A personal RepoFringe account (2010-2013)

As our coverage of Repository Fringe 2013 gears up we have a number of guest bloggers who will be beginning to share their hopes, coverage, and reflections on this year’s event. Here we kick off with a personal reflection on Repository Fringe 2013 by Pablo de Castro, UKRepNet+ Consultant. 

The Repository Fringe unconference has always been a very special occasion on the ever more crowded yearly calendar for repository and Open Access events – not just for the opportunity it frequently provides for enjoying some Real Fringe performances, but also out of the sheer joy of returning to Edinburgh for a few days.

I enjoyed my first RepoFringe attendance back in Sep 2010 while chairing the Jisc-funded SONEX Workgroup for Scholarly Output Notification and Exchange. The SONEX blog still holds some evidence for that inspiring event, where I had the opportunity to (rather clumsily) deliver my first ever Pecha Kucha on the SONEX work for identifying and analysing opportunities for populating at the time nearly-empty institutional repositories. CRIS Systems were already a big topic then, and research data management was only starting to be discussed…

2010 was also the year when the Edinburgh ITU Duathlon World Championships were held at Holyrood Park, with all the international teams staying at the Pollock Halls – and plenty of team doctors luckily hanging around the place, one of whom was kind enough to
provide some counseling to this reporter after a bad cycling crash on Nicholson St… the evening before the SONEX Pecha Kucha was due to be delivered. Everything was happily solved with a couple of X-ray takes at the Royal Infirmary, an arm sling and a sincere acknowledgement to the NHS at the end of the presentation next morning!

2011 was the year of Eloy Rodrigues’s inspiring RCAAP keynote, of the Glasgow Uni Mini-REF Pecha Kucha by Robbie Ireland and Toby Hanning –with yet another award for the best Pecha Kucha to the Enlighten colleagues– and the year the UK RepositoryNet+ project was launched with a crowded discussion around Peter Burnhill and Theo Andrew’s display of the very early UKRepNet+ access and repository landscape.

Image of Peter Burnhill at the Repository Fringe in 2011

The RepoFringe 2012 was somehow diluted into the ongoing huge Open Repositories 2012 conference – as well as into the ‘liquid sunshine’ that prevailed last July (and remains in one’s memory despite the blue-sky pictures at Carol Minton Morris D-Lib report on OR2012), but this year witnesses the return of an event that offers the opportunity to enjoy the Scottish capital at the very peak of its charm.

From a strictly personal point of view, the Fringe will mean a great opportunity to share some of the findings of the UKRepNet+ project – whose project stage is now nearing its end. Having since last edition moved to Edinburgh in order to contribute to the UKRepNet+ project at EDINA, #rfringe13 becomes a home event and offers a chance for a wee closer personal involvement. I wish everyone a happy stay in Edenburgh and a fruitful participation in this year’s event.

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