CRIG Unconference

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CRIG hosted an Unconference on repository scenarios and interfaces Dec 6th and 7th (2007) at Birkbeck College in Bloomsbury London.

When was the Unconference?

  • December 6th and 7th (2007)
    • Thursday (6th): started at Noon to 10pm-ish (dinner and evening networking event at pub)
    • Friday (7th): 9.30 - 16.30

Where was the Unconference?

  • Birkbeck College hosted the Unconference
    • PDF Map of Bloomsbury area, including tube/train stations (we are in building no.1 on Malet Street, room B04: entrance from Torrington Square) [1]
  • The Carpenter's Arms hosted the evening networking event on the evening of the 6th (food and drink was in abundance).
    • Map from Birkbeck to Carpenter's Arms here [2]
  • Hotel accommodation was organised by invitees who were reimbursed for their travel/accommodation up to 190quid upon submission of receipt.

What is an Unconference?

  • An un-conference is a combination of the best parts of a conference (face-to-face discussions generating new ideas, passionate debates and genuine information exchange) with all the PowerPoint stripped out. The agenda is set by the attendees on the day in a very simple and direct way - there is no signing up for predetermined break-out sessions and no sitting through interminable PowerPoint presentations. We are using this unconventional method because we want to encourage new thinking and new outcomes for the repository landscape.
  • If you have not been to an unconference, then a good starting place is the wikipedia entry on unconferences [3]. The "Law of Two Feet", "Open Space [4]" and "Dotmocracy[5]" are of particular interest.
  • Don't worry we will explain all from the start!

What to Bring?

  • An abundance of ideas and positivism for other people's ideas
  • Your laptop or mobile device, there will be WiFi access
  • Your DigiRep Wiki username/password (if you don't have it get it from John or David)




Have a listen to the CrigCasts (podcasts) on some various topics around repositories.


  • Tagging: Please tag all photos, blogs, bookmarks and other objects with: "JISC" and "CRIG" <-also please add titles of Unconference unSessions to tags (TBA at start of Friday Dec 7th).
  • The Law of Two Feet: Any person neither learning from nor contributing to a group discussion must walk (or move) to another one (aka "law of mobility").
  • Balloon Innovation: You will be given a balloon at the start of each UnSession, when you have an idea throw the balloon at the flipchart (or at the person the idea needs to be given to)! If you are the only person holding a balloon still then see "Law of Two Feet".
  • Principles of Open Space:
    • Whomever comes is the right people
    • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
    • Whenever it starts is the right time
    • When it's over, it's over

Unconference UnSessions

  • To be self-organised around CRIG framework
    • Scenarios <-> Interfaces
  • Please listen to podcasts to help inform decisions, here [6]

UnProgramme (BETA)

Thursday December 6th

  • Noon-13.00 (Room B04): Registration / Lunch
    • Between 12.00 and 13.00 Room B03 has the SWORD Deposit API team demo'ing and answering questions on Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) and their use of it.
  • 13.00-13.30 (Room B04): Welcome and Overview of CRIG
    • Les and Jim: CRIG Workplan
    • Introduction to WoCRIG support team (Mark, Phil and David)
  • 13.30-14.00 (Room B04): an exemplar of what we are trying to do with CRIG (SWORD from Genesis to Now)
  • 14.00-14.20 (Room B04): Comfort Break
  • 14.30-16.00 (Room B04): Introduction to Unconference (Rule of Two Feet, Open Space and Dotmocracy)
  • 16.00-16.30: Self-Organisation (CrigCast Mindmaps)
  • 16.30-17.00: UnSessions
  1. Event Driven Services
  2. Package Dissaggregation (Atomic Content Items) / Asset Stripping
  3. Automatic Metadata Creation (Metadata magic)
  4. Federated Search
  • 17.00-18.00: Break
  • 18.00-Midnight: Dinner, Drinks and Networking Events
    • Speed Networking

Friday December 7th

  • 9.00-10.00: Coffee, Tea and Pastries
  • 10.00-10.45 UnSession no.1
  1. Open Formats: Death to packages!
  2. GOOGLE!
  3. Cool URLs, Googlable URLs
  • 10.45-11.15 UnSession no.2
  1. Get What? Ok so we have URIs, but what are they pointing at?
  2. One-click search multiple repositories
  3. Multiple Overlapping APIs
  • 11.15-11.45 UnSession no.3
  1. One Put to Multiple Places (DepostAPI 2.0?)
  2. Repositories can be more than OA (Dark Archive)
  3. All Institutions have multiple repositories ("one repository to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them")
  • 11.45-12.15 UnSession no.4
  1. Utility Computing (Green Computing)
  2. Global Repos vs. Subj Repo vs. National Repos vs. IRs vs. Personal Repos
  3. Web 2.0 Interfaces

*12.00-13.00 LUNCH and new UnSession dotmocracy

  • 13.00-13.30 - UnSession no.5
  1. Core Services of a Repository (more than just search/get/put?)
  2. Guest access to non-open repositories
  3. Are Repositories an Evolutionary Dead End?
  • 13.30-14.00 UnSession no.6
  1. Auto generated metadata: metadata magic
  2. Event Driven Services
  3. Package Disaggregation
  • 14.00-15.30 Summaries and Final Dotmocracy


  1. Les Carr (CRIG co-chair), Southampton University
  2. Jim Downing (CRIG co-chair), Cambridge University
  3. Ross MacIntyre, MIMAS
  4. R. John Robertson, JISC CETIS, University of Strathclyde (eFramework rep)
  5. Adam Fredericks, Psydev
  6. Richard Green, University of Hull (RepoMMan project)
  7. Ross Gardler, OSS Watch
  8. Ian Ibbotson, Knowledge Integration Ltd
  9. Paul Walk, UKOLN, University Of Bath
  10. Adrian Stevenson, University Of Manchester
  11. Brian Matthews, CCLRC
  12. Stephen Grace, King's College London
  13. Lorna Campbell, JISC CETIS
  14. Brian Kelly, UKOLN (on the 6th only)
  15. Phil Nicholls, Psydev
  16. Richard Jones, HP Labs
  17. Julie Allinson
  18. Stuart Lewis, Aberystwyth University
  19. Chris Yates, Aberystwyth University
  20. Vijay Albuquerque, AHDS
  21. Scott Wilson (on the 6th only)
  22. Ian Stuart, University of Edinburgh
  23. Peter Burnhill, University of Edinburgh
  24. Mark Dewey, University of Bath
  25. Simon Coles, University of Southampton (on the 6th only)
  26. Tim Brody, University of Southampton (on the 6th only)
  27. Mark Hedges, KCL
  28. Gareth Knight, King's College (on the 6th only)
  29. Andy Powell, Eduserv Foundation
  30. Tony Hirst, Open University (attending late afternoon onwards from the 6th)
  31. Peter Millington, Nottingham University
  32. Ben O'Steen, Oxford University
  33. Sally Rumsey, Oxford University
  34. Mike Taylor
  35. Martin Morrey, Intralect
  36. Sebastian Francois, ePrints
  37. Glen Robson, DSpace

Travel and Accommodation

If you have any trouble please either email or call/txt: 0790 8262 059

Getting Here

Birkbeck College
Malet Street

  • Please note that the entrance to the building is on Torrington Square (not Malet Street), though we are in the Malet Street Building (in the basement)
  • Map of Bloomsbury (PDF) [7] <- It is the Malet Street Building we are in.
    • Birkbeck GoogleMap [8]

Bloomsbury Hotels

Try and search for hotels near the 'British Library' or 'British Museum' and you will be within walking distance of Birkbeck.

Quotes for the Vote

  • "The nicest thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from." -Andy Tanenbaum-
  • "You affect the world by what you browse." -Tim Berners-Lee-
  • "Technological progress is like an ax in the hands of a pathological criminal." - Albert Einstein-
  • "Getting Information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant." -Mitchell Kapo-
  • "Although the Buddhists will tell you that desire is the root of suffering, my personal experience leads me to point the finger at system administration." - Philip Greenspun -
  • "Only librarians enjoy searching; everyone else enjoys finding." -Roy Tennant-
  • "The Internet is for Everyone" -title of RFC 3271[9]-
  • Your creativity is better used in solving problems than in creating beautiful new impediments to understanding."- Henry Spencer (8th Commandment for C Programmers)-
  • "Consensus, n. A lack of serious opposition." (definition due to Ray Denenberg)
  • "Paradoxically, the best way for a group to be smart is for each person in it to think and act as independently as possible.” -James Surowiecki-
  • "We need to make lots more mistakes, and we need to make them fast!" -Agile development credo-
  • "We're entering a golden age of small teams capable of doing big things. Just get a band of three together and you're good to go for v1" -David Heinemeier-Hanson-
  • "Go down to your local bookstore and grab 3 random people browsing the programming books. If you can't explain the basic idea in 10 minutes, or they can't sit down and write some basic code to use it in an hour or two, you've failed." -Casey Durfee-