We are grateful to Balviar Notay, JISC Programme Manager Information Environment, for her support and guidance during the Kultivate project. Further to a meeting held at Brettenham House in London on Monday 4th July, and as announced at the Kultivate conference on 15th July, we can now confirm that an extension to the project has been agreed and Kultivate will continue until the end of December 2011. The primary purpose of the extension is to enable the Project Team to complete the planned technical enhancements to EPrints.
The Team will be working with EPrints Services, University of Southampton to bring the higher education arts community two important new enhancements to the EPrints repository platform, a visually enhanced version of IRStats and a project container module, using the EPrints Bazaar (recently released as a Beta version to the community).
The extension will also allow the Project Team to offer the higher education community two further workshops. The event on 30 September 2011 will focus on the sustainability of repositories and related infrastructure; and the workshop on 12 December 2011 on the use and impact of linked data across the repository community. Both workshops will take place at HEFCE, Centre Point, London. The Project Team also plan further dissemination activities and these will be announced in due course.
On Monday Jo Alcock from Evidence Base invited the Kultivate project to answer questions as part of their Deposit Review of the JISC ‘Deposit’ strand of the Information Environment programme.
- Jo asked how the project was progressing and I highlighted the stage we were at in the project plan. Further to this there will be an update on milestones and progress at our fourth and final community-led workshop on Tuesday 24th May – a blog post will follow here shortly afterwards and all presentations will be made available here: http://www.vads.ac.uk/kultur2group/downloads/index.html
- Evidence Base were interested in any metrics that we could provide to measure the success of the project. Due to the nature of the Kultivate project this is mostly anecdotal material gathered through minutes taken at workshops and during the advisory group meetings. However we have also carried out two online surveys, one about advocacy for arts research deposit and the other providing feedback from workshop attendees. We will also gather feedback to evaluate the end of project conference.
- One of the interview questions was Which elements of the project are encouraging deposit? Feedback from Kultur II Group participants suggests that sharing best practice through community-led workshops has been beneficial. Comments received through the evaluation of the three events held so far include: “it’s given me the confidence to engage with the artists at [my University] – when depositing art based outputs.” and “I’ve made some good contacts, names of people who I … can contact to discuss issues that we might face with our repository work etc”. Other elements of the project, such as the technical enhancements to EPrints and toolkits, are in progress and will be evaluated in due course.
- Jo also asked What do you think is key to increasing deposit? From participant feedback during Kultivate workshops this could be summarised as: senior management buy-in; arts researcher champions depositing in the repository; making the deposit process as easy and fast as possible; providing an attractive showcase suitable for artistic research; and demonstrating statistics and the benefits through improved rankings in Google.
- Evidence Base also wanted to know whether there was anything in particular from Kultivate that could usefully be developed further. The Kultivate project will be producing a Technical Architecture report, as well as a Sustainability Report, and these will hopefully answer this question. In addition, it is important to sustain the community of good practice (i.e. the Kultur II Group), avoiding re-inventing the wheel by working together to make the deposit process easier.
- One of the final interview questions was Do you have any recommendations for further areas of work in encouraging deposit? Despite the previous Kultur project (2007-09), the deposit of complex multimedia research items, and specifically arts research, is still a relatively new area compared to the deposit of the more usual written publications. This is partly because there are still ongoing discussions to define ‘what is artistic research?’, and partly due to the specialist needs of arts researchers and their outputs. Support needs to continue for institutions that are aiming to increase arts research deposit, from those beginning to build repositories to those implementing Kultur enhancements within long established Institutional Repositories.
Another recommendation that has arisen out of Kultur II Group meetings is that it would be useful to have a ‘kulturised’ desktop upload tool, along the lines of the DepositMO’s tool to upload research via the Microsoft Word application, but working with arts-based software applications; essentially to make the deposit process easier, faster, and more ‘pain-free’ for arts researchers.
This blog aims to be one of the forums used to share, inform and participate with the KULTUR partners formed by the original KULTUR Project. The goal is to assist and support the Arts and Humanities Digital Repositories in the UK.