RSP Outreach Visits

16th March 2010, by

Back in January, Dominic Tate sent a reminder to the world that the RSP was available for on site consultancy visits - he's been out and about a lot since then! One of these recent visits was to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Sciences and Technologies Facilities Council at Didcot. Linda Gilbert, Librarian and e-Pubs development Manager, invited myself and Dominic to visit on 11th March to meet the people involved in developing their repository. We offered support and news based on our experiences of working with other institutions. As ever, it was a two way thing and we learnt a lot too - which we can then share with other colleagues.

The repository is quite mature, about six years old, and the primary driver for its development was to facilitate reporting of research outputs - it's very quick to retrieve information for departmental annual reports for example. Open access to the repository was a secondary issue but this is not surprising given the huge and complex nature of research outputs at the STFC. It's a bespoke system which was built using Oracle and is supported in house. They are currently consulting with users with a view to improving the interface. It's already quite an impressive tool and is very much embedded in their workflows and business requirements. However, one always has to consider the advantages and disadvantages of running a bespoke repository as compared to an open source or commercial package.

The visit also afforded the opportunity to find out about two other projects. We met firstly with staff at the British Atmospheric Data Centre and looked at a project using e-Prints to house grey literature in meteorological science. We also met with the team who are working on a data support project for the Medical Research Council. It aims to support sharing and curation of cohort studies data focusing on six case studies so that new, quality research can use existing data.

Thanks to everyone at RAL who made us so welcome. And for the opportunity to see such a fantastic facility - the campus is very impressive.


For further information contact Dominic Tate.

Alternatively, email RSP Support or phone 0845 257 6860.