Integrating infrastructure cluster session 2006-03-27

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Integrating infrastructure cluster session

Monday 27th March


Objective: to identify synergies and gaps between activities within/beyond programme, and identify clear areas where coordination / collaboration would be useful, or where additional work could be valuable. This group of projects has a variety of interests, it may be that the group focus joint activity on overcoming particular gaps or barriers to integrated infrastructure.

1330-1345: Neil Jacobs, Overview of forthcoming JISC funding for repositories

1345-1415: Alma Swan, Linking UK Repositories Scoping Study

Presentation (application/

1415-1515: Discussion, across three areas: discovery to delivery, information management / curation, and organisational / cultural issues


Objective: to make plans for working together (summarised on a ppt for presentation to the plenary session)

1630-1700: Identify topics (those above? others?)

1700-1730: Identify methods (meetings? exchange of draft documents? peer evaluation? other?)

Report and presentation

Integrating infrastructure cluster session 2006-03-27 report

Integrating infrastructure.ppt


  • Steve Hitchcock, Community Eprints and Advisory Group
  • Philip Hunter, IRI Scotland
  • Steve Charles, MIDESS
  • Roddy MacLeod, PerX
  • Jonathan Bell, Repository Bridge
  • Bill Hubbard, SherpaPlus and OpenDOAR
  • David White, SPIRE
  • Frances Shipsey, VERSIONS
  • Eddie Boyle, Go-Geo
  • Amanda Hill, IESR
  • Emma Tonkin, IEMSR
  • Linda Kerr, RDN
  • James Reid, Geo-X-Walk
  • R. John Robertson, Stargate
  • Tim Stickland, VSM Portal
  • Chris Awre, Linking UK Repositories
  • Alma Swan, Linking UK Repositories
  • Renhart Gittens, Paradigm
  • Jessie Hey, PRESERV
  • Gareth Knight, Sherpa DP
  • Neil Jacobs, JISC [Session Leader]
  • Balviar Notay, JISC
  • Julie Allinson, Digital Repositories Support Team
  • Kerry Blinco, Advisory Group
  • Helen Hayes, Advisory Group
  • Rachel Heery, Advisory Group


The Integrating infrastructure cluster session will be attended by the following JISC projects:

From the JISC Digital Repositories Programme: SHERPA Plus; IRIScotland; PERX; EThOS; MIDESS; Repository Bridge; Community Eprints; SPIRE; VERSIONS

Other JISC projects: Go-Geo; IESR; IEMSR; RDN; Geo-X-Walk; Stargate; Sherpa DP; PRESERV; Paradigm; VSM Portal; Linking UK Repositories

Project summaries and interests

Project summaries, together with challenges / questions for discussion are available for Repository Bridge, IESR, IEMSR, GeoXwalk, MIDESS, PerX, Sherpa Plus, SPIRE, STARGATE and Versions, plus Sherpa DP, Paradigm and several projects not attending this cluster session. Available here: Project cluster summaries.

Questions and discussion topics

Integrating infrastructure / information environment

Discussion topics:

  • Different approaches to integration and interoperability, in the context of the IE, including national approaches, international interoperability and informal technologies (e.g. P2P).
  • Registries, use and interoperability.

'Related questions:'

  • Ensuring international interoperability (for example international services based around subjects or item types) [PERX]
  • Ensuring interoperability between repository services and internet services to improve discovery [VERSIONS]
  • How closely can / should we integrate Welsh repositories and their relationship with the NLW? [REPOSITORY BRIDGE]
  • How does our approach tie in with general question of infrastructure integration? [REPOSITORY BRIDGE]
  • Infrastructure: How does an informal technology such as P2P fit into and integrated infrastructure? [SPIRE]
  • What are the best ways to share digital collections? [MIDESS]
  • What is the best way for the various registries to collaborate and inter-operate (while keeping barriers to inclusion low for the contributors of information)? [IESR]
  • How do IESR's aims fit with related registry efforts such as ROAR and OpenDOAR? [IESR]
  • We need to build on and integrate the work of others rather than re-inventing the wheel [PARADIGM]
  • We have a preference for flexible solutions which are cross-platform and based on open standards [PARADIGM]

Discovery to Delivery

Discussion topics:

  • Search and discovery mechanisms, particularly regarding subject / geographic discovery.
  • Exposure of metadata from various sources (static/dynamic repositories, publishers etc.).

'Related questions:'

  • How do subject based services effectively identify suitable repositories? IESR scope is currently quite narrow and the OpenDoAR subject classification of repositories results in many repositories being classified under many multiple headings. Metadata repositories are also difficult to identify. [PERX]
  • How do subject based services gain a subject perspective on multidisciplinary collections? Many repositories currently offer no effective means to subdivide collections on a subject basis and those that do, often use different classification schemes. [PERX]
  • What range of geographies do your current services use to assist users in locating resources? [GeoXwalk]
  • How do you currently implement geographic searching within the services you use or run? [GeoXwalk]
  • How could geoXwalk middleware enable and/or enhance the geographic search capabilities of your services? [GeoXwalk]
  • What other collections might be usefully exposed via the static repository approach? [STARGATE]
  • What benefits (and other effects) would the greater visibility of publishers’ metadata have for the information environment? [STARGATE]

Information management / curation

Discussion topics:

  • Metadata standards/schemas (for different object types); metadata quality and cataloguing rules.
  • Classification and subject access.
  • Annotation and contextualisation, particularly of images.
  • Use and re-use of materials.
  • Handling complex objects via ingest workflows.

'Related questions:'

  • Standardising the description of resources: metadata records and other parts of the repository records – cataloguing rules [VERSIONS]
  • Context / Annotation: How can context be given to digital objects in repository style systems. [SPIRE]
  • How can digital repositories of multimedia material best be used in a learning and teaching context? [MIDESS]
  • What is the most appropriate metadata for sound, image and video collections? [MIDESS]
  • How can Digital Repositories best be used in medicine? [MIDESS]
  • How might metadata records across different repositories be linked by a higher-level service (publisher’s version to author pre-print and vice-versa)?
  • Who uses what schemas - integration with IESR/others? [IEMSR]
  • Developing ingest workflows for complex collections of objects - many repositories deal only with a handful of object types and we need to deal with whatever we find on an individual's computer AND maintain the contextual relationships between objects AND do it as efficiently as possible. [PARADIGM]

Organisation / cultural issues

Discussion topics:

  • Sustainability and business models
  • Uptake and barriers to uptake (access, shibboleth, confidentiality, trust, legal aspects)
  • Advocacy

'Related questions:'

  • How can potential future services be sustainable? [PERX]
  • Uptake: Would people use an informal P2P system if it was formally rolled out by the institution? [SPIRE]
  • Workflow: Can the informal P2P philosophy blend into current workflow and institutional requirements? [SPIRE]
  • What value can we place on enabling resources to be searched in this way and what would the business model be? [GeoXwalk]
  • Who should run a static repository gateway service for publishers? [STARGATE]
  • Creating the atmosphere of trust with private individuals to enable the preservation of sensitive materials over decades. [PARADIGM]
  • Shibboleth: When will large federations be in place? How could a federation use Creative Commons? [SPIRE]
  • As project workers and OA advocates we can all see a bright future of interlocking information sources, processes and protocols. However, our academic colleagues still have not bought into the idea. Why not? Can we ask the opposite of what we normally consider in the hope of getting further forward? [SHERPA Plus]
    • What is wrong with repositories? [SHERPA Plus]
    • What drawbacks do they have? [SHERPA Plus]
    • What are the real, practical problems I will have as an academic? [SHERPA Plus]
  • What are the Killer Apps (services, probably) that will make repositories a must-have for institutions? What is fundamental to institutions and can repositories address any of these needs? RAE sounds pretty strong to me. If there are difficulties this time around, how can we prepare a national turn-key solution for research assessment for the next? [SHERPA Plus]
  • What are the Killer Apps (services, probably) that will make repositories must-use for academics? What else are must-use systems for academics - what do they give and what lessons can we learn from these. email? web? RAE? hierarchies of esteem? telephones? cars? They get communications, respect and convenience from this top-of-the-head list. And do repositories offer easy advantages in these areas? Interestingly, the answer is - should do - but no - not really, not yet. What else? [SHERPA Plus]
  • Are we too purist? Can we not see the wood of the lucrative logging operation for the trees in the groves of academe? Can we use repositories to generate money? If we can, then this is the best attention-getter I know. A brainstorm in the ponds of mammon might reveal some unregarded income streams. [SHERPA Plus]

NB: Preservation topics will be addressed during the Repositories and preservation cluster session on Tuesday.

  • What are the Digital preservation requirements for digital image collections? [MIDESS]
  • Creating the atmosphere of trust with private individuals to enable the preservation of sensitive materials over decades. [PARADIGM]

Definition of integrating infrastructure

By "integrating infrastructure", we mean those things that would be necessary to make repositories work across institutions, to provide services to people, based on repository content. So it includes technical work (such as portals and search interfaces), plus non-technical work (such as advice, guidance and advocacy work).