Posted on April 26th, 2013 by Paul Stainthorp
The final within-project version of the Orbital Research Data Management training materials are now live on the Orbital Researcher Dashboard website. They have been written collaboratively by the Orbital project team, and draw on a lot of existing RDM training and guidance material from across the web (in particular, from the DCC).
We intend that these materials will continue to be maintained and developed as part of the new University-wide research information service mentioned in a previous blog post.
The training materials can be accessed at https://orbital.lincoln.ac.uk/ and cover the following areas:
- What is research data?
- The research data lifecycle
- Policies affecting your research data
- Data Management Planning (DMP)
- Data search and discovery tools
- Data storage and security
- Legal and ethical issues
- Tools for working with your data
- Data publishing and citation
- Licences for sharing your data
- Data curation and preservation
- Workshops and training events
- Help and support
The source text for each page is stored in an open Github repository (at http://github.com/unilincoln/rdm) in Markdown format. The page admin tools in the Researcher Dashboard can then be used to link to the source document, which is then formatted in the University’s Common Web Design.
These web pages will be used to support the ongoing RDM training for postgraduate students, which will shortly be rolled out to University staff.
Posted on October 22nd, 2012 by Paul Stainthorp
Just in time for tomorrow’s official launch of Find it at Lincoln, I’ve made a couple of tweaks to its default search limiters. These changes were agreed at a meeting with the Academic Subject Librarians this morning (22 October).
- Under the search box on the Library website, there’s now a tick box to limit your search to only those resources for which the full text is available to University of Lincoln users (either online, or physically in the Library). If you want to search a wider range of resources, including those that are not immediately available to University of Lincoln students and staff, then you can un-tick this box before you search.
By default, this option is ticked – we’ll review how people are using the search, to make sure this is the most appropriate setting for all users and subjects.
- Within the Find it at Lincoln application itself, we’ve changed the names of the three main limiters – we hope so that it’s clearer what each one does. The limiters are now called:
- Limit to full text (print and online) – was “Available through the Library”. Ticked by default, to include results only where we have access to the full text online, OR where an item is physically available in our library collection.
- Full text online only
- Books and ebooks only – was “Library Catalogue only”. The new description is a bit of an oversimplification, in that our catalogue includes physical items other than books—DVDs, dissertations, print journals, etc.—but lots of users don’t know what the “Library Catalogue” is. “Books and ebooks” are terms people understand, and they’re what most people are looking for.
If you have any queries/comments about these changes, please leave feedback!
Posted on September 19th, 2012 by Paul Stainthorp
Find it at Lincoln has now been set up to behave in the following way:
1. From the search box and link on the Library website (library.lincoln.ac.uk):
- On a University PC on campus – Find it at Lincoln will recognise the University IP address, and provide the user with a complete, “logged-in” version.
- From off campus, the user will be presented with a guest version of Find it at Lincoln. 99% of the functionality of Find it at Lincoln is provided to guest users – at the moment, only access to the full text is excluded. This means that members of the public, prospective students, peripatetic researchers, etc., can examine our collections. From this point, University of Lincoln students and staff can log in, either:
- By clicking on the “Login for full access” message;
- Or by clicking on one of the “Full Text” options* underneath a search result.
- In both cases, the user will see a University of Lincoln secure sign-in screen where they can log in using their accountID and password. This is using EZproxy to mimic on-campus access, and is a redesigned version of the old Blackboard-style EZproxy login screen.
- (*The options “HTML Full Text” and “PDF Full Text” will take the user to an article held by EBSCO within Find it at Lincoln. “Find Full Text” will invoke the link resolver and display links to external full text – or, if possible, take the user directly to the full-text article, bypassing the link resolver menu.)
2. From the Library tab on Blackboard
The search box which is now available on the Blackboard Library tab will inherit the Blackboard login and pass it on to Find it at Lincoln (via EZproxy), so that the user has the complete, ‘logged’ in version of the application. They should not need to log in again to access most full text articles.
Posted on September 7th, 2012 by Paul Stainthorp
Now that the Library website is live, we need to start referring all students and staff to the new website and not to the University Portal for information about the Library’s services. We need to all-but-remove the word Portal from our vocabulary when we’re talking to students*.
*N.B. I’m only talking about the Library here. Other parts of the University still use the Portal as a vehicle to communicate with students – and even more so with staff, although the whole Portal (University-wide) is due to be replaced with an updated SharePoint system by 2014.
Most Library content on the Portal is now available in some form on the new website. Library Portal content has been replaced by messages redirecting users to the new site. Library Portal sites have been hidden from the main Portal navigation (but permissions have been left in place, so that links from other sites to our Library Portal pages go somewhere meaningful.
- A small number of Library Portal sites still need to be moved across to the new site (or ditched entirely and not replaced): we’re working through these.
- Help guides
- Repository Steering Group
- Services for students with disabilities
- SPSS licence codes
- Using other libraries
- The Databases site on the Portal (which until now we’ve referred to as the “e-Library”) is a special case – this will stay in place for a while longer, until we can replicate it using (probably) LibGuides.
- We’ll also continue to use the Portal for our Library Staff Pages (i.e. as a staff intranet and store for staff documentation). We hope to move this content to the ‘new’ SharePoint/Portal in 2014-
- I’ve updated all the links to the Library from the Portal home page (https://portal.lincoln.ac.uk/), so that they point to our new site. Similarly, links on the University’s corporate website (http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/libraryservices/) have been updated.
- Links to our services on the front page of the library catalogue (HiP)—which are stored in an XML/RSS file—have been updated so that they match (…ish) the top-level navigation options of the new website.
- We still need to look at our presence on Blackboard. We’ll continue to use Blackboard to offer specific, teaching-and-learning-focused services to students and staff.
- All of these changes (and the recent introduction of EZproxy) means we need new, updated guidance on authentication for our users – we’re working on a LibGuide specifically to address authentication problems.
Posted on August 24th, 2012 by Paul Stainthorp
Examples of the kind of redirection messages we’ll start adding to the University Portal, in place of old site content, to direct users to our new website.
Posted on August 24th, 2012 by Paul Stainthorp
Our new Library website is now finally live at: http://library.lincoln.ac.uk/
(Or www.library.lincoln.ac.uk works just as well.)
This is the Library’s new ‘home’ on the web, and the place where we’ll link to all of our other new services. From now on, we’ll start referring all students and staff to the new website and not to the Portal for information about the Library. Information on the Portal will be gradually phased out of existence. Initially we’ll replace the content on the Portal with links to the new website, before eventually removing the Portal sites entirely. The whole Portal (University-wide) is due to be replaced by c.2014.
We’ll continue to use Blackboard to offer specific, teaching-and-learning-focused Library services to students and staff.
Because of this change, our library catalogue has been relegated to a new web address: http://catalogue.library.lincoln.ac.uk/ – automatic redirects are in place for existing links to catalogue records from Blackboard, etc. There’s also a prominent image displaying a link to the catalogue, on the new website home page.
The new site runs on the University of Lincoln’s WordPress ‘blogging’ platform, which is useful for far more than just blogging. Many thanks to all the people in the Library and ICT services who have worked so hard in putting the new site together, in particular: Adele Beeken, Andrew Beeken, Alex Bilbie, Debbie Clarvis, and Simon Tompkins.
We intend that this site will be subject to constant development and improvement, and we need to hear all of your comments about the design and/or content – please use the feedback form in the bottom-right of the new website.
Posted on June 29th, 2012 by Paul Stainthorp
A group of Library and ICT staff met today to review the progress of the new Library website and to decide what needs to be done next.
The site structure has developed quite a bit over the past few weeks: here is the current version (1.4):
We now have a custom WordPress theme for the site (a fork of the Common Web Design version
3.0 3.1 –whoops!), and we’re starting to populate the test site (available to view at library.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk) with real content. Here’s a screenshot of the home page as of 29 June 2012:
We also have a plan to sort out our subdomain names (see here); we’re hoping to make changes in July to the catalogue DNS, allowing us to start to promote the new site as our primary presence on the web. We’re meeting again in a couple of weeks to discuss how we’re going to approach the problem of keeping our website content fresh and up to date, involving (I think) a lot of user testing and putting ‘review by’ dates on all content.
Posted on June 25th, 2012 by Paul Stainthorp
As an offshoot of our discovery (Find it at Lincoln), authentication, and library website projects, we’re trying to impose a little bit more order on the various lists of electronic resources we present to users – aiming at a single version of the truth.
For historical reasons, users can browse several different lists of e-resources at Lincoln:
- The ‘e-Library‘ page on the University Portal
- A list of packages on the e-journals A-to-Z
- Resources available through the MyAthens portal
- Other (minor) authentication systems, each listing its own subset of resources
Frustratingly for our users (and for slightly obsessive-compulsive librarians like myself), no one of these lists exactly corresponds with any other. Each one includes a slightly different set of resources. For example, looking at a Venn diagram of resources listed on two platforms only – the e-Library and electronic journals A-to-Z:
- The e-Library contains 163 distinct resources (usually referred to as “databases”). 106* of them also appear on the e-journals A-to-Z: but there are 57, mostly non-bibliographic, resources on the e-Library which aren’t on the A-to-Z. I kind of expected this.
- Conversely, the A-to-Z contains 162 packages (including a number of titles which don’t form part of a package). 112* of these are reflected on the e-Library, but there are 50 A-to-Z packages which aren’t on the Portal. This was less expected, and is more worrying!
- The name given to a resource on one platform doesn’t necessarily correspond to the name given to the same resource on the other platform.
- We use a Google Spreadsheet to [try and] keep tabs on this mess.
- *The reason why only 106 resources on the e-Library correspond to 112 packages on the A-to-Z is that one “database” can be represented by a number of packages. For example: the Portal lists “JSTOR” as a single resource, whereas the A-to-Z lists three separate packages: JSTOR Arts & Sciences I, …Arts & Sciences II, and …III.
Drop in the other two platforms which list e-resources, and the Venn diagram will look something more like this:
Rationalising these various lists has to be a way toward better e-resources management, and we need to get to a stage where we present only one version of the truth at our users. As part of the ‘Find it at Lincoln‘ project, we’ll be re-populating the A-to-Z knowledgebase from scratch, reviewing our acquisitions/ERM procedures along the way. And for our new website, we’re looking for better ways of presenting lists of resources than the current e-Library page on the Portal.
Side note: it’s possible to use the MS Excel =Match function to compare two lists of resource names that nearly, but don’t exactly, correspond. Formula is:
- =MATCH(“*”&LEFT(<value in native list>,12)&”*”,<foreign list array>,0)