cpd25 members (£55 for non-members)
to attend all day – £45 for cpd25 members (£65 for non-members)
Lunch and refreshments included in both prices.

Please note that places are limited.
To book a place please use our online booking form or email the administrator via

Cancellations less than one week before the event will be charged a 50% cancellation fee. In the event of a ‘no-show’ on the day, the full fee will be charged.

Bunch of tossers: Pancakes and Mash

Posted on January 19th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

May I humbly introduce the eighth Mashed Library unconference:

Pancakes and Mash” will take place on Shrove Tuesday, 8 March 2011, 10.00 – 16.30.

The venue will be the University of Lincoln‘s Brayford Pool campus in central Lincoln, LN6 7TS.

Booking form and other mere details to be arranged and disseminated soon, via Twitter, the Mashed Library social networking site and wiki, and on the dedicated Pancakes and Mash blog at:

Screenshot of the Pancakes and Mash website

Repository team meeting, Fri 14 Jan 2011

Posted on January 14th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

Goldwork, from Rosaline Smith's Kultur II Group presentationWe’re starting to have weekly, informal Repository team meetings. Anyone working on (or interested in) the Repository at the University of Lincoln is welcome to attend. At today’s meeting, we talked about the following:

  • The University is now using the Repository to generate its Quarterly Research Output Reports. (These are lists of all the ‘substantive‘ research outputs published by Lincoln staff in a given quarter.) To make sure that items show up in the correct report, we’re introducing extra specificity over publication dates.
  • Rosaline Smith reported on her attendance at the first Kultivate workshop, organised by the Kultur II Group, which took place on 11 January in central London. At the workshop, Rosaline gave a one-slide, two-minute presentation about improving support for art & design material in the Repository. You can read her blog post about it, here. We’d be very interested in talking to anyone from art & design at Lincoln about how we could develop the Repository to meet their needs.
  • The University has renewed its contract with EPrints Services, who have provided us with excellent support, training and consultancy since the launch of our Repo in its current form. The cost of this support contract will be split three ways, between C.E.R.D., the University Research Office, and the Library.
  • Bev Jones is attending a free EPrints training day on 19 January, all about maintaining, customising and branding our EPrints Repository: we’re keen to develop a bit more self-reliance when it comes to basic maintenance and simple technical jobs (saving the really hard problems for EPrints Services, above!)
  • Finally, a round-up of events: I’m going to the RSP Winter School 2011 early in February; there’s a UKCoRR members’ meeting later in the same month; and we’ll be having our next [formal] University Repository Steering Group meeting on 2 February.

Four go mash in Bath

Posted on November 19th, 2010 by Paul Stainthorp

LEGO-esque version of a photo of me sitting on the floor at MashSpa, taken by Lukas KosterThe sixth Mashed Library event took place in Bath on Friday the 29th of October.

I went (my first visit to Bath), along with E.V. (E-resources Assistant) and Nick and Alex from ICT services (who both stayed in Bath for the more-hardcore-developers’ BathCamp event that weekend).

With an obligatory mashlib pun, “MashSpa – Mash and Mashibility” was held in the Chapel Arts Centre in the middle of Bath, and included talks from (freelance information consultant) Ben O’Steen on open bibliographic data, Lukas Koster of the Library of the University of Amsterdam on the “Dutch situation” and Dutch Culture Link project, and developer Dan W. on what the Internet can learn from libraries. (Italicised links are to blog posts by Owen Stephens!)

In the afternoon, the attendees splintered into informal mashing parties: some people went into the cellar (yes, really – a very underground-resistance-movement atmosphere down there…) to play around with RFID tags and laser-guided scissors; others stayed ‘up top'; with the afternoon culminating in a mass-installation of VuFind, led by Owen (no mean feat, considering the Chapel Arts wi-fi network had given out under pressure by then).

[An aside: I'm now the only person to have attended every single Mashed Library UK event. I think the other contender for the crown may have been ill for MashSpa, though, so I can't take too much joy in my victory. #]

The next (planned) mashlib is Haggis and Mash on the 25th of January 2011 at the National e-Science Centre in Edinburgh… closely followed by a still-top-secret mash event in Lincoln (details soon).