Enlighten enters the Twittersphere – some social media musings

While lots of the users of Enlighten find us via search engines or direct links, a growing amount of traffic is coming via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Interestingly the publications that are most often referred to by these sites are often not the same as those that feature in our local list of most downloaded papers from Enlighten.

Looking at the data for the past year the following papers have had significant numbers of referrals from Facebook:

van Dommelen, P., Gómez Bellard, C., and Pérez Jordà, G. (2010) Produzione agraria nella Sardegna punica fra cereali e vino. In: Milanese, M., Ruggeri, P., Vismara, C. and Zucca, R. (eds.) L’Africa Romana. I Luoghi e le Forme dei Mestieri e della Produzione nelle Province Africane (Atti del XVIII Convegno di Studio, Olbia, 11-14 Dicembre 2008). Series: L’Africa Romana (18). Carocci, Rome, Italy, pp. 1187-1202. ISBN 9788843054916. http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/48143/

Cockshott, W.P., and Zachriah, D. (2012) Arguments for Socialism. Amazon. ISBN B006S2LW6U. http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/58987/

The following papers have been popular referrals from Twitter:

Munro, K., Stevenson, K., Stenson, R., Walker, W., and Fisher, C. (2011) Planning for the mobile library: a strategy for managing innovation and transformation at the University of Glasgow Library. Serials, 24 (Sup. 3). S26-S31. ISSN 0953-0460 (doi:10.1629/24S26). http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/57643/

Hodge, R., Hoey, T., and Sklar, L. (2011) Bedload transport in bedrock rivers: the role of sediment cover in grain entrainment, translation and deposition. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 116 . ISSN 0148–0227 (doi:10.1029/2011JF002032). http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/56453/

Users of sites such as StumbleUpon and LinkedIn are are also referring to papers in Enlighten.

Further evidence that deposit in Enlighten is a fantastic way of exposing research to as wide an audience as possible!




Enlighten’s 1,001 Multi-disciplinary Tweets

EnlightenPapers has now reached 1,001 tweets for on Twitter, that is, 1,001 new records since we added the Twitter code on the 9th of June this year. These include, among others, research in Celtic, English, History, Classics, Life Sciences, Law and the Physical Sciences.

The 1,001st Tweet

Our 1,001st tweet is a self-deposited full text paper from the National e-Science Centre (NeSC) at the University of Glasgow, “Applying formal methods to standard development: the open distributed processing experience” by Professor Richard Sinnott.

The 1,001st Tweet

The 1,001st Tweet

Twitter Growth and Visualisations

Twitter has provided an interesting gauge for our growth which we hadn’t anticipated when we started using it, for both the cumulative count of new additions and the rise (and fall) of followers. Our followers, currently some 65 [but it has been up to 80+] seem to be fairly volatile, many joining as papers match their interests and then leaving as perhaps they realise the volume of outputs and the broader range of material is not what they want as part of their own Twitter feed.

Twitter visualisation apps like Visible Tweets also provide us with new opportunities to showcase latest additions, and while such apps could be dismissed as party tricks they provide a glimpse of the range of re-use and visualisation options open to us. Visible Tweets also supports Twitter’s range of operators so that views can be refined by date, sender, hashtag and more. For EnlightenPapers we can use the limit from:EnlightenPapers to display only our own tweets rather than any replies which feature us.

Example of paper displayed in Visible Tweets

A paper displayed in Visible Tweets

Try EnlightenPapers in Visible Tweets – with rotation!

New Records, Bibliographic Services Staff and Training

Records, and freely available full text, have been added from a wide range of subjects over the summer months as we work with departments to add both their retrospective material and new publications.

Enlighten staff in our bibliographic services department have been very busy dealing with this increased influx of material, reviewing records, adding subject headings and checking copyright. They have also been involved in training sessions for departmental staff.

Since the beginning of 2009 we have run training sessions for staff in over 30 different departments about Enlighten, the University’s Publications Policy and the deposit process. These have been a mix of Powerpoint, hands-on work and coffee/tea; a formula which has proven to be a successful way to deliver the training and more importantly to start to build a “deposit community”.

Repository Growth – A Snapshot from ROAR

Using our entry in ROAR, we can track our growth since 2004 when the Enlighten [formerly the Glasgow ePrints Service] was launched as part of the JISC funded DAEDALUS project. We have had steady growth but this is now really starting to accelerate as the training and publications policy start to make themselves felt. We have already added some 2000+ records since the beginning of 2009 and more than half of those have been added in the last 3 months.

Growth of Enlighten since February 2004 from ROAR

Growth of Enlighten since February 2004 from ROARMAP

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