A visit from the OCRIS Project to talk about Repositories and Library Management Systems

OCRIS Project Logo
The JISC commissioned OCRIS Project is exploring a wide range of issues, including interoperability between Institutional Repositories (IRs) and Online Public Access Catalogues (OPACs).

Key aims

  • Survey the extent to which repository content is in scope for institutional library OPACs, and the extent to which it is already recorded there
  • Examine the interoperability of OPAC and repository software for the exchange of metadata and other information
  • List the various services to institutional managers, researchers, teachers and learners offered respectively by OPACs and repositories.

As part of the project Kathleen Menzies (OCRIS Project Manager) and Duncan Birrell (OCRIS Project Assistant) came to visit us this week. The University of Glasgow along with Cambridge were invited to be case studies for the project.

All about OCRIS (and Glasgow)

Kathleen and Duncan had done their homework and Kathleen delivered an excellent presentation, loaded both with questions about repositories, LMSs and other systems in addition to a well researched view of the range of Glasgow’s repositories (including Enlighten, our Theses Service and even DSpace)  and catalogues. They met with our Head of Cataloguing, Library Systems Co-ordinator and the day to day manager of Enlighten.

It was fascinating for us to get an external perspective of our systems, our records and our perceived practices. The presentation led into a wide range of open ended questions which generated some very stimulating discussion and debate over two days.

These discussions ranged across topics as varied as the technical (standards, support, interoperability, innovation) and the practical (workflows, training, dealing with duplicates). We look forward to seeing their case study and the final project report.

The OCRIS Survey(s)

OCRIS have also sent out a number of surveys to the community and if you have received one of these we strongly urge you to complete it and to contribute to this very valuable study.

Future blog postings will highlight our work with our library management system (Millennium from III) and our repositories. We are testing our OpenURL resolver (WebBridge) with our repository test service and later this year we plan to implement the Encore harvester. The harvester will interfile repository records with more traditional catalogue records in our resource discovery platform Encore (QuickSearch Service).


Enrich – The Thirty One Second Pitch!

The Minute Madness videos from the recent JISC Programme meeting have now been uploaded to YouTube. Here is “Enrich” – not an acronym, in 31 seconds.

More Minute Madness videos from Leicester and inf11 are available on Andy McGregor’s Channel on YouTube

Twitter ye not*, EnlightenPapers tweets

Enlighten has embraced the microblogging tech du jour Twitter with an account for our latest additions. Launched on the 9th of June, EnlightenPapers has posted nearly 400 updates and garnered an eclectic collection of followers.



As the EPrints wiki notes, setting up Twitter for an EPrints repository is “dead easy” and the necessary code is available from http://wiki.eprints.org/w/Twitter.

We saved this code to a file called twitter.pl and dropped it into the cfg.d directory.

Links to Twitter from Enlighten

EnlightenPapers Twitter Link

We have added a “Follow Us” section on Enlighten’s home page (like EPrints Files) where we have clustered the various RSS feeds which EPrints offers with a link to Twitter.

The RSS and Twitter links have been added to the default.xml template and are displayed in all of the record and browse pages.

Just because we can, should we?

Are we just hopping on the microblogging bandwagon? Just because it is so easy to drop the code into EPrints should we really be tweeting our latest additions?

My personal opinion is yes, one of the underlying principles of Enlighten (and I think EPrints) is the effective re-use of our content. We need to be able to push our content to wherever our users happen to be. If they happen to use Twitter then that’s where we should be.

Using WordPress, we have now been able to take advantage of the Twitter widget which provides a realtime reflection of the content being added to Enlighten.

A follow-up question is, can we do more?

Andrew Preater, Web Applications Manager at Durham University Library has done some further work with the code to manage titles over 140 characters in length. Andrew’s code truncates the title, inserting […] to ensure that there is enough room for the url and then including a #dro hashtag.

More specific hashtags, for instance by faculty e.g. #enl_educ could provide an opportunity for users to search for more appropriate content.

There has been some discussion about Twitter on the EPrints mailing list [EP-tech] Eprints files twitter.

Durham Research Online Twitter entry

Durham Research Online Twitter entry

Traffic – Early Days

According to Google Analytics, twitter.com is now the 4th most popular referring site to Enlighten for the period from the 9th of June until the 14th of July.


Other Repositories

A number of other UK repositories are tweeting and this is by no means a complete list, it is just a number which we have looked at:

* With apologies to the memory of Frankie Howerd

Are you dancin’? Are you askin’? @ the JISC inf11 Programme Meeting

As the project manager for Enrich I attended the JISC inf11 Programme start-up meeting at the University of Leicester’s John Foster Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday this week – a heady medley of dance cards, minute madness, breakout sessions and excellent networking opportunities with both the Programme Managers and other project managers.

I didn’t attend the Tuesday afternoon session for new project managers but heard that it was a lively and useful session. I did arrive in time for the excellent keynote by David De Roure from the University of Southampton about MyExperiment on Tuesday afternoon.

inf11 Badges

Upon registration we were issued with our inf11 badges but these weren’t just standard badges, these were [M&S advert theme] JISC inf11 richly tagged, playing card filled, fully programme enabled badges which were like mini mission briefing packs. They were well done and the use of the tag clouds and the playing cards for the Minute Madness session gave a fresh dynamism to the event.

The tag clouds were based on our projects (courtesy of Wordle) and I was relieved to see that Enlighten, Research and Repository were some of Enrich’s most prominent tags.

Enrich as a Wordle Tag Cloud

Enrich as a Wordle Tag Cloud

The playing card designated the session of the minute madness based on suit [I was clubs, the final session] and the number [7] which indicated the order, aces were low and all credit should go to Stephen Grace from the Readiness for REF (R4R) project who was the Ace of Hearts and the first presenter of the first session. There were no Jokers…

The Dance Cards

The badges also contained dance cards which listed the projects we should talk to, I got round most of them but have some follow-ups to do especially with Allaboutmeprints. For those projects I didn’t meet or talk with I will be contacting you by e-mail. This was my full list:

It was good to meet up with various colleagues including James Toon who is managing the ERIScotland project. We had the opportunity to have some discussions around repositories and research pooling in Scotland and will be keeping in touch.

Minute Madness

The Minutes Madness, well half a minute, was an opportunity for every project to make a 30 second pitch about their project. A huge digital countdown clock was projected against the back wall and there was a large X marks the spot gaffa-taped to the floor to ensure that we knew exactly where to stand. We were filmed for future promotional purposes so watch this space. There were raps, haikus, poems, Bob Dylan homages and even some juggling as Chris Awre demonstrated his versatility to pitch a project while juggling three balls, oh and there was information about the projects themselves. It was a fairly dynamic experience and everyone stepped up to the X and delivered.

The MM also gave us an opportunity to to put faces to projects, especially the ones on our dance cards.

Managing your project

The meeting provided a good baseline for new project managers and old hands, alas it seems I am in the latter category, So much so that Andy asked me to do a brief presentation on my experience as a project manager to follow Amber’s presentation about JISC’s expectations and the paperwork etc. I did a short piece entitled “JISC Project Management: A View from the Frontline” which gave some background on our previous work (DAEDALUS), our transition to Enlighten and the current Enrich project as well as some project lessons learned. A key one is to always keep in touch with your Programme Manager especially if you run into roadblocks or project issues, don’t wait until the interim report. JISC and your Programme Manager want your project to succeed.

It also gave me an opportunity to namecheck NECTAR (the Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research) and IncReASe (White Rose) projects to demonstrate the importance of the work of previous projects and programmes. We are building on the work the they have done with EPrints reports and import plug-ins.

Breakout Sessions

The remainder of the Wednesday focussed on four breakout sessions in the areas of Evaluation, Communication, Sustainability and User Engagement and there was the opportunity to attend at least three of these.

I went to Communication where we had to put together a focussed tweet to a distinct audience, we targeted researchers for ERIS – suddenly a 140 characters is not a lot; Sustainability which looked both at how products such as Red Hat have maintained their funding as well as focussing on IR software and institutions – the key message was that you should be building your community from the outset; my final session was User Engagement which touched on the 90-9-1 Principle of Participation Inequality – the key principle here seems to be that you need to extend the size of your user group to maximise the number of active and creator users which you have.

Lastly, JISC and many of its projects seem to have wholly embraced social networking and its panoply of tools such as blogs and wikis as well as the rich raft of services from Twitter, Netvibes, Wordle now available. This blog, and indeed this entry is a direct result of Andy McGregor’s [our Programme Manager] suggestion that we set one up for Enrich which we duly did and the added it to our Dissemination Plan. We have extended it to Enlighten, our repository service to ensure its sustainability beyond Enrich’s funding which finishes at the end of March 2010.

OpenSearch plug-in for Enlighten

We have created an OpenSearch plug-in for Enlighten for a simple search (ordered by title). This can be added to the search box of Internet Explorer 7.x and Firefox 2.x and above using the “Add Enlighten Search” button on the home page or from the browser search box from any page in the repository.

Enlighten in the Firefox Search Bar

Enlighten in the Firefox Search Bar

Search plug-in code

The plug-in code can be easily modified for any EPrints repository:

Search Enlighten for research publications by members of the University of Glasgow
<Image height="16" width="16" type="image/x-icon">http://www.gla.ac.uk/favicon.ico</Image&gt;
<Url type="text/html" template="http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/cgi/search/simple/?q={searchTerms}&order=title/creators_name/-date"/>
<Developer>William J Nixon</Developer>
<Attribution>University of Glasgow Library</Attribution>

This code was saved as glasgow-enlighten-service.xml and saved to our webservices/plugins/ directory on our Library website where we have other plug-ins for our Library catalogue and our Theses service. There’s no reason for it not to be saved into a directory in ePrints itself.


Discovery code has been added to the <HEAD> tags of the template default.xml file in the cfg.d directory:

<link href="http://www.lib.gla.ac.uk/webservices/plugins/glasgow-enlighten-service.xml" rel="search" type="application/opensearchdescription+xml" title="Enlighten" />

This points to the location of the XML file and provides the title description which will be used by the browser.

With this code applied, users will see a glow around the search bar which indicates a plug-in is available and provides the option to add it.

Firefox Search bar with glow indicating a search plug-in is available

Firefox Search bar with glow indicating a search plug-in is available

We have also added an “Add Enlighten Search” button to Enlighten’s home page using the default ep_form_action_button class with the code:

<input class="ep_form_action_button" value="Add Enlighten Search" type="submit" name="_add_search" onclick="window.external.AddSearchProvider('http://www.lib.gla.ac.uk/webservices/plugins/glasgow-enlighten-service.xml');">

Add Enlighten Search

Add Enlighten Search Button

This simple plug-in provides us with the opportunity to enable users to search for content without having to come to Enlighten first, or to re-use a search they have already done in the browser search bar for Enlighten.

Our Top 100 Searches from Google

Enlighten, like so many other repositories uses Google Analytics (although I think we are just scratching the surface of the information which it can provide for us) and we have now updated our top 100 keyword searches from Google for the last six months.

The results provide an insight  into both the breadth of research which is done at the University and the searches which users are doing in Google which bring them to us.

They also show that in the last two months searches just for “Enlighten” have overtaken the previous top search “desquamative gingivitis”! Enlighten is steadily climbing in the Google rankings and is now listed third in Google search results.

The top 10 terms from 12th of January to 30th of June 2009:

  1. enlighten (306)
  2. desquamative gingivitis (302)
  3. ambiguous figures (87)
  4. issn 0021-8979 (82) [Journal of Applied Physics]
  5. enlighten glasgow (68)
  6. pictish symbols (67)
  7. sex appeal in advertising (67)
  8. search b (56)
  9. world journal of engineering (54)
  10. pergamon press glasgow enlighten (52)

The full list of 100 searches >>

Google Custom Search

The searches in our top 100 are passed to our local Google custom search service which  includes material in our Glasgow Theses Service.  This local service is configured to just display individual records and fulltext  PDF”s and to exclude all of the Browse Views which a standard Google search includes.