Everything Oxford

Anne Trefethen

Director, Oxford e-research Centre

Have tools for data integration in climate research in collab with Reading; much of it based on Google Earth overlays, RESTful computation services. Will be enabling community participation à la Web 2.0, to make it a shared resource.

SWITCH have developed Short Life Certificate: shibboleth => ticket access to Grid. JISC is doing similar work for national Grid service.

UK is missing federated ID in their shibb, and Simon Cole's group (Southhampton) keen on taking it up. Australia has finally gotten the federated attribute through in AAF.

Project for integrating OxGrid outputs into Fedora research repository; will be interested in ARCHER export to METS facility.

Open Middleware Institute (Neil Chue Hong, director at omii.ac.uk) would be an opening for disseminating concertedly e-research workflow stuff from ARCHER.

Concerns over business model to sustain infrastructure in the longer term, especially as data management plans are requiring maintaining data for 10 years.

Current feasibility study on UK research national data service: Jean Sykes


Mike Fraser

Head of infrastructure, OCS. Access Mgt and hierarchical file service (archiving & backup, not generalised file service). Back up of client whatever their purposes; archiving service is research-oriented: long term file store, no data curation, tape in triplicate. IBM Tivoli system. 1 TB free, review after 5 yrs. Need contact person for data for follow up. Data not always well documented. Migration & long term store by policy.

Currently metadata is at the depositer's discretion. Archiving become more prominent over backup service. Not providing proactive guidelines on how to bundle data with metadata & documentation for longterm reuse. No centralised filestore, data storage is funded per project. Oxford is decentralised, so is a federation of file storage; SRB as middleware for federation is attractive. Need to be able to integrate into existing Oxford workflows.

Luis Martinez-Uribe

ex-data librarian, LSE. Scoping digital repository services for research data management: scoping requirements. Currently interviewing researchers for their requirements, current practice in managing their data. They do want help from central university. Requirements: solution for storage of large research data, esp. medicine & hard sciences (simulation data); infrastructure for sustainable publication & preservation of research data; guidance & advice. Publishing in couple of weeks. Used data collected as case study for scoping of UK Research Data Service.

John Pybus

Building Virtual Research Environment for Humanities. (I'll be revisiting the project manager for this project, Ruth Kirkham, next Wednesday.)

Collab environment, not just backroom services. First phase 2005 was requirements analysis: use cases, surveys of Humanities at Oxford. Identify what the differences were from sciences and within humanities. Large scale collab is much less important: a lot of lone researchers, collabs are small and ad hoc. Then, second phase was pilot: Centre for Study of Ancient Documents, director Prof Bowman. Imaging of papyri & inscriptions. VRE is focussing on workspace environment beyond image capture, to produce editions. Collaborative decisions on readings of mss are rare, since ppl don't often get together around the artefacts.

Technically, standards-compliant portlets JSR168, deployed in U-Portal. Not as bad to develop as it might have been. Java, not sexy like My Experiment (Ruby on Rails). End goal is set of tools that can be deployed outside Oxford Classics, so need ability to develop custom portlets on top.

  • High-res zoomable Image viewer & annotation tool: online editor; intend to make harvestable: will be Annotea schema (though not Annotea server). Also annotations on annotations. There are private, group, and public annotations.
  • Chat portlet and other standard collab tools.
  • Link to databases &c., bring them into the portlet environment.

Schema & API/web services need to reuse existing material.

Common desire within the research fields to find other ppl, even within Oxford, to collaborate with.

Iterative refinement of tools.

Where possible, shibbolised, given how dispersed ppl are in the field. There are enough academics already on IDPs, that this is doable.

Difficulty of conveying to user what content they're contributing is publicly viewable and what isn't. My Experiment does this as a preview.

Ross Gardler

EDIT: see comments for corrections

OSS Watch: Open source advisory service for HigherEd, JISC funded projects. Institutional: Procurement (advise over choice of open against closed infrastructure). Project level: project calls include para on sustainability, involves them for advisory. Sustainability only priority for JISC in past two years: change in existing project structure --- no projects had budgetted for sustainability.

Until now, projects evaluated on user satisfaction, not sustainability. New funding round (August): self-supporting, community-driven, knowledge-base approach rather than central advisory body. OSS Watch also assign funded resources to strategic projects as priority for sustainability, to give them the necessary legup to make them sustainable and generic without disrupting the project.

Overlap with Open Middleware Institute, which also develop software, OSS Watch won't, but instead build communities. Sustainability needs larger communities than just institutions: OSS Watch interested in linking up projects across institutions for critical mass. (Especially because the champions for open source projects are thin on the ground.)

Happens through selecting the right power users having expectation management, so they can be hand-held through playing with the development. OSS Watch currently mediate between developer expertise and users, translating feedback as a buffer. In the longer term, they will showcase successful open source sustainable projects to advocate projects signing up of their own will.

Problem in selecting which project is priority for strategic without domain knowledge across all domains.

1 comment:

Ross Gardler said...

Your Notes about OSS Watch look pretty accurate from the point of view of our project support activities. Just one correction and one clarification:

"OSWatch also selectively fund strategic projects as priority for sustainability, to give them the necessary legup to make them sustainable and generic without disrupting the project.

We are OSS Watch (not OSWatch).

We don't actually fund projects, but we do have funded resources that we can assign to strategic projects. So it's not money we are offering it is expertise and mentoring in community building in an open development project.