Nicola Osborne

I am Digital Education Manager and Service Manager at EDINA, a role I share with my colleague Lorna Campbell. I was previously Social Media Officer for EDINA working across all projects and services. I am interested in the opportunities within teaching and learning for film, video, sound and all forms of multimedia, as well as social media, crowdsourcing and related new technologies.

Jul 102012

Today we are liveblogging from the OR2012 conference at George Square Lecture Theatre (GSLT), George Square, part of the University of Edinburgh. Find out more by looking at the full program.

If you are following the event online please add your comment to this post or use the #or2012 hashtag.

This is a liveblog so there may be typos, spelling issues and errors. Please do let us know if you spot a correction and we will be happy to update the post.

John Howard, Chair of the Open Repositories Steering Committee is introducing our opening keynote. I know there are lots of people who have been to Open Repositories previously. I think it’s fair to say that OR is a conference for people with the hearts and minds to make open repositories work: it’s for developers, suppliers, for everyone involved in the expanding ecosystem of repositories. It’s a learning opportunity, a networking opportunity, a way to step out of our day to day roles and make some new connections and gather new ideas.

This is our 7th OR conference. You will hear more about OR2013 in the closing plenary.

OR was started by people very much like yourselves who are passionate about repositories and wanted to share ideas and experience on an international scale. I wanted to thank the current OR steering group. The Steering Committee steer the direction of the year and select the programme chair, this year Kevin Ashley is the programme chair and he has been engaging in fortnightly calls with ourselves and the c0-chairs of the local Host Organising Group: Stuart Macdonald and William Nixon. Thank you also to our User Group chairs: John Dunn, Robin Rice and William Nixon.

If you want to stay in touch with us throughout the year I would ask you to join our Google Group and follow our new twitter account: @ORConference. And if you have ideas about a logo for OR please do let us know.

Now to Kevin Ashley, Programme Chair of OR2012.

Welcome on behalf of my own organisation the DCC, to EDINA and Edinburgh University! This year we have more attendees, more sponsorship and more sunshine at this year’s conference… one of those may be untrue!

This year we have tried to bring the spirit of the fringe to Open Repositories as we have, for many years, run the annual Repository Fringe event. So please join in the fringier aspects of the programme! And connected to that I want to remind you that ideas for the Developer Challenge must be in by 4pm today so submit them soon!

Cameron has been an advocate and activist for open research for years. Cameron has just taken up a new role as Director of Openness at Public Library of Science (PLoS)

Cameron Neylon

I am going to talk about what we have learned about open repositories from a high overview

Please do use, film, tweet, share, use anything I share today in whatever ways are useful to you?

So, what is the challenge that we face in making research effective for the people who fund it? For researchers we have this incredible level of frustration about being unable to deal with demands of funders, of stakeholders, or colleagues to make the most of what we do. We often feel like we are shouting at each other, more broadcasting than understanding of issues.

There is a sense that something is missing. WE HAVE ALL these tools to do something new but in terms of delivering what we can create and convert from the money we receive, the resources we have access to… but there is something missing in this delivery pipeline that’s not getting us to where we should be.

So I’m going to structure this talk around a sort of 3-2-1 pattern. 3 things to change, wrapped in 2 conceptual changes, around one central principle which, for me, is the useful way to bring these issues and thoughts together.

Lets start from my background. I’m now working for PLoS and I have been involved in open access advocacy for 7 years but I’ve also been interested in open things, open data, open science etc. for years.

I could make a public good argument for open research but that’s not really the environment we are in today. We need more hardnosed and pragmatic reasons to approach these problems. I shall take the tie-wearing approach. A business case. What do we have to deliver as a business, as a service provider, for the people who fund our salaries, our work?

I want to talk about quality of service, value for money, sustainability.

And if I’m shaping a business case then who are we serving? Who is the customer? Who are we marketing to?

You might think it’s policy makers… but they just funnel money through to us. Yes it’s important to make arguments to government but it’s much MORE important to make the case to taxpayers – that wider public that includes us. There is something sophisticated about research and the amount of time it takes to deliver. There is an appreciation of research and the time it takes to do. We saw that last week in the case of the Higgs Boson announcement last week (albeit in comic sans). So the customer is the global public. And they want outcomes. It’s not research outputs but how we effectively translate that to meaningful outcomes.

So why are we having this conversation, why is it happening and why is it happening now? Well we are going through the biggest change in technology since the reprinting press, perhaps since writing. Our ability to communicate has changed SO radically that we are in a totally different world than 20 years ago. Networks qualitatively change what we can do and achieve.

Most of you can remember a time without mobile phones. 20 years ago if I’d shown up and wanted to meet for a drink it would have been difficult or impossible. Email wasn’t useful back then either as so few people had it. When you start with nodes and start joining up the network… for a long time little changes. You just let people communicate in the same way you did before… right up until everyone has access to a mobile phone. Or everyone has email. You move from a network that is better connected network to a network that can be traversed in new ways. For chemists this is a cooperative phase transition. Where the network crystalises out from a solution.

But that’s a really big concept. So if we look at Tim Gowers, a mathematician and a blogger. He wondered if there was a new way to do academic math. He posted a problem on the web, a hard one. He said he didn’t intend to solve the problem but he wanted to involve as many people as possible in commenting on his approach. He expected the problem to take 6 to 9 months. And 6 weeks later he felt his problem was solved, along with a much larger problem being approached in a new way. And it wasn’t as he expected. What happened was a large group of mathematicians discussing the issue on a WordPress blog have been able to think through approaches and solve together a problem one of the worlds greatest mathematicians had not been able to solve alone. It allowed things to be done that were not possible before. A qualitative change in research capacity mediated by a pretty ropey system in which conversations can take place.

I want to talk now about GalaxyZoo. Astronomy is very much driven by the idea of testing hypotheses and that means looking through huge amounts of data. That’s a problem because you can only do about 100 sets of data a week. But you need about 10,000 classifications of galaxies to reach a level where you can publish a paper. Even a PhD student can only do 50,000 in the course of his or her studies. And there is a further problem. Lots of people look at the same data as well so this is hugely inefficient. But that data is from Sloan digital Sky Survey – an open data source of sky data. And there were a million sets of data. Computers don’t classify this stuff effectively. So what did they do? Well they took that data, they put it on the website, and they created a simple mechanism. Those million galaxies were checked 5 times over by 300,000 people in 6 months. That’s qualitatively different.

In both cases the change is because of scale, because of connectivity and mobility of data, and critically because of the efficient transfer of information. Galaxy Zoo could push high resolution images and data could be pushed back by users.

So the question as service providers has to be “how do we get some of that?” How do we make networks? And how do we deliver them so they are the right shape, the right size, the right connectivity for the right problems.

We need

1. Connectivity

2. Low friction

3. Demand on side filters

The first two of those are easy. We have the web. And really easy transfer of digital and even physical (as long as metadata objects are good) is fast and efficient. But that last issue is hard as out current approach is based on limiting and controlling access. And if you are doing that with research then you are delivering something that no one wants.

So how do we think about that? How can re reconfigure the way we do things?

So, his is a paper by Gunther Eysenbach (2011) JMIR 4:e123, it’s quite a controversial paper, but it starts from the principle that letting people know about research will increase how much it is used. If you can connect those who can and want to use research to that research it makes sense. But it’s a naive way to think about this. Connecting up just the research network overlooks the 400 million people on twitter. There will be someone who will make that connection and help connect those two connections. More than one person. This is a serendipity engine. And you can do new things you haven’t thought of before, expand into new areas of research, you can connect people who do not work in that research process and are interested in that, there are more of them than researchers at this scale.

The problem is that as we let people know that this research exists those connections drop, the effect fades out, because of acces to that research, those publications. Each time you break that network you lose potential outcomes, you lose value, you fail to optimise the network here. You guys know this. You know that open research and collaboration leads to more and better research…

But the problem is that we are used to thinking commercially. The analogy is we take our car to be serviced, and then we rent it back. The problem is that the garage has the ability to say any loaning of a car or renting out breaches the contract. They have to find new ways to make money out of new opportunities. But if we turn that on its head, if you pay upfront in kind or in cash, then the service providers’ interests can be aligned to those of the researcher or the public – if the service provider provides access to the most people possible.

When we talk about publications we need to talk about first copy access. But we can look at recent research in Denmark about economic cost to small business of not having access to research equivalent to maybe £700m in the UK. Let alone saved costs to government etc.

So we talked about those three aspects.

1) Scale the network to make things available. This is being addressed as the old publication model ends. This service industry, ways of making content sharable and discoverable, is a great service to be in.

2) We need to think about filtering at the demand side of the system. We are used to peer review as the filter. But that filtering is a friction if it’s on the supplier side. Whether peer review works or not it can’t always be the right filter, certainly not the right filter for everyone. The thing that you don’t share because the results aren’t useful I need to understand methodology, those results you don’t share as it doesn’t support your argument I need because I want the data, and that garbage paper you wrote I need to learn from myself how to do things better.

We need filters that we control to deal with the issue of filter failure. As a reader or use I want a way to discover what I want, for the purpose I want, at that point in time. Ideally I want to know about this stuff ahead of time. I think this is the biggest opportunity to make everything available in a way that progresses research. This is what you do!

So what does this mean in practical terms?

Well we were at a stage about putting things into the repository, we’ve moved beyond that to thinking about using things in repositories and understanding that use. We need to optimise that repository? What are the barriers? What is the friction? Licensing. Just sort it out. Make open the default. But we also still have lots of broken connections, how can we connect them up? How can we aggregate data on usage and citation? What is the diversity in your repositories? How can we connect things to the wider graph and systems? How can we support social discovery? And how can we enable annotation and link this across resources. Annotation is a link; it probably won’t come from depositors. Mostly it will come from fairly random people on the web!

And the other big shift is to think about quality assurance. Badge it, make high quality stuff clear, But share everything. Just badge and certify the good stuff. It saves you filtering it all down and allows all sorts of usage.

So repositories must be open, they must be accessible, and they have to be open to incoming connections from the global networks,

We are judged on research outcomes, usage when the right person finds it. And in that context a new connection could be more valuable than a new resource. This is a change to our way of thinking. We have to build those networks.

So again 3 areas to deliver… Scale and connectivity of the networks, reduced friction, and demand side filters.

1. The old model of giving away our intellectual property to pay for printing of it is dead! We need mechanisms, maybe through repositories, to make sure research is effective as possible

2. Filter on demand side, probably even automated

And that’s wrapped in one central idea. Think at the scale of networks. Assume that hundreds of thousands of people are looking at your work or want to. Assume that you cannot predict the most important use of your data. How you apply limited resources to engage with the fact that we are operating at a whole new scale is crucial.

We can’t build a system on the old truths. We could build a system on today’s truths but it wouldn’t last long. The only thing we can do for the future is to build for things we don’t expect, to be ahead of trends. Innovators don’t follow markets. They build them. When we provide services for the general public as innovators we need to build for the future. The network and its infrastructures and its systems and capacity are our future.


Q1 – Brian Kelly) You talked about building, not following, markets. We have twitter etc. Should we build the open one?

A1) That’s a really good question. I’ve always been against a Facebook for Science or Github for Science… the best Facebook is Facebook, the best Github is Github. But that was a world where the web is more open. There could be a point where it is worth our while to build tools for connectivity

We are probably a long way away from needing a new Twitter. But we need to be looking out for that. Twitter has 400 million people; whatever we build will have less. It has to get much worse to be worth shifting but we should argue against it getting a lot worse.

Q2 – Les Carr) You talked about the web, about systems. But the web is a socio-technical framework full of people with their own agendas. The web is a disruptive technology, how do we create disruptive academic communities that will make a real difference rather than playing it softly as we have been?

A2) Part of the answer is getting in people’s faces more. And making opportunities for that. For me what will drive that is the way the government is monitoring outcomes and use of outcomes. There is pressure on researchers to do that but we are not used to that. The place to be disruptive is at the point of maximum pain. That’s coming soon for EPSRC funded research. It might be coming soon with implications of Finch report impacts on UK publications. Pick the point carefully but in next 6 to 24 months there will be the right pain point to be disruptive and to show that we can ease that pain. The time of sitting back and facilitating researchers has probably passed.

Q3 – Dave Tarrant) The New World Journal answer is to charge for journals. So how can we connect up this community together rather than still have the serials model where we charge for good stuff and have other stuff out there.

A3) That issue of silo-ing is important but that issue is solved for me by proper licensing, where people can pull content together in any form they want for free. That problem hopefully goes away. There are still technical barriers but they can be overcome. But that only works if the content is properly licensed. The other problem is we don’t want to exchange a problem with access on the read side to problems on the write side. Publishing formatting and distributing research costs money. Anyone funding research really needs to insure those costs are part of that funding. We have a lot of thinking to do around the transitional process. One way would be to shift the peer review process. If we could flip or change that model that would bring costs down. Contributions in kind should be considered – not exactly sure what that is but we need to think about it. And those of us on the publications side have to facilitate this. At PLoS when you publish we say how much this journal costs to publish in, what can you afford to pay, even if nothing. But that’s not long term as a solution for all. That becomes charity. We need to remember that a paper is just research and a publication is just a repository. If it’s not worth the cost of publication and the IR is the solution then so be it. Publishers worry about value for money – otherwise you wouldn’t see embargoes. Open access publishers are not threatened about the value they add to the deposited copy.

Q4) I think that model works for research papers, for software too. But for data? That’s much more complex?
A4) I was in New Zealand last week and my default CC0 answer isn’t possible with copyright law. There is licensing and there are legal instruments. We want stuff to be interoperable and open licences allow the most reuse possible. The principle should be for maximum interoperability with the most open license you can. So adopting Susan Morrison’s work there are some licenses to suggest for different sorts of objects. I hope in CC version 4 that the licence can deal properly internationally with data. Another problem here is that licensing is used for social signaling. Many people do not use them as a legal instrument. There is a social signaling element that has gotten tied up with legal instruments. I hope we can resolve that in the long term by thinking about transfer across network and use of research because it’s in their own best interests to see stuff used. The end game has to say please use this as much as possible, in as many ways as possible and I’d like to hear about it. I think that’s what I’d like to see and I think that should solve out problem.

And Kevin is closing the keynote with a big thank you to Cameron.

 July 10, 2012  Posted by at 11:48 am LiveBlog, Updates Tagged with:  2 Responses »
Jul 102012

There are two fantastic ways you can use your smartphone at Open Repositories this week!

Microsoft Research have put together a great little Windows Phone 7 app for frequent conference goers and throwers: My Conference. It pulls in conference information and puts it into a convenient, dare I say attractive, interface. Browse events, tunnel deeper to learn about the delegates, and read what they’ve submitted to earn a slot at the conference. You can also see their other publications via Microsoft Academic Search. And what would any conference app be without a quick game of Guess Who? Here’s a little walkthrough and showoff video using the OR2012 programme.

YouTube Preview Image

You’ll probably see a bunch of pixelated little squares around the conference’s paper programme. You should put those QR codes to use, linking to equivalent pages online and freeing all that information from your printout. You can also use our custom map and read abstracts this way. Watch the video to find out how.

YouTube Preview Image
 July 10, 2012  Posted by at 11:47 am Updates Tagged with: , , ,  Comments Off on Two Fantastic Ways to use your phone at Open Repositories 2012
Jul 102012

As Day two workshops get underway we thought we’d take a look through the tweets and updated from Day One and share the highlights. This is the first set of updates, we’ll be adding to it from the tweets and comments throughout the day and after the event so do add links and comments here and come back to take a look…

After registration we realised it had taken a wee while for people to spot the 8GB memory stick hidden inside their delegate badges. Thankfully @williamjnixon was on hand with an explanation of how to use them – “The 8gb flash drive just swivels out of the badge”. Yes, it is really that easy 😉

The DSpace Committers meeting seemed to go really well – lots of interesting stuff raised according to those we’ve been chatting to this morning. If you were along and would like to share your notes/thoughts just let us know!

The Islandora workshop introduced Islandora to lots of folk who didn’t previously know much about it. And @jjtuttle was impressed to see “the #DiscGarden #Islandora video solution pack does reencoding using ffmpeg to generate access files. We want that.”

The Open Access Index workshop described establishing a way to “measure openness of research. What factors should it consider?” (via @openscience). To gather responses they have set up a survey here – do fill it in.

The DCC workshop, Institutional Repositories & Data – Roles and Responsibilities highlighted that Research Data Management is “a relay race, pass the baton at key point in the cycle” (via @wrap_ed). @informnivore tweeted Jared Lyle’s take on data curation challenges: “formats, metadata, privacy, and training”. The ICPSR work was of lots of interest. The full results of the recent ICPSR study will be a here (via @sjDCC) and a handy tip from the workshop: “ICPSR has an anonymizer tool for social science data”. One of the more interesting questions raised here was “what the role of funding agencies in data preservation & curation?” (via @informnivore). Breakouts included researcher workflows, insinstutional responsibilities, and IR limitations (via @pcastromartin). Concerns over the latter included “limited qualifications of library staff to deal with domain-specific metadata”. Apparently it “took us an hour or so but ‘the’ question has come up. So ‘what is research data?'” (via @wrap_ed).

At the text mining workshop @CriticalSteph reported back so regularly she got banned by Twitter for the day! But before the ban she shared news of Argo, which has “the aim is to be a community resource of a complete framework of text mining”.

The Repositories Support Project workshop: Building a national network kicked off with an overview from Balviar Notay of JISC’s work with repositories that left the crowd wanting more and particularly interested in the JISC Elevator and UK RepositoryNet+. And @llordllama wondered “Does the JISC elevator sound like the one in Are You Being Served? That would be neat.”. Jackie Wickham spoke on RSP but also on Sherpa as “Congratulations go to Bill Hubbard, now a very recent dad which has trumped attending #or2012“! (via @williamjnixon). OpenDOAR, Sherpa/Romeo and Juliet were all well recognised by the crowd, even those from overseas and “66% of publishers listed on Romeo allow some form of repository archiving. That figure’s been stable for half a decade” (via @llordllama). And one audience member suggested that adding “Article Processing Charges” (APCs) to Romeo would be a v useful addition”. A great fact from Jackie’s talk on RSP (the website for which was launched in 2006): “UK only second to US in number of repositories” – “on OpenDOAR the 9.5% of the institutional repositories are from the UK” (via @RepoSupport). “RSP has been busy with over 1300 delegates to from from 200+ organisations to events and 90+ consultancy visits” and have an embeddedness self-assessment tool (via @williamjnixon and @nancypontika). Marie Cairney talked about “the evolution of Enlighten from its antecedents in JISC FAIR and DAEDALUS“. Now @uofglibrary has two separate repositories 1 for published papers (Enlighten) & 2nd for theses. This led to discussion of deposit policy and of the Glasgow publications policy a “mix of metadata, full text and use of address”. See also: Building a national network – Nick Sheppard’s excellent liveblog of the RSP session:

And finally…

The DevCSI Developer Challenge is still looking for your fantastic ideas! Add them here or go and say hello in the Developer Lounge on the 1st floor of Appleton Tower (just near the lifts).

Recommended by the Tweetosphere

Get the picture?


 July 10, 2012  Posted by at 8:33 am Updates Tagged with: , ,  Comments Off on Highlights of OR2012 Day One!
Jul 092012

Welcome to the LiveBlog area for Open Repositories 2012!

Throughout the conference we will be recording sessions, tweeting and posting live blog updates from Keynotes, Parallel Sessions, the Repository Fringe strand and our fabulous events. All of these posts will appear on the main OR2012 page but can also be found here in the LiveBlog category as well. We hope to also have some guest bloggers covering some of the workshops and user groups either live or after the conference has finished.

If you are interested in being one of those bloggers please get in touch ( and we’ll set you up with access to post!

What to Expect

Our glamorous team of bloggers will be posted in various venues around the conference adding live updates to the blog here. Sometimes these will be summaries of what is being said, sometimes near verbatim accounts (it depends on various factors, particularly the speaker’s talking speed!). Our bloggers will also be tweeting and keeping an eye on the conference hashtag #or2012 for key information, updates, and questions from those reading the blog from their own desks away from the conference. Most of the content at this year’s event will be videoed and made available during or shortly after the event. And our blogging team will also be taking pictures and sharing them via Flickr (where you can also share your images of the event) though some of these may take a bit longer to reach the blog.

If you have a question, comment, or need some information then feel free to say hello to our bloggers and they may be able to help you, or at least put you in touch with other organisers who can assist. Please bear in mind our bloggers will be very busy throughout the week so if it takes them a while to approve a comment or reply to a tweet just give them a wee friendly nudge.

As a general rule we use the EDINA Social Media Guidelines to help us in our work – feel free to take a look particularly if you’d like to join us in the blogging.

Meet the Team

So that you can spot them at the event here are the team who will be blogging, tweeting, videoing and generally helping share Open Repositories 2012 with you…

Nicola Osborne is the Social Media Officer for EDINA and is leading our Social Media activity and amplification this year. She has refined her liveblogging skills through years of covering the Repository Fringe events!

Ask about: Twitter, videoing, how to become an OR2012 blogger, etc.

Superpower: Speedy liveblogging and image taking in parallel.

Contact: @suchprettyeyes, or via @OpenRepos2012

Zack O’Leary is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh and is assisting EDINA with social media throughout the summer.

Ask about: Twitter, liveblogs, mobile, burritos.

Superpower: Playing the QWERTY keyboard, he can create a symphony of social media.

Contact: @zaleary

Image of Nick Shepard

Nick Sheppard is Repository Developer at Leeds Metropolitan University and Technical Officer for the UK Council of Research Repositories (UKCoRR). Nick considers himself a Shambrarian and blogs on technical and cultural aspects of repository development , research management and Open Educational Resources (OER) for both his institution and UKCoRR.

Ask about: Twitter, integrated research management (IR/CRIS), OER, Jorum

Superpower: Superfast, highly accurate rock-music assisted metadata creation



Kirsty PitkinKirsty Pitkin is an event amplifier, who tears around the country covering a wide range of fascinating events.  She works closely with the DevCSI project and will be blogging about the Developer Challenge throughout OR 2012.  If you’re taking part in the challenge, make sure you tell her about your cool idea!

Ask about:  The DevCSI Developer Challenge
Superpower:  Managing multiple social media channels at once.
Contact: @devcsi,, @eventamplifier,
A picture is also attached.


Steph Taylor, is a researcher, consultant and trainer based in Manchester. Her interests lie in Digital libraries, repositories, research data management and social media (read more on her Crowdvine page). She’ll be updating us on her superpowers shortly.

Natasha Simons: Natasha Simons is a Senior Project Manager in eResearch Services, Scholarly Information and Research, at Griffith University, Australia. She manages a number of projects focussed on building eResearch infrastructure. She’ll be updating her own blog here: As she’s currently en route to the UK but will update us on her superpowers shortly.

Join the Team!

We welcome and encourage your input before, during and after Open Repositories 2012. If you would like to be one of our livebloggers there is still time – email and we’ll get you set up. Otherwise feel free to tweet, post on Crowdvine, share your images on Flickr, comment here on the blog – or just enjoy the conference whether online or here in person!

If you will be liveblogging or writing up Open Repositories 2012 somewhere else on the web just let us know and we’ll link to your write-up from our OR2012 Buzz page.

 July 9, 2012  Posted by at 10:12 am LiveBlog Tagged with: , , , , , ,  Comments Off on Welcome to the OR2012 LiveBlog
Jun 182012

The Open Repositories Steering Committee are delighted to announce that OR2013 will take place in Prince Edward Island, in July 2013. This will mark the first time that Open Repositories has been held in Canada.

The Host Organising Committee for OR2013 add:

The University of Prince Edward Island, and DiscoveryGarden are pleased to announce that Prince Edward Island has been selected as the location for Open Repositories 2013!

Islands are often viewed as isolated and insular, but those that live on islands think differently: Island life is all about Community. Join us on Prince Edward Island in July 2013 to discuss the next generation of repositories. This will be the first Open Repositories Conference in Canada and what a better place to make history than the historic birthplace of Canadian Confederation.

Prince Edward Island is also the birthplace of Islandora, the award-winning, open-source framework that combines Drupal and Fedora to create a robust, digital asset management system. The Islandora community is strongly based out of the University of Prince Edward Island, and continues to grow along side the open-source community.

Prince Edward Island has miles of sandy beaches, lined by red cliffs and rich pastures. Come and enjoy a round of golf at an award winning course, visit a local artisan workshop, and sample fine culinary products, fresh from the farm and sea.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island for OR2013!

Jun 152012

DevCSI will once again be organising the very successful Developer Challenge at Open Repositories 2012.

Whether you are a developer or user, we want you to be involved this year!

Tell us when you book for OR12, email us, post ideas on the Developer Challenge Ideas page, or let us know when you come to the registration desk for the event.

For the full challenge, information on the glittering prizes, the rules, the judges and other essential information head on over to DevCSI’s dedicated Developer Challenge page.

This year’s Developer Challenge is sponsored by Microsoft Research and there will be an additional prize to any developers who submit an entry to the challenge that also makes an innovative use of Microsoft technologies.

Microsoft Research

 June 15, 2012  Posted by at 3:36 pm Updates Tagged with: , ,  Comments Off on Developer Challenge Announcement
Jun 152012
Image of Lord Kitchener Your Country Needs You Poster.

"Bletchley Park - Block B - The Bletchley Park Story - Your Country Needs You - poster" by Flickr user Elliott Brown / ell brown

OR2012 kicks off in just three weeks time and as the date approaches we will be getting prepared to ensure you have a fantastic experience at the event, whether attending in person or taking an interest from further afield.

We will be live blogging all of the keynotes and many more presentations throughout the week as well as tweeting key updates and information for delegates and interested #OR2012 hashtag watchers. Although we will have some bloggers, tweeters and other dedicated social media amplifiers along for the week we also need your help!

If you are interested in taking part in the blogging around the event – either on the OR2012 site or from the comfort of your own blog – then do get in touch. We are particularly keen to here from those who might be able and interested to summarise workshops and user group meetings.

You may already be aware of our hashtag, #OR2012, and we welcome your comments, updates and discussion here. Twitter users might also like to sign up to our lanyrd page to start meeting fellow tweeting delegates. We will also be grabbing the most interesting tweets, blogs posts, and other web coverage for a special Storify that we will make available after the event so do let us know your highlights!

If you are planning on bringing your camera along to the event then we would love to see your images and have set up a Flickr Group for these. Do get in touch with your Flickr username if you would like to be added to the group.

And finally if you haven’t had a look already now is a perfect time to take a look at the OR2012 Crowdvine and start introducing yourself to your fellow delegates. It’s a great place to start getting an idea of shared interests, set up chats and meetings around the event and just get to know some friendly faces.

If you have any questions about any of the above or think we’ve missed something important out please do leave comments here or get in touch with Nicola Osborne (

 June 15, 2012  Posted by at 1:11 pm Updates Tagged with: , , ,  2 Responses »
Mar 222012

Thank you to everyone who submitted a conference paper, EPrints, DSpace or Fedora user group presentation or Workshop earlier this month!

Whilst we review those submissions we wanted to remind you that there are still ways to contribute to OR2012 including Posters, Pecha Kuchas or Demos. You can submit these via the OR2012 submission system.

We invite developers, researchers, repository managers, administrators and practitioners to submit one-page proposals for posters and demonstrations. Posters provide an opportunity to present work that isn’t appropriate for a paper; you’ll have the chance to do a 60-second pitch for your poster or demo during a plenary session at the conference.

Pecha Kuchas are also a great concise way to share your work with others. You create exactly 20 slides and present each of these for 20 seconds. So you have a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds for your presentation and a challening but very engaging format to play with.

You can find out more about Pecha Kucha on Wikipedia. To get a sense of how these work in practice you could take a look at the videos of Pecha Kuchas presented at the 2011 Repository Fringe. You can also view this overview of the format – and a demonstration of using it for a presentation on signage – from Wired:

YouTube Preview Image

Demos give you the opportunity to present working systems in ways that a paper, poster or Pecha Kucha don’t! Describe your requirements in your submission and we’ll do our best to accommodate them.

We want to give you as many ways as possible. This is the opportunity to tell the world about what you’ve been doing with repositories. Whatever you’ve been working on one of these formats should be right for you. Don’t delay, submit your ideas here today!

 March 22, 2012  Posted by at 4:32 pm Call for Proposals, Updates Tagged with: , , , , ,  Comments Off on Submit your Posters, Pecha Kuchas and Demos!
Feb 172012

Update Monday March 5th: this deadline has now been extended one last time to Thursday March 8th – see announcement

Good news for those working hard on proposals for this year’s Open Repositories Conference in Edinburgh – we’re extending the submission deadline for papers &  workshops by 2 weeks until March 5th. Whether your proposal is for the general conference track, or more suited to the user group tracks for EPrints, DSpace and Fedora, you’ve got 14 more days to refine your ideas for papers. The remaining dates in the process are not expected to shift, so you’ll still have plenty of time to make arrangements to attend.

5th  Mar 2012 Deadline for papers, workshops&  user group sessions
31st Mar 2012 Deadline for posters, Pecha Kucha and demos
6th  Apr 2012 Workshop/paper submitters notified
11th May 2012 Poster/demo/Pecha Kucha submitters notified
9th  Jul 2012 Conference pre-workshops begin


Workshop proposals can be made now by email to; we’ve already received a number of exciting ideas so we would encourage you not to wait until the deadline if you haven’t already been in touch.

Due to a glitch with the submission system we can’t yet take paper submissions but we expect this to be resolved next week, and we’ll make an announcement at that time. Full details will be provided on the OR2012 web site at

This year’s event will also have more space for informal, unconference-style contributions as well as the Developer Challenge. If a full paper isn’t for you, consider contributing in another way. We’ll be releasing more details nearer the event. This will include Pecha Kuchas and poster sessions with a deadline of the 31st of March.