Archive for October 2011

‘The Kindness of Strangers’ – Kultivate Sustainability workshop, 30th September 2011

The fifth Kultivate community-led workshop took place on Friday on the theme of ‘sustainability’. It was prefaced by the 11th Kultur II Group meeting, an opportunity to uncover the latest developments and issues that colleagues are facing in the visual arts sector.

Sustainability workshop
The workshop was divided into three themes for the day: inspiration; community; and a debate on sustainability issues.

Theme One: Inspiration
FigShare – ‘publish all your data’
Following a presentation at the REPOfringe 2011, Mark Hahnel was invited to speak to the Kultur II Group as it was clear that the visual and engaging aspects of FigShare could be of benefit to the visual arts research community as well. The founding of FigShare is also inspiring in that from a budget of zero it is now going to be sustained and developed for the much longer term whilst still retaining its autonomy and original vision to ‘publish all data’. Mark talked about incentivising researchers to use the system and how this has informed development of the interface and functionality. FigShare will be developing in the next few months with a re-launch including new features by the end of 2011.

Theme Two: Community
Steve Hitchcock provided several interesting discussion points, not least about how to define sustainability, and reference notes from Ithaka, Funding for sustainability (2011) and others. He also talked about what EPrints is doing about sustainability: working with a range of customers through EPrints Services; the latest version of EPrints 3.3 which includes the Bazaar app store; the nature of EPrints that it is open source software; and the EPrints-Tech email list.

Chris Awre explained the background to Fedora; since July 2009 it has been overseen by DuraSpace. Hydra, the name of the community, is based on the concept of ‘one body, many heads’ reflecting both the international and local aspects of their work. They also have an African proverb suggested by Stanford University as the community’s motto: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. It was particularly interesting to hear how the community is approaching partnership through a semi-legal basis for contribution at both the individual and institutional level, and to learn about the Hydra Content Modelling guidelines.

Sarah Molloy is one of the chairs of the newly formed Steering Committee; SHERPA-LEAP is looking for new members and Sarah suggested that this could take several directions for example including more of the University of London institutions, or other London-based institutions or more than just London-centric members? They have just established a Media working group which will build on the work of previous special interest working groups. Sarah posed the question ‘what do you need to drive sustainability?’; there needs to be a willingness and need from the community; a change to share and collaborate useful developments; and importantly the

‘kindness of strangers’

which can be seen in the way that members of the community take it in turns to host meetings and provide input.

Theme Three: Sustainability debate
Sustaining and Supporting the UK Research Community
Gareth Johnson, Document Supply & Repository Manager, University of Leicester and Chair of the United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories (UKCoRR) was asked to facilitate this session due to a survey that was circulated to UKCoRR members. The results of this survey will be circulated soon, and in the meantime we had an early look at a Wordle which appeared to show ‘CRIS’ as the biggest issue facing research repository managers at the moment. There was a debate about the diversity of the needs of the repository community; drivers including Open Access and engagement with senior management; and discussion about the role of repository managers in a dynamic environment. As already debated on the UKCoRR list, the news of Princeton’s Open Access policy was also mentioned.

Kultur II Group Technical Framework
Carlos Silva, Kultivate Technical Manager, provided the background to the ARTSUK demonstrator service and the Kultur II Group were invited to discuss this as well as the Kultivate and eNova technical developments. A member of the group raised an important issue with the technical enhancements from the Kultur project, and it was agreed that the following actions would be forthcoming:

  • Although the link to the ARTSUK demonstrator service has been circulated previously via the list and mentioned at meetings, it was agreed that this should be circulated to the list again and a deadline given to solicit feedback.
  • It was agreed that a Web page would be provided via the Kultur II Group website to collate information about the Kultur enhancements and an opportunity (probably via a post on the list) for members of the Group to provide feedback on how this has worked for them in their institutions to support the community.



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