LiveBlog – Welcome/Opening Keynote

We are just getting started at Repository Fringe 2013. Nicola Osborne, Chair of this year’s event, has given a brief welcome and introduced Stuart Lewis to give the main welcome to the event.

Welcome from Stuart Lewis, Deputy Director of Library & University Collections and Head of Research and Learning Services, University of Edinburgh

What a difference a year makes. Last year we hosted Open Repositories 2012, a huge event, but what’s happened since? The Finch report had just come out, now huge amounts of money have been put forward to Gold open access. Even at Edinburgh University we have been given over £1 million by RCUK (from wider pots of funding for the sector) for Gold Open Access. But even more has been going into Green open access with prompts from the Wellcome Trust etc. And publishing is beginning to come up, we had a great Open Journal System workshop yesterday and really interesting discussions of the university as publisher.

Thinking back further our own repository is ten years old now. Others are a similar vintage. That gives space for reflection, many things have worked well but many think there is far greater room to make the best use of them. We had a great session yesterday on the Repository of the Future and lots of interesting ideas there.

We are here because, ultimately, we know that things could be better and we want to improve them. It is an unconference, have fun, learn, share and my hope is that we will not only do great stuff here but also go home and get things done and make a difference there. If for no other reason than next year we’ll all have new things to share at Repository Fringe 2014.

Welcome also to Jacqui Taylor who we are very privileged to have here today. She is Chief Executive of a company called Flying Binary but has had a very diverse professional background from engineering to setting up BACS to her current work with the UK Cabinet Office.

Opening Keynote: Curating the Future – Jacqui Taylor, Co-Founder and CEO of FlyingBinary 

I am really delighted to be here today. We are a web science company founded in 2009. As Stuart alluded to I did help establish the BACS system and I still work in the banking industry. But we are a web science company and we are an Industry Partner to the DTC and work with

We use the science of analytics to share what we do. I am a Tech City Mentor, and I’m based in Europe’s largest start up space. We are also an Open Data supporting business, and we were delighted when we were named as one of those.

So I have three themes I want to explore, Nicola told me that this was an unconference so I’ve lots of questions for you.

One major theme for us is Privacy. The way in which we look at this over the last 20 years has changed radically. We have work around the ethics and trust issues around sharing. This is linked but not the same. As technologists with our web platforms we have our own agenda. But the distance between consumer and service creates a changed perspective. For instance people wouldn’t think twice about sharing medical details with a doctor – or someone who looks like one in a white coat in a hospital – but they are very concerned about sharing that data online.

And Privacy Over Time… this is an interesting… we work mainly in the Y Generation, the Millennials, the 1982 generation. In the post war period everyone knew everyone – my parents really couldn’t do anything without being observed. But the Baby Boomers have lived in a different world, privacy has become important. These Gen Xers are very much an auditory generation. But Gen Y have been born into a proporous society, its no surprise that they are implicitly more open and privacy is different. Collaboration feels natural to them. We try to also get across that this generation are also very visual. For us the science of visualisation and how we communicate and maximise the message is coming from that place. And then we have Gen Z. Gen Y is our web generation, they expect to consume online. Gen Z are more entrepeunerial about the web. It’s also socially, about communities being able to. Gen Z’s view of privacy is different again. Privacy versus trust is totally different. They decide using their own network to establish trust. We are starting to see Gen Z coming into Tech City already. Gen Z are very much a kinesthetic generation. So the iPad for instance is brilliant for this generation. If you see the YouTube video “the magazine doesn’t work” a child is happy with a tablet but handed a magazine they try to flip and interact and it doesnt work. So as repository managers we really have to think about that kinesthetic aspect…

Is data quality key? No! There is not a one size fit all approach for us. It’s about data purpose – what do we want to do with it. What we deploy first may not be what we want next time, we can change it. We can manipulate data to obscure quality issues if that creates a useful data set. So for instance I work in the NHS, working nationally on their data sets, on the services to be delivered. Hospital data sets are key, they set national standards. But if you look at Trust level you find pregnant men! So you have to be able to be pragmatic with data and understand the quality you are dealing with. If you can’t improve the data or it’s provenance you have to think about whether that limits what you can do. So in the NHS using raw data isn’t right, not just for privacy but also because it is not consistent across trusts.

Aggregation can be an answer – aggregating data sets can solve some of the issues of a single set of data. We’ve done work with the Guardian. And aggregating data means you provide it, you can be the authoritative source. That’s really interesting.

But we can also use the techniques of web science approaches, such as analysis, to determine quality etc. Twitter for instance is seen as a great source but it has a real time lag, it’s hard to determine trust and provenance properly.

Heterogenous data is an issue. If you just share data, how can you determine trust. If you publish, share, and work with data that’s a great way to establish trust. Often data released in Brasil might be checked against Guardian data platform to see what has been said about it. It has become a trusted source about data. That’s very different to a few years back.

So here we have the Data Never Sleeps slide. This is a trusted source, this visualisation, but this isn’t reliable. We have to put trusted data out there because without it this sort of thing becomes a trusted source!

I talked about our Guardian work. We did a project with Stanford and them called the 99% project. We wanted to think about open data, how could we make that accessible and meaningful for real people. We are the 1% in the know but how could we engage the 99%, what would it take? What does that mean?

So here we have Sub-Saharan Africa Key Data – we looked at data around for this area, looked at the data, looked for the story, looked for the evidence. We actually decided to (optionally – via a button) exclude South Africa as it swayed the stats so much. This was for a G20 summit. We really got from visualising the data we really understood that this is a continent, we have to really think about the evidence – and how evidence can drive policy.

This piece of work looked at Global Military Spending across the continent. This was on arms trading data. This is kinesthetic stuff. You can show this  as a big front page but then you can dig. Sharing it allowed others to comment, correct, critique, to add to the debate.

And this recent Open Data Youth Group project – the group was formed a year ago to look at the roadmap for open data. We are now very much supply led – here is the data (8000 data sets) and we asked that we find out who the data is, what the benefits to using that data would be, what would the barriers to using that data would be. Most people who have requested data this way are individuals (rather than organisations). There was a perception that quality was the big barrier but this doesn’t seem to be the case. And we also asked whether or not this data request was private – like an open access mystery shopper. Most of those data providers have the data but weren’t sharing it. The barrier in some cases was it was paid for – and that’s hard to get round. But licensing, especially downstream licensing are so complex – you can use it but you can’t do anything with it. So we’ve been working to debunk the myths. Just seeing the process has been useful for many of those making these requests.

At the Open Data Summit an Open Data Charter was signed by the G8. They have agreed to open by default their data stores. They have agreed to a quality and quantity principle. To release early and see if it’s right for purpose. And to make data open whenever possible. And we will bring provider and users together. And, a key thing, here is that they will release it for innovation. So we have user groups we are setting up. we work with Southampton, Oxford and Cambridge, and I know that academia and research needs to be in here. We are working with the UK Cabinet Office to get data out there, with a refreshed platform – The National Information Infrastructure. We want research data in that mix. It’s being led by Business Innovation and Skills. And we want people to give us feedback, to look at our beta platform, in addition to being able to be part of the Open Data User Group – and we will tweet links to that application – we also want that feedback from this community. This community is key. I see the repository and research part of this being right at the front of what’s taking place. Lets make sure that we have people with the knowledge and domain specialism to bring here.

When I talk about open data people see risks. But the G8 have signed that charter to show their commitment. We don’t have a way to stop accidental or deliberate misuse of the data but we want to get the right parties engaged to get to that place. We want to make sure there is quantity, quality but also with knowledge of the impact and how we manage that – anonimising or pseudonimising data for research perhaps.

And there are social considerations for us – and for you and in repositories – we grapple with those risks of the social impact. In Cambridge the genetic researchers grapple with those social impact considerations. I would ask what is the repository approach to the social impact of what we do and what that means.

Our approach is to work together no matter what discipline. We tend to take a “shared services” approach. We’ll have data scientists, web scientists, CFO, operations people, we’ll blend the skills for a piece of work. We tend to call those SWAT teams, federating people to the problem in very agile and collaborative ways. It’s very true that in a lot of contexts it’s about the community first. Community is the forefront of work in Tech City. We are doing some work with flooding at the moment, that’s so much about how that community can engage, what motivates them, and how to build trust. All that trust and privacy around the data is where we come in. We build the tools and platforms to solve the problem in an interoperable way – often tailoring generic stuff for specific contexts.

And another aspect I wanted to draw on was the Data Protection Act. It has been part of the barriers in some case. We almost didnt get a banking service live four years ago because lawyers wouldn’t sign the contract. The law is offline law. In our online web enabled society it’s not quite right. It can be used as a barrier. As we build out our web world, the law has to be built out. So consider the legal context of the work, and also I would ask that you consider where the law is a barrier. I have a group of what I call “agile laywers” who are really considering where the law needs to move. I would encourage you to look at the legal implications of your research and bring that to the debate.

Does technology matter? Well what we do has to be technology agnostic. From a cloud engineering point of view we are looking at the private cloud deployment with some open data. Really we should be considering public cloud. In some parts of the world community cloud is taking on, and we should be doing that too.

I talked about the 99% project, when we were deploying to the cloud. We didn’t know if people would care. We saw a million people interacting very quickly. Within 2 hours of visualising Wikileaks data 34 million people had interacted. If it is compelling, if it tells a story, people really want to engage.

So in the future… as fibre is laid. As mobile first is the internet access. We’ll get another 5 billion more voices online. We will hear more views and perspectives. We’ll get more languages, more tonality, more diversity. Right now 20% of the world is online, predominently English speaking, but things are about to change a lot.

I want to share some UK Cabinet Office work we’ve been doing. A wee video to show you and hopefully inspiring. It’s about how 58 different nations have been collaborating and cooperating.

[We are now watching the video, link to follow]

So the Open Government partnership is working with 58 countries moving forward with that open agenda. The question for you is how can you help that move forward. And I would welcome your participation.


Q1 – Les Carr) I’m very interested in what you said about supply side versus demand side production of data. We have thought that in repositories and open access we have concentrated on the supply side. As we get into scientific data and all the issues around that I’d be very interested in following through some of those thoughts about facilitating how the demand questions will have an impact. In our sector impact, the use of material, is really important. Do you have any lessons you think are transferable from Government Open Data?

A1) Very definitely. When we started the work with Government Open Data there were all these myths about what people needed and wanted. But noone had checked or asked. We started by asking the open data community – we had 5000 people interacting. It reached out beyond that community. We did that in a very controlled way but to understand “you know what we’re doing, what do you want from that” is so important. Not making financial arguements but making it about what could be done. And doing that with research, and declaring data via the NII – what is open and what is not – will be very interesting. We have the chance to get the community to really articulate what they need and why. We are trying to pull that philosophy into NII and research is definitely part of that. It needs to connect back to you all. We only potentially have a single member able to do something, but how do they reach back and get input from the whole research community. Understanding demand should be entirely interchangable.

Q2 – Peter Burnhill) A couple of comments and then a question. To follow up to demand side. I think we were aware when we met last year at OR2012. To my mind in the academic world we’ve had a small group of data libraries who have been used to the demand for secondary analysis, people with questions looking for data. I think that process and thinking has to be brought into this. Within the academic world we are interested in the demand. But we have genuine need to serve the purposes of academics, social scientists etc. And care for what is released and how, to maintain appropriate access. There is opportunity to do this. I think there may be a real opportunity for a joint conference here. I think your intent was to say that visualisation matters, presentation matters, and we need to have some critique on that. The science of visualisation has been about summarising data sufficiently. We have to bring that in to know how to present that properly. My question or criticism comes with your assumption that Gen X or Gen Y or Gen Z has substance, but that’s come under a huge amount of criticism. I would suggest you look at Lynn Connoway’s work that really critiques that. It’s not neccassarily an age thing, it comes in there but it’s how people transfer and their perspective. Whether they live in internet world or whether they just pop in to shop/travel etc. I would ask you to relook at some of those presumptions.

A2) I agree with you entirely. That 99% two year project. We have analytics around that. The headline story there about Afrghanistan Wikileaks data – that the incidents are all the road to Basra. People interact for 8 to 10 minutes. If the user was in the Western world their next move was to look at the Afghan incidents. And we could build that stuff in. That visual stuff is in Gen Y, the kinesthetic stuff is in Gen Z. Now that is a spectrum and you can sit in various places. Gen Y is now the majority of the workforce, and that’s why data journalism has grown – I see this as science. It’s easy to make a data visualisation that means nothing. I want this to be seen as a tool to communicate at large on a platform for data. But it is a meaningful tool. And the NII is about making sure the data can be interacted with, not just academics or web scientist. Open access will need to facilitate that generation of people that will explore and reuse data. So this tool is one we have used. But the origins are back from where you talked about.

Q2 – Peter Burnhill) But with lots of cartographers… we have that concept of garbage in, you get garbage out – you get pretty pictures from GIS but does it have real meaning. Pictures are fine but are they scientists? You need to push on the science and the issue of ensuring there is meaning. Equilogical Fallacy I would ask you to look at.

A2) We were very careful that this tool had a button to download the data and to reupload combinations of data. There are real data conversations here, critiquing the data, really interacting. That’s where I think you all, as a group, really come in. There is opportunities with the open charter to think and reexamine what you do, see what opportunities there are.

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Introducing the Developer Challenge Judges! Plus: What Happened on Day One?

Tomorrow sees the full Repository Fringe and Developer Challenge kick off. Ahead of that we are delighted to announce our Developer Challenge judges, a fantastic group of experts who we know will give great advice and feedback – as well as selecting who wins our fabulous prizes. The judges are (from left to right) Bea, Stuart, Padmini, and Paul

Image of Bea AlexImage of Stuart LewisImage of Padmini Ray MurrayImage of Paul Walk

Dr Beatrice Alex is Research Fellow at the Institute of Language, Cognition and Computation and Project Manager, University of Edinburgh School of Informatics. Find out more about Bea and her research here.

Stuart Lewis is Deputy Director of Library & University Collections and Head of Research and Learning Services, University of Edinburgh. Find out more about Stuart and his work on his blog.

Dr Padmini Ray Murray is Lecturer in Publishing Studies, University of Stirling and co-founder of Electric Bookshop. Find out more about Padmini’s research here and find out more about Electric Bookshop here.

Paul Walk is Head of Technology Strategy and Planning at EDINA, he was – until very recently – Director of the Innovation Support Centre at UKOLN. Find out more about Paul and his work here.

We think we have a great group of judges and we are confident that we have some fantastic developers around Repository Fringe so we are looking forward to seeing what happens at the Developers Challenge over the next few days!

Repository Fringe 2013 Day One – What happened?
Three workshops ran today – and huge thanks to all who participated in these. All three workshops seemed busy, lively, and interesting from the look of the tweets and chats we had this evening.

We have notes (and video) from the Getting to the Repository of the Future workshop coming soon and would welcome further notes and reflections from those who participated in the Open Journal Systems or Consuming Linked Data Workshops.

What to Expect on Day Two

Day Two brings our Opening Keynote from Jacqui Taylor which we’re really excited about. There will be presentations, Pecha Kuchas, the start of the Developer Challenge, and a networking session in which the best business card or business card distribution method wins a prize. Yes, a prize. There will be the first sighting of the free Repository Fringe mugs, fantastic round tables and the Symplectic Drinks Reception.

Here on the blog we will be trying to capture what we can – some live posts and some reflections. There will be tweets to read too. More pictures as well. And all of our talks are being videoed.

We are very excited and look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

Remember to tweet your thoughts on the event using the #rfringe13 hashtag and do share or browse the pictures in our Flickr Group. We are also trying to “Pin” notable images from Twitter over on our Pinterest board.


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Getting to the Repository of the Future

As our workshop day kicks off we bring you this guest post from Chris Awre, Head of Information Management at the University of Hull. 

One of the workshops taking place just prior to the Repository Fringe this year is ‘Getting to the Repository of the Future’.  This Jisc-sponsored event takes as its starting point the encouraging situation that repositories are now far more part of the digital infrastructure of institutions (and the HE sector generally) than they have ever been.  The last decade has seen huge efforts by Jisc and many in the sector to establish institutional and other types of repository to help manage the growing body of digital academic output.  We are now at a place where a large of number of repositories and associated service components are available and working well.  Recent Government open access policy announcements might have cast some uncertainty on the central role of repositories, but the counter-case has been well made and the message more or less taken on board by funders.

Signs of success are a useful indicator of a good time to ask questions about what comes next.  What do we still need to do to fully embed repositories?  What drivers might lead us down particular paths, and what other paths do we need to explore?  What additional institutional assets could benefit from repository involvement in their management?  Are our repositories able to do what we need them to do?  Is our current picture of repository organization a sustainable one?

Questions, questions…  Looking 2, 5 or even 10 years ahead to how we envisage repositories operating will allow us to address these questions and identify the steps we need to take now in order to see these future developments come to pass.  Strategy is all about long-term planning, but that planning needs to start today to ensure it can be fulfilled.

The workshop is an opportunity for those attending to air their thoughts, views, suggestions, etc. to help inform Jisc thinking re: support of future repository development, but also to facilitate the sharing of ideas and stimulate thinking within the HE community itself.  Comment and input is also very welcome via this blog.  Summary findings will be posted post the event, and specific questions floated to stimulate input.  Let us know what you think!

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From the Blogs: Preparing for the Fringe

As we near the Repository Fringe event – and #rfringe13 HQ starts printing, finding cables and finalising all the last details, we thought you’d like to see what our participants are up to in preparation.

How are you preparing for Repository Fringe this year? Are you busy working on your own presentation? Have you got your business cards ready to wow for our networking prize? Scoping out the Fringe programme? Let us know in the comments!


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New Workshop Added: Consuming Linked Open Data

We are delighted to announce that an additional workshop, Consuming Linked Open Data, was added to the Repository Fringe programme last week.

The session, which runs from 2pm to 5pm on Wednesday 31st July 2013, will give a hyperbole-free introduction to using RDF and Linked Open data. Attendees will learn how to use PHP to consume RDF data and do useful things with it, including  some work with bibliographic data.

The workshop will be run by Christopher Gutteridge, developer of the award winning University ofSouthampton Open Data Service and more recently founder of, and Patrick McSweeney, notorious University of Southampton developer.

More information can be found on EventBrite where you can also reserve your place:


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The Fringe Is Nigh, But I’m Holding On

Since I promised to write an entry or two for the RepoFringe blog I thought I’d best get on with it. For those of you who don’t know me the short form is I’m a doctoral student based at Nottingham Trent working in the area of culture and open access, about which you can read more on my own blog.  Those of you who do know me, will be aware I also used to be a repository manager and for a brief time head cheese of UKCoRR, though that’s a year behind me now.  I thought I’d briefly layout some of my expectations of what I hope to get out of attending the Fringe.

(I’m Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear

Last time I came to the Fringe a few years ago, I was practicing repository manager looking for ways to work harder/smarter/faster (or at least that was the conception I used to persuade my managers to fund my attendance).  This time as a self-funded attendee and would-be academic, I’ve got a much more open agenda.  I know there will be a fair amount of content that probably won’t be of immediate practical efficacy to me, and that’s just fine.  Just hearing about the developments and experiences of others is going to be intrinsically a fascinating way to expand my own background knowledge in some perhaps hitherto unexpected areas.

Hanging on the Telephone

A large chunk of my research involves talking to people in academic settings up and down the country.  I’m just concluding one phase of this work, which means I expect I’ll have the chance to meet in person (and thank) many of the dozens of voices I’ve spoken to in recent months.  Some of whom I knew, some I didn’t before we spoke – and it’ll be very interesting to put some faces to names.  As the next phases of research also involves a lot of interviewing, I’m know I want to develop some of these contacts into broader professional relationships.  Thus I might be on a mild charm offensive throughout…

Heart of Glass

One of the difficulties of being  a PhD student (especially in your first year) is getting a crystal clear view of the weft and flow of practical activities in your field of study can be a challenge. Compared to what it was like when I was working with a repository and academics everyday I  feel more than a little out of step with the current practitioner related discourse around repositories, open access and the like.  Thus the chance to hear (and overhear) the topics that are being discussed in and around the sessions are a crucial attractor for me in attending.  I have a sneaky suspicion that I’ll be as, if not more so, interested in any points of disagreement or contention than points of concordance.

One Way or Another

Aside from this blog I’ve managed to get myself volunteered to co-chair a session on open access in academia, a topic naturally close to my heart [1.30-3pm, Thursday 1st., room 3].  I’m hoping that between the three of us we can spark a real discussion on issues of commonality and disparity around  the humble research academic their open access reactions.  Given OA in the UK high media profile right now, I suspect this could be the opportunity for a stimulating and hopefully frank exchange of experiences.  Or at least I hope it will be!

Fade Away (And Radiate)

So there it is in a nutshell – I’m coming to learn, to meet people and expand my perceptions.  I’ll doubtless be tweeting thoughts throughout the event (via the #tag or follow me directly @llordllama) so if you can’t be there, don’t forget to say “Hi”.


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Just 7 Days to Go Until Repository Fringe 2013!

There is just one week to go until Repository Fringe 2013!

So, we thought you would like a thorough guide to all of the key information for anyone attending the event – or following the tweets and blogs online.

What to Bring

We have power available for laptops and expect a good few people to bring them, tablets or smart phones for tweeting etc. If you need an extension cord in the Forum let us know and we’ll try and arrange it. Do bring your camera too – we welcome your pictures of the event and have a dedicated Flickr group – just ask to join and we’ll get you set up!

Remember to bring your business cards – or something that could be used as one – as we have a special prize this year for the best business card or the most original manner of distributing your contact details. Why? Because we think a good conference is all about the networking! Find out more here.

Finally the weather, like most of the UK this week, is set to be warm and wet. Bring a light waterproof layer or umbrella and not too many layers.

Before the Event

It’s never too early to start meeting the lovely folk of Repository Fringe! We have a CrowdVine network set up, the #rfringe13 hashtag for Twitterers, a Lanyrd and a Flickr group. Join us, chat, meet, and start plotting your Developer Challenge entries, your grand Pecha Kucha finale, your Fringe entertainment or whatever…

If you are busy preparing your presentation do take a look at our Essentials for Presenters guide – it should include pretty much everything you need to know about bringing your presentation to Repository Fringe!

And if you would like to help us blog, tweet or otherwise help share your experience of Repository Fringe (an interpretive dance on YouTube perhaps?) then you may also find our beginners guide to social media amplification a useful read ahead of the event.

Joining Instructions

How to find the venue: The Informatics Forum is located on Crichton Street, a small side street off Buccleuch Street. A map showing the forum can be found here. (If you have any trouble finding us follow instructions for Fringe Central – we are just across the road!)

Locating Coffee is pretty easy at this end of town. In addition to the coffee we will be providing throughout Repository Fringe we recommend the java at Kilimanjaro, Brew Lab, and the California Coffee Company – located in the Police Box right next to the Informatics Forum.

Registration will be at the desk inside the Forum. You don’t need to bring your ticket, just tell us who you are and let us know if you have any questions. The desk will be manned by various Repository Fringe organisers throughout the event for questions, help, etc.

Wifi will be available via Eduroam or, if you don’t have an Eduroam login, via guest logins for the University Wifi Network. Guest logins can be picked up from the registration desk on the day.

Joining online is basically a matter of following our hashtag #rfringe13 and keeping an eye on the blog. There will be some live blogging and we also have volunteer bloggers (and welcome more if you’d like to take part) who will share their reflections throughout the event. We will also be videoing all of the talks (any taking place in Room 1) and these will be shared online as quickly as we can after the event.

Finding your accommodation should be fairly straightforward. If you have booked into a room at Pollock Halls on Holyrood Park Road (a pleasant 10 to 15 minute walk from the Forum) you can find maps and information here. If you are booked elsewhere then the Google Maps and Open Street Map coverage for Edinburgh are good but we are also happy to help in any way we can.


We have two workshops taking place on Wednesday 31st July 2013: Open Journal Systems will be taking place in the University of Edinburgh Main Library, George Square; Getting to the Repository of the Future will take place in the Forum in “Room 2”. Both are now fully booked so if you have not already booked your place you will need to sign up to join the waiting list. For more information on the workshops (including timing) please take a look at our EventBrite page.


We are delighted to announce that we have published our programme filled with your super presentations, round tables and Pecha Kucha. This is a near-final draft so there may be a few last minute tweaks, but otherwise everything is scheduled. If you would still like to make a contribution to the programme there is probably just enough time for submitting a last minute Pecha Kucha, otherwise we are happy to receive updates, ideas, etc. as guest blog posts, videos or other digital materials to be shared on the Repository Fringe website.

Developer Challenge

If you are taking part in the Developer Challenge do take the time to take a look at our prizes, our theme for this year, and our rules. If you have indicated that you may be taking part in the Challenge you will also receive an email shortly with a few more details from Muriel Mewissen who is coordinating the Developer Challenge this year.

The Developer Challenge will take place in the “Cafe” area in the Forum. This is an informal seating and table area at the rear of the Atrium. There will also be some opportunity for using other rooms on the ground floor when available (not during round tables). There will be extension cables and there should be network cables in addition to wifi. If you have any special requirements please let us know now (email – or on the day – so that we can help.

The Developer Challenge is deliberately at the heart of the Fringe this year. We want you to meet and chat and exchange ideas whether or not you have signed up for the Challenge so expect lots of mixing, particularly in the coffee and lunch breaks.

If you would like to be part of the Developer Challenge but cannot make it along in person you can submit your idea/hack online. Take a look at the Developer Challenge page for more on how to do this.

And, aside for a reminder of all the Key Links (see below), that is pretty much it for now…

We are very much looking forward to seeing you in Edinburgh next week and think this will be another fantastic Repository Fringe!

– Nicola Osborne and the Repository Fringe Organising Team


Key links



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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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A New Sponsor – and a New Developer Challenge Prize!

We are delighted to announce that the Software Sustainability Institute is our newest sponsor to come on board for Repository Fringe 2013!

Software Sustainability logoThe Software Sustainability Institute works with researchers to identify and shape the software considered to be important to research. The Institute provides a range of free and paid-for services which ensure that software is maintained, made available to a wider user base and its potential for sustainability is maximised.

In keeping with their mission to support the preservation of research software the Software Sustainability Institute have sponsored a new Developers Challenge prize for the Best Hack for Storing Software in a Digital Repository.

So, get those thinking hats on, and conjur up some brilliant ideas and hacks around these less traditional but very important repository items. Already got a great idea? Head on over to our Developers Challenge page to find out more about how to take part, and the other prizes on offer this year!

We would also like to thank the Software Sustainability Institute for supporting Repository Fringe 2013 by sponsoring the travel costs of our closing keynote speaker, Mark Hahnel of FigShare.

To find out more about all of the fantastic organisations supporting Repository Fringe this year please head to our Sponsors page and take a look around.

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Posted in Announcements, Developer Challenge

Beginners Guide to Repository Fringe 2013 Social Media amplification

Every Repository Fringe has been a real conversation with the repository community. As this year’s event approaches we wanted to share some of our tips to being a part of this.

Like any good event we want you to connect, chat and network in person – see our post on networking for more on why you should bring some particularly spiffing business cards this year. But we also want to encourage you to build connections online that can continue the conversation long beyond Repository Fringe and out to the wider repositories community.

We’ll be using several different tools during Repository Fringe 2013 and we want to make sure that everyone’s familiar with them so you’ll find a guide here to using Twitter (we also have a Lanyrd page); CrowdvineFlickr; and Live blogging – click “Read More” below to browse through all of our tips or click on the one you are most interested in.

Once you’ve had a change to try these out – or if you’re already an expert – then do consider helping us “amplify” the event via some of these tools. Many of you have already volunteered to do this – huge thank yous to all of you – but if you haven’t yet just leave us a comment here or email us: And whether you’ve already volunteered or will be using your own blog we think that, alongside this page, you may also want to have a look at these useful Social Media Guidelines created by EDINA.


Over the past couple of years Twitter has become the major channel for conference networking – and we know the Repository Fringe community include some very keen Twitter users. However, for those who are still yet to give it a try, Twitter is a microblogging platform that lets people share what’s on their minds in 140 characters or less.

This video, describing Twitter in plain English is a great place to start. By keeping updates bite-sized, you can go through a lot of information in a short period of time. To get started head over to and log in or put in your name, email address, and create a password. Then click sign up.

In order to start using Twitter, you’ll have to find some people or a conversation going on. Click in the search bar and type in a friend’s name or a topic. Let’s start with a search for Repository Fringe (1). Once you find us, click on our name or username to view our profile (2).

Image showing how to search for and find the Repository Fringe Twitter account

Clicking on the username will bring up a view of the user’s profile. Click the Follow button (3) to follow that user:

Image of the @repofringe Twitter profile

Now any posts we share will show up in your timeline – a collection of  updates, or ‘tweets’, from people you follow.

You might notice a hashtag in our updates. Hashtags are used to label tweets as part of a broader conversation that’s going on. While you’re at the conference, if you put #rfringe13 (as shown in the image below) in your tweets the other people will be able to find them when they look for conference chat. Be sure to join in so we know how things are getting on and what you think some of the best talks are about.

Screengrab of a tweet highlighting the Repository Fringe hashtag #rfringe13

To sharpen your Twitter skills a little bit more, head over to Mashable’s guide.


Lanyrd is a social conference directory which lets you use your Twitter profile to track or indicate that you are attending an event and to find others who are also attending the event. We have set up a Lanyrd for Repository Fringe 2013 here: You’ll need a Twitter account to sign up, and once you do you’ll be able to show your attendance and see other attendees. Lanyrd is not a tool we’ll be using terribly heavily this year but it’s useful to know about and track the event through.

Image of the Repository Fringe Lanyrd Presence.

The best place to find additional conference materials however is here on the Repository Fringe website.


Crowdvine is our own social network just for this event. Last year the Repository Fringe team were part of the organising team for OR2012 and after seeing Crowdvine work well there, we thought we’d try it again for Repository Fringe.

Crowdvine will let you see who else is attending, make some early contacts, get some preliminary chat and plan your knitting, socialising, etc. Signing up is pretty easy, just head over to and click on ‘create an account’.

Screengrab of the Repository Fringe 2013 crowdvine

Fill in your name, email address and create a password. Once you’ve done that, if you click on account (right where ‘create an account’ was before), then ‘My Profile’ (1 or 2), you can get to filling in introductory information.

Screengrab of the Crowdvine Profile Page

On Crowdvine, you can share your organisation and which topics you know best. You can also submit a photo so people recognise you when you run into each other at the conference.

 Screengrab of the crowdvine profile.

Once all that’s out of the way you can browse attendees, see what what’s going on, or start your own discussion.


We love pictures! So, as in previous years, we’ve also got a Flickr group going. Flickr lets users share photos and, in our case, put them all together so everyone can see what’s going on. Is that speaker performing their Pecha Kucha through the medium of interpretive dance? We need documentation!

We’ve got a group started at

Screengrab of the Repository Fringe Flickr group

If this is your first time using Flickr, you’ll need to either sign in with a Facebook account, a Google account, or create a Yahoo! ID.

Screengrab of the Flickr sign in screen

Once you’re signed in and you click join, just type us a quick message letting us know that you’re coming and we’ll send you an invite. Very exclusive.

Screengrab of the joining screen for the flickr group.

If you are contributing images (photos or your drawings around the event or video) to our group please do try and ensure that you have indicated the ownership of those images. We try to make ours Creative Commons licensed so that you can reuse, reblog, and enjoy them. If yours are similarly licensed then we may well use them here on the Repository Fringe website and we will be particularly grateful (but we also delight in images that you retain under your own copyright, we just won’t reproduce these without permission).

Blogging and Live Blogging

Last, but certainly not least, we will be trying to live blog all of the key sessions at Repository Fringe 2013 and we thought you might like to know how to join in – we’d love to see lots of blogging and live blogging from all over the conference.

Live bloggers type up what’s going on at an event as it happens, keeping track of what people are saying and showing as things go on. If we get a lot of live blogging participation then it will be like every attendee gets to go to every workshop, round table, developer challenge session, etc – je ne repository regret rien!

If you’d like to help us update the Repository Fringe blog that would be brilliant! Or if you are blogging the event on your own site then we’ll link to your blog or live blog posts right next to ours. If you’ve already indicated your willingness to blog on the registration form we either have been or will be in touch. Otherwise comment here or email us ( so that we can get you all set up in time for the end of July.

And remember that if you blog about the event, share your slides, etc. then just let us know where to find your take on the conference and we’ll link to them and help get word out.


Any Other Questions About Social Media?

If you have any comments or questions not covered here, if you want to let us know about your blog or social media activity around the conference, or if there’s another beginners guide you’d like to see added here then leave a comment below or email Nicola, our Repository Fringe 2013 Chair but also our resident Social Media expert! Leave her a comment below or email the Repository Fringe address (, and she’ll be very happy to help!

For a reminder of all of our social media presences, our hashtags, etc. just click on the “Contact” link on our menu above.

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Posted in Announcements
Repository Fringe 2013 logo

Latest tweets

Repository Fringe 2013 is organised by:

The Digital Curation Centre


The University of Edinburgh