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SUETR weblog

On training opportunities and related information for JISC Start-Up & Enhancement (SUE) projects

Updated: 2014-10-03T05:06:09.278+01:00


Goodbye and thanks from the SUETr weblog


The SUETr (Start-up and Enhancement Training) project was a one-year project funded by the JISC between 2008 and 2009 to provide training associated with the Repositories Start-up and Enhancement (SUE) projects:

Six SUETr events were held between 2008 and 2009. The full programmes (and, in many cases, presentation slides) are available from the event web pages or blogs.As SUETr is now complete, we do not intend to provide any more posts on the SUETr blog and will be closing the comments facility. The blog will remain here as a resource for you to use, but it is now officially frozen.

Goodbye and thanks for your interest in the SUETr project.

Michael Day and Stephanie Taylor
UKOLN, University of Bath

SUETr Understanding User Requirements Event


This event will take place on 11th March 2009 at UKOLN, University of Bath. Booking is now open, and a booking form is available here. A draft programme and venue details are available on the event wiki.

User requirements are a vital component when creating a repository, but they also need to be continually monitored and updated. For a successful repository, it is essential to be able to translate these evolving requirements into features and functionality so that you are building a flexible and user-friendly interface for IR users. The day is aimed at non-technical repository staff.

This event will explore the different aspects of dealing with user requirements and is aimed at non-technical staff who need to communicate with both users and technical colleagues or external partners to make their repository reflect user requirements.
- A workshop on how to capture user requirements and then communicate those requirement to technical staff
- Case studies showing how others have worked with and developed their user requirements
- A technical perspective on user requirements
- A workshop looking at requirements from the user perspective – what do you want when you are the user?

The mix of case studies and practical workshops has been popular in other events, and we hope with this topic to encourage people to develop their skills and be confident not only in talking to their user communities, but also in communicating the requirements to a technical partner, be that in-house staff of an external company.

I know this is an area that people have expressed an interest in, and bookings have started early, so I'm looking forward to an interesting and inspirational day!
(And I can personally vouch for the high quality of the cakes and biscuits at Bath, if you need an added insentive!)

SUETr Repository Policy Event - A Great Day


Although Aberystwyth is not the easiest place to get to (more of that in a later post), we were rewarded by a great venue in the National Library of Wales and some stunning views of the town and the sea. In between eating Welsh cakes and sipping tea, we had a very productive day, with speakers and delegates exchanging experiences in a hard-working but informal atmosphere.

Gareth Johnson of the University of Leicester gave an excellent opening talk that set a good tone for the rest of the day. Having been involved with repositories in a variety of roles at SHERPA, working on projects such as OpenDOAR and RSP, Gareth then moved on to the University of Leicester where he has been putting into practice a lot of the tools and information he helped devise in his previous post. Gareth also blogged about this event and sent out updates via Twitter (using the #SUETr tag - check out the SUETr guide to Twitter here).

We then moved into the workshop, led by Jackie Knowles and Hannah Payne from RSP/Aberystwyth University and myself. We split into two groups - one group of people who hadn't got existing policies in place and one group who had policies of some sort. Each group had a 'kit' of sections and questions to build up their policies from scratch or question and adjust their exisiting policies. As ever, there was a lot of sharing of information and knowledge in this session as well as group discussions. The exchange of experiences was a major theme of the day, as was the 'borrowing' of policies from those already out there. This was picked up later in the day too - and hopefully we will be using the event wiki to share policy documents so other people can borrow creatively for policies into the future. There will be an electronic version of the kit used in this workshop up in the event wiki early next week.

A relaxing lunch in the Pen Dinas cafe and some fresh air, looking at sea views, made a pleasant break after the busy morning.

We started the afternoon session with the snapshot case studies. The idea was for IR managers to give a 10-15 minute talk on their own repository and why/how their policies had been developed to deal with specific circumstances and requirements, each unique to their own institution.

I'll detail each talk in another post, as we are currently getting the slides from each speaker up on the event wiki. The talks led to many questions and much discussion in a friendly and informal session that lasted for the afternoon and could have probably run into the evening if we had had the time!

Having over run our schedule somewhat, we combined a refreshment break with an informal summary of the day. It was great to see contact details being swapped, and so much sharing of often hard-won knowledge and experience between colleagues. All participants were keen to stay in touch via the event wiki, and we'll be putting up not only presentations but also resources and questions and discussions over the next week. If you have an interest in repositories but were unable to attend this event, you're very welcome to access the event wiki and join our virtual discussions.

Embedding Repositores Event - A Successful Day


The Embedding Repositories event took place yesterday at the University of Lincoln. Fears of snow and /or flooding were greater exaggerated, and most people who had booked for the event were able to make it. We were looked after very well by Julian Beckton and the staff at Lincoln, and enjoyed copious cups of tea and coffee as well as a lovely lunch, all of which fueled much networking and debate.

The broad theme of the day was for people to look at, think about and discuss where else the institutional repository might go, once it has been built and starts to amass deposits. Our speakers gave an excellent mix of case studies, ideas and techniques for building and developing the IR. All the presentations are now available on the event wiki. Gareth Johnson the IR manager at the University of Leicester, has blogged about the individual sessions.

Working in the repositories field, I am always delighted by how colleagues make the most of any chance to be together and exchange ideas and experiences. Yesterday was no exception, and the event soon had a life of it's own taking the basic framework of the programme into several interesting areas and making the topics live.

The first theme to emerge was that of librarians and developers working as a team, and how effective this can be. Julian Beckton at the University of Lincoln and Sally Rumsey at Oxford University had both worked with technical colleagues to customise their repositories. For their projects, this had clearly been a fruitful partnership. But others who hadn't got access to dedicated technical staff highlighted how difficult it can be when you are expected to have technical abilities on top of all the other requirements of an IR manager. The interest that JISC has in developing technical ideas with the HE community (see this week's "Developer Happiness Days" event in London) was seen as a positive thing and teamwork as the way forward.

The second theme was related to this, but took people off in another direction asking what exactly the IR needed to develop to meet the new demands of the HE community. Was the front end, the end-user interface, really that important? Or should we be focussing on building robust systems that are concentrating on storage and output, making the IR as flexible as possible and leaving the interface for the end users to someone else. Ideas such as making the output of the IR available in Pageflakes, as applications in Facebook - basically creating many 'hooks' to link into whatever end users wanted to use. There were no clear answers, but much fuel for thought here.

Finally, the burning question for everyone was... the REF. Everyone wanted a much clearer idea of what the REF would require, what it would involve and how it might affect their work. Despite the feeling that it is something of a black box at the moment, people are hopeful that it will be a positive challenge for the IR, giving it a higher profile and further embedding it into the individual institutions.

Lucy Keating from Newcastle University asked a question in her presentation that summed up the starting point for many discussions - "Do deposits go into your repository to die... or to be reborn?" By the end of the day, I was feeling rather evangelical about where the UK IR managers might be taking their repository content. They certainly don't see their repositories as a graveyard for deposits. Despite the cold and the dire weather threats and the early start (!) I felt quite energised - reborn in fact!

The event wiki is now open for discussion, please feel free to join us.

SUETr Embedding Repositiries Event - Update


This event will take place at the University of Lincoln next week, on 10th February. We still have some places available, although the event is filling up so if you're interested please sign up soon!

A full programme for the day is available on the event wiki. Please use the online booking form if you want to book a place.

In the initial implementation of the repository, the focus is firmly on basic advocacy, getting submissions and dealing with the inevitable teething troubles of software, policies, workflows - getting the basics right. As more repositories start to mature and to build up a steadily increasing number of deposits, staff working with the IR can start to think about the next steps.

The presentations and the workshop that make up this event are all focussing on the question of 'what next?' with the institutional repository from a variety of perspectives. Julian Beckton will be talking about handling teaching and learning objects within the IR -something that IR managers are increasingly being asked to plan for in the future, and which Julian is already working on with LIROLEM. Sally Rumsey will look at integrating the repository into other area of the institutional network, as she is doing with ORA. Mary Robinson of SHERPA works on a European-focussed projects such as DRIVER and also has practical repository experience through her work on The Depot and will be looking at linking up the institutinal repository into a wider network repositories.

The workshop, run by myself and Lucy Keating of the Newcastle University EPrints, will focus on what we can do with repositories once they are populated - both for our own users and for the wider support of scholarly communications. The idea for the workshop grew out of a conversation the Lucy and I had at a recent Repositories Support Project (RSP) Focus Group, where I was inspired by Lucy's ideas for using the deposits in the IR to populate many new information and research resources. The session wil begin with a short presentation by Lucy, then we will be exploring new ideas for content use with the group. Working with UKOLN and the RSP on repositories has given me a great chance to see and learn about many different kinds of IRs and the many different approaches that are being taken in this area both here and abroad. When repository staff get together, I usually find that the ideas flow, and I suspect my hardest job of the day will be keeping us all to time!

Fedora Day @ RSP


In case you haven't noticed (where have you been?) RSP is running some Fedora Commons training in January. More information at:

SUETr Advocacy & Cultural Change Event


This event has been postponed until March 2009. Further details will be posted in due course.

Event Announcement - Advocacy & Cultural Change


The next SUETr event – Advocacy & Cultural Change - will be on 22nd January 2009. York St John University will be hosting the event. At the start of the SUETr project, the first task was to talk to people working on the various Start Up & Enhancement - SUE - projects and find out the areas they wanted covered in the SUETr programme of events. In part, this was done via a questionnaire, and at the same time we collected names of projects who would be willing to host an event. York St John University volunteered then, and we took them up on the offer.

The event is designed to give IR managers some different perspectives on how the institutional repository and also the concept of open access to scholarly works is impacting on other sectors in related fields. To this end, we will be having presentations from a publisher, a researcher/author and a funder.

Another aspect of the day will be to to encourage good communications with these sectors in changing times, and to aid in building good relationships in a fast-changing environment. I am delighted that Fred Friend, the Honorary Director of Scholarly Communications at UCL will be the opening speaker for this event. Fred has much experience in this field and throughout his many changing roles in the UK HE sector, he has championed advocacy and good communications both within the sector and between HEIs and the wider world. There is a speaker profile of Fred available on the event wiki -

I will be announcing the specific publisher, author and funder shortly here on the blog, and also updating the event wiki. Check the wiki for more information and updates. You can register to be notified by email when the event wiki is updated.

Due to a slight holdup, the booking form is not yet available, but with Christmas fast approaching, I wanted to give people notice of the event as soon as possible. The arrival of the form is imminent, and I will update the event wiki and post here as soon as it is available. In the meantime, if you are interested please check back or email me to register your interest and I’ll drop you a personal mail when the form is available. Mail me at s.taylor (at)

The event will be advertised today via email lists, web sites and of course here, and the next two events in the programme will be advertised later this week. I hope you find the event of interest.

Interoperability Workshop


Finally managed to secure a venue and a date in what is a very busy December and I'm pleased to announce that we will be holding a SUETr Interoperability Workshop in London on the 9th December. Michelle Blake at the LSE Library has kindly agreed to host us and we have talks from Jim Downing (Cambridge) on RSS/Atom, Adrian Stevenson (UKOLN's very own) on SWORD and Rob Sanderson will talk about OAI-ORE and his experience of the Foresight project. Hopefully that'll all sound rather interesting and you'll sign up soon. As ever the event is free to attend - you just got to get yourself there! Looking forward to meeting with some of you!

All quiet, but not for long...


We've not posted here for a whole month and a half and you are probably wondering what we are up to? No? :-) Oh well, even if you were not, I'm going to tell you!

First up Maureen has moved to an exciting new job with the British Library at Boston Spa and we'd like to (belatedly) wish her luck on her new job!

Second, one of my UKOLN colleagues - who I'm sure is fast becoming well known on the repository circuit - Stephanie Taylor has taken up the mantle of sorting out some interesting and exciting events for you, the first of which is currently over there on the right - y'know, under forthcoming events - and all about that most thrilling of subjects, copyright! ;-) (Actually, I think it is a very interesting and very challenging topic!) I'm sure Steph will tell us more when she can.

I'll be arranging an event too - on Interoperability - just in time for your Christmas shopping trips to London - on the 9th December. More details will appear here as soon as I'm confident we'll have somewhere to sit!

I trust all is well out there in SUE projects-land and we look forward to meeting you at our events soon!

To Advocacy and Beyond!


BURP! are running a Master Class at the University of Bradford on November 20th entitled
'Beyond Advocacy: A Bradford Master Class on Institutional Repositories'.

The event is aimed at managers and administrators of existing repositories who wish to develop their advocacy and marketing efforts, rather than those institutions which are only setting up their repository services. Spaces are limited and priority will be given to delegates with up and running repositories. Case studies will be presented and delegates will also have the opportunity to discuss the issues relating to promotional and marketing efforts beyond the initial publicity push with the aim of ensuring researcher buy-in and increased repository content.

Speakers include:
Julie Allinson (University of York)
Rachel Proudfoot (University of Leeds)
Graham Stone (University of Huddersfield)
Shirley Yearwood-Jackson (University of Liverpool)

Coursing through (D)Space


The RSP have released a modular, downloadable course for DSpace developers and administrators: The DSpace Course. It has been written by Stuart Lewis (DSpace committer, developer and trainer), Chris Yates (DSpace developer, support provider and trainer) with input by Claudia Jürgen (DSpace committer, developer and trainer).

There are 20 modules in the course, with more modules due to be added soon. The modules include:

- An Introduction to DSpace
- How to Get Help
- Repository Structure
- Identifiers
- DSpace Configuration
- User management and authentication options
- Metadata Input Customisation
- Look and Feel Customisation
- Language Customisation
- Item Submission Workflows
- Import and Export
- Configuring LDAP
- Upgrading from 1.4. to 1.5

The course materials can be downloaded from:


The Live CD can be downloaded from:


RSP can also help in finding a trainer to deliver the course, contact for assistance.

Training event on cultural change


The EMBED project is hosting a training event in September on Understanding Organisational Cultures and their Impact on Repository Growth and Development. This is one of series of three JISC meetings to address advocacy and cultual change: the second will be hosted by NECTAR and WRAP in December and will focus on practical approaches to demonstrate repository value; the third will be hosted by SUETr in early 2009 and will explore interaction with publishers and knowledge of the publishing process in the context of advocacy and achieving cultural change.

'Understanding Organisational Cultures: Impact on Repository Growth and Development' will explore the cultural issues affecting the growth of institutional and subject repositories throughout the HE sector and try to identify solutions to match different institutional cultures. The event is aimed at those who have an existing repository and wish to enhance and develop their service, rather than those institutions who are new to the repository arena.

Date: September 9th 2008
Location: Cranfield
Cost: Free to SUE projects

More information about the event is available from the EMBED wiki.

MFI: Metadata For Images


Does your repository contain images or will it hold images in the near future? If so, then this forthcoming TASI workshop may be for you. The workshop will explore a range of issues involved in creating metadata for image collections including standards, metadata for different purposes, metadata for different types of collections and metadata storage options.

Date: July 25th 2008
Location: Bristol
Cost: £150 for UK HE/FE institutions.

More details are available on the TASI website.

Managing IPR issues for e-learning materials


SUEtr will be running an event on IPR later in the year. In the meantime, if you want to know more about IPR within the specific context of e-learning materials, take a look at the outputs of the TrustDR project.

The project developed a package of materials to help repository managers update and clarify their institutional policies and infrastructures so they can make best use of technologies to support teaching and learning. As the website states, 'confusion, lack of awareness, poor practice, contradictory policy and risk aversion currently dominate thinking about this subject at all levels – particularly amongst senior management. This is presenting a major obstacle to the effective uptake of e-learning in our tertiary education system. In this pack we explicitly link the task of overhauling the IPR regimes in our institutions to the organisational and professional ‘process change' that is required to make effective use of e-learning – especially in relation to the introduction and extension of flexible learning delivery.'

Rights and Repositories


JISC will be running a Rights and Repositories meeting in London on September 5th.

The aim of the event is to provide practical advice about intellectual property issues for repositories, to offer opportunities to network with colleagues, and to have IP questions answered by experts and peers.

The event is primarily aimed at project staff in the SUE strand. The event will only be advertised more widely if space for non-SUE staff is available.

Further information about the day was posted to the SUE list; if you need more information just drop me a line. Registration closes on August 15th.



The recent SUETr survey has turned up some great results, many thanks to all those who took the time to fill it in.

Whilst working through the responses, I noticed a request for more information for SWORD. Jullie Allinson, SWORD project manager, has some useful presentations on her University of York homepage about both SWORD and SWAP. These are very comprehensive and a great way to learn more about the two initiatives. The SWAP presentation is especially useful as it comes with a built-in practical exercise - you'll need a copy of the SWAP application profile documentation and a 'worked example' (1) (2) to go with these.

ran an introduction to SWORD back in January that's well worth a read, particularly if you're new to the subject. The Digirep wiki also has a section on SWORD that includes a couple of demonstration clients and (eventually more than one) case studies.

DSpace training materials (with wider applicability)


Pete Cliff, a research officer at UKOLN who is also working on SUETr, has drawn my attention to the availability of a number of DSpace training materials on the DSpace website

There's a useful selection of PDF-based tutorials, including:
  • DSpace How To Guide: Tips and Tricks for Managing Common Dspace Chores
  • Basic DSpace Tutorial
  • Advanced DSpace Tutorial - plugins, configurable submission, core API
There's also a workbook on creating an institutional repository, a worksheet on creating a service model definition, and a concise project planning worksheet. These aren't always specific to DSpace - for example, the project planning and service model definition worksheets are fairly generic and applicable in a number of other software scenarios.

Case studies, add-ons and other useful training-type materials are available from a secondary training materials page

If you use any of these materials, please do let us know how you get on!

RSP DSpace training events


Chris Yates, an RSP staff member based at Aber, is organising some DSpace training days in Birmingham. The first of these is aimed at repository managers and will take place on June 2nd. There are still some places left, so if you'd like to get some practical and hands on experience with DSpace in a tailored and targeted workshop, please do register as soon as you can!

2. Introduction to DSpace
- What it is.
- Basic architectural overview.
3. Configuration & Customisation (By the repository administrator)
- Communities & Collections
- Workflows & Metadata Implementation
- Licenses
- User Management
4. Running DSpace as an Administrator
- Submitting Items
- Harvesting
- Persistent Identifiers (The handle)
5. Other Configuration & Customisation that you may require (By the technical staff)
- Multilingualism
- RSS Feeds/Emails/Notifications/Subscriptions.
- Submission Interfaces
- Populating other resources using the repository.
- Alternative deposit mechanisms (SWORD etc).
6. Statistics
- DSpace Stats
- Google Analytics

Chris and the team at Aber are very experienced with DSpace and great at explaining technical issues to a non-technical audience, as well as techies. Previous DSpace sessions have been a resounding success and this one should be no different.

Register for DSpace Repository Administrators Training Day

(I hear the venue is pretty good too)

DCC Call for Papers/Posters/Demos


The next annual DCC conference will be held in Edinburgh in December. The call for papers, posters and demos was issued recently on the DCC website. This is a great opportunity to showcase your work and I'd encourage any project whose activities fall within the broad themes of the project to submit a contribution. The submission deadline (full papers) is July 25th.

The conference will be a great opportunity to learn more about what's happening in terms of state-of-the-art in repository curation and sustainability, amongst other things, so I hope we'll see some of you there regardless of whether you're a speaker/exhibitor or not!

New external events


Thanks to David Flanders for flagging up a few more forthcoming events that I have just added to the events listing in the nav bar.

1. The CRIG/DRY workshop. CRIG (Common Repositories Interfaces Group) are running a DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) Workshop and Barcamp in Bath on June 6th. This event will focus on remote services which repository adminstrators can exploit to improve the quality of the metadata held in their systems,bringing local experts (the people running institutional systems) who understand their users' needs, together with the domain experts (the people who can offer services based on expertise). It offers be a day of learning, sharing, demonstrating, and perhaps even some coding. See the DigiRep wiki for more information.

2. The brand new Fringe festival, Edinburgh Repository Fringe, will take place over the summer. The website has the following information:

"The Repository Fringe is being run on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe model - anyone is allowed to come along and put on a show! In our case "a show" is likely to be a discussion about an emerging issue, or a group attempt to come to some concensus about solving a problem, or a co-ordinated demonstration of some new ideas.

The event will be held in the Playfair Library in Edinburgh. The building consists of a main hall (pictured left) with lots of breakout spaces to facilitate lots of concurrent discussions and working groups. In preparation for the fringe, delegates will post their proposals for discussions and activities to the Wiki, discuss them through the Mailing List and network through the Crowdvine site"

Training materials on the RSP website


Materials from past RSP training events are available from the past events pages on the RSP website. These are very handy if you missed a particular training session, or just want to take a look and see what all the fuss is about.

Events have focussed on or featured sessions exploring, for example, shared services for repositories, metadata, preservation & curation, and legal issues such as copyright and IPR. More events are in planning and will be flagged up here when details become available.

Determining costs of archiving data in IRs


A new report from JISC investigates the medium to long term costs to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) of the preservation of research data and developed guidance for HEFCE and institutions on these issues.

The report, 'Keeping Research Data Safe', provides an essential methodological foundation on research data costs and will assist HEIs and funding bodies wishing to establish strategies and TRAC costings for longterm data management and archiving. The study provides a framework and guidance for determining costs consisting of:
  • A list of key cost variables and potential units of record;
  • An activity model divided into pre-archive, archive, and support services;
  • A resources template including major cost categories in TRAC, divided into the major phases from the activity model and by duration of activity.
The report focus is on research data, though it is likely that some aspects of the guidance will also be relevant to repositories containing other materials. If you read the report and have any ideas about this, please do post them here!

RSP 2008 Summer School


Applications are now being taken for a place on the 2008 RSP Summer School, to be held in the delightful venue of Thornton Manor in the Wirral.

The RSP Summer School is an intensive three day residential course which aims to deliver a comprehensive programme to address the practical challenges and solutions to effective repository development. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in wide-ranging discussions about repositories and gain hands-on experience with a range of interactive seminars, practical workshops, lectures and panel sessions delivered by a range of expert practitioners.

This year's programme highlights include:

  • Metadata & Interoperability
  • Preservation
  • Advocacy
  • Legal issues
  • Repository statistics
Further information is available from the RSP website. A limited number of places are available, but don't delay in applying - the deadline for applications is Monday May 26th.

The SUETr training programme


The SUETr training programme is currently under development. Notification of events and training opportunities will be posted here as and when the information becomes available. We expect the training programme will be developed by early June, and training opportunities to commence shortly afterwards.

These training opportunities will be developed and available primarily to staff currently working on SUE projects. A number of other initiatives provide training that is accessible to a wider audience, including the Repositories Support Project, a major JISC initiative to support the development and growth of the UK repositories network.