Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Open Repositories 2010 in Madrid

This years the Open Repository Conference 2010 was held in Madrid organised by the he Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology FECYT and UNED, a Spanish public university that provides distance education.

Many of the talks discussed issues around research data and digital repositories. In the initial keynote, Prof. David de Roure emphasized the importance of capturing the research data but also the methods behind the data. In the future repositories will have a role in managing knowledge packs made of data, metadata, workflows, articles, presentations, results, etc.

The conference had a strong pressence from activities using the eSciDoc repository system based on Fedora. The BW eLab project uses this infrastructure to provide access to remote laboratory instruments as well as to manage the experimental data generated in the labs. During the workflow process eSync Daemon is used to monitor the file system of the computer connected to the instruments . The daemon replicates the new files and sends to a deposit where metadata is extracted to them deposit data and metadata in eSciDoc. A similar synchronization is used in the BRIL Project to monitor researcher's own desktop to capture as much data and metadata as possible.

Another interesting talk presented an open source repository for medical scientific research known as MIDAS. The system is used for the Insight Journal which provides open-access to articles, data, code, and reviews with an archive which hosts public collections of image datasets such as MRIs.

Other repository frameworks included Hydra, a collaboration between the Universities of Hull, Stanford and Virginia, that uses a technical architecture based on Fedora with a toolkit of reusable components that can assist with a range of content management, access and preservation. The University of Hull IR provides a Hydra use case.

Microsoft announced the release of v2.0 of their repository platform Zentity which makes use of the Open Data Protocol and uses Pivot for visualising and organising the data (see this example of pivot in action). The installation support services such as OAI-ORE and SWORD.

In the national approaches session the results of the Australian institutional research repository data readiness surveys 2010 were presented. Although repository managers are aware of ANDS and its services, there is little use of them and less than half of respondents were planning to incoorporate data in their repositories.

This has truly been a rewarding and stimulating conference.

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