Live(ish)blog: Getting to the Repository of the Future Workshop

Our blogger Rocio (with some help from Nancy Pontika) shares her live notes from the Getting to the Repository of the Future workshop which took place today…


Chris Awre

We’ve been working on repositories for over 10 years, and we’ve moved forward, but where do we go next?
Are the systems right, are the repositories we put in place 10 years ago still doing what we want them to do?

What impact will repositories have on staff, skills ..?

Academics are very good at creating research output, but are they as good at managing those assets?
How do we shape the future of repositories?

Balviar Notay

  • From Jisc repository programme since 2002
  • Value of managing digital assets for the institution

Now we have the infrastructure, how can we move on, what can we make out of this. Some of these projects include:

  • Hydra project (University of Hull)
  • Kulture, Kultivate, eNova (University of Creative Arts) – public portfolios of staff/institution work
  • MIRAGE (Middlesex University) – 3D visualizations of 2D scans using ParaView, it’s being used for pedgaogical purposes, so that the repository adds immediate value to the university’s actitivities

Repositories were at the edges, but the power is slowly moving from the centre to the edges.


Chris Awre

Questions on tables are based on the two papers that were distributed as preparation for the workshop

Consider the indirect revenue of openness, but how can we measure/evaluate it.
What services could we build around the repositories that were economically sustainable?
Different disciplines, require different approaches, or at least different researchers require different specifications for managing their research data

Generational changes/differences, … identify current trends
Risk of repositories becoming silent/unusued.
Can repositories be data-centric, or do they need to be rather user friendly?
Are repositories just another tool, or part of the infrastructure.
Licensing and copyright is like a shifting sand, a dune that will not disappear, just change location/attention.
Environment will change, becuase organisations will change, and their relationships to other systems (VLE, CRIS), Collaborations across institutions
Security, preservation (hoping this point will be taken care off as of now, so it doesn’t seem like we’ve not been taking care of this issue, it would defeat the purpose) …

Small group activities
Think about the questions: what do we want repositories to do? Horizon view – think about the questions in perspective from 2, to 5, to 10 years time. What do we need to do now that allows us to see those changes implemented in the future.

2 year = short term, powerful trends ; 5 years = aspects that need to be addressed (like how to navigate through different research outputs, aspects, … ) Risk analysis for the repository is different to the risk analysis of the stakeholders.



General wish for full text and good quality of data and metadata.
The repo as a content holder not just as a place to deposit plain text.
Flexibility to customize with other technologies.
Changing landscape of software, investment of the library in terms of cataloguing skills.
In 10 years not sure if there are going to be multiple systems working together or one platform that can do more.

New content into the repository.
Some content is prepared, with good quality metadata and some is unprepared.
Organization, set criteria for acceptance.
Funding and policy decision, issues regarding preservation and archiving, do we keep something for ever?
Setting metrics to see if your repository is successful and planning for the future such as doing reviews. Sustainability and cost how much does the institution invest on the repository.
What about DOIs and how much does it cost?

Is blogging an ephemeral research outcome that is lost at the end, will repositories preserve this material, data?
Linked data requires IDENTIFIERS to every individual, academic institutions, repositories (ORCHID) – identifier issue needs to be sorted out, we’ve been trying to do this for the last 10 years, so it is optimistic to think we’ll get it sorted in 5 years.
Vision for 10-years time, repository fully integrated into the research flow, but completely invisible. So the copy is immediatly available.

Debate about repository content: Should institutional repositories only want published content to be deposited in the repository?
User needs, when the repository does not match the needs.
Formal cooperation between different repositories, V-mirroring, cooperating in curating specific areas.
Hoping users will find their way to the repository and the data stored.
CRIS -managed from top, not interested in using metameta for appraisal.
Librarians – want material to be shared.
Research data, granularity and level of metadata, …
In 2 years, progress in permanent identifiers (OCRHID ID among institutions), academic norms for data citation, more data audits, understand better what users want.
5 year, capturing metadata automatically.
10 years, hoping the repository will last.

What is the repository for? Repository is the stuff, the content.
Functionality that is not part of the repository, manipulating, visualising,… this does not needed to be done by the repo, but by other layers, metadata the means of discovery.
5-10 term make data & metadata interoperable
What content is beter not managed in the repository but somewhere else?
3 levels of opennes: make it avaialable in the internet, make it available to be discovered, make it avaialable and interoperable
Galaxy of data centres, prevent duplication and silence;  ideally funders will provide data centres, but what about the research that is not funded?
Institutional repository needs duplication, people work across institutions and move away from institutions

Future: thinking about repository not as something that is fixed
We articulated what we want to see in the future, we articulated what we have been wanting in the past.
Discovery/interoperability issues.
The future is unevenly distributed.
Lets go back to the OAIS model, to make things easier for people to deposit and to retrieve
Academics are willing to do voluntarily like (Mendeley, LinkedIn, Academia, … they are all silos), we want to make things discoverable and this can be done through repositories; CRIS system being to much of silos.
Discoverable, RSS disappearing (Google has takign it off their service)
When will ORCHID become main stream ?? possibly in 10 years.
Organisation issue: it would be great if publishers were more collaborative, like the Jisc APC.
Make our repositories more attractive, why does it looke the same, why are the discussions the same that were being discussed 10 years ago, and why haven’t we moved on
The issue of impact and citation, REF as the imapact that research has on other, … …
Silo, does not have to do with the technology,but with teh mentality of the institution.
CRIS as a way of bringing all data together for the using this for reporting tool, we don’t see it as a silo, Does your silo information go outside your organisation, your public facing is … Unusual that the data is then made avaialbel

Repositories are still regarded as a good thing that will be here in 10 years, as a place to have stuff, to hold the digital stuff. And the breadth of content will grow.

Development of repositories took place in a policy-free environment, but now this is changing, and the taking over of repositories by policy makers. In 5 years, this will be more clear: those running repositoreis will know what they are supposed/expected to do.

We would like better identifiers, automation, metadata… but how are we going to do any of this, putting aside financial constraints…  What are the barriers to fulfill the requirements and to allow us to do what we want to do?

How do we get over the different identifier providers (OpenDOAR – an EU format, RIOXX  – a UK format…) how do we match these identifiers?



Data Library Assistant, EDINA

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