Friday 3 August 2007

More Mundane Work

Just so that you don't think that my life is all "wandering through labs" and "having lovely ideas about how to show off our research", I have got a list of edits to make to a professor's eprints. He has been complaining that his publications aren't being correctly categorised by the repository, and I assumed that there was some kind of bizarre bug that we were responsible for. But it turns out that he has just incorrectly filled out the "type" of each publication. So I promised to sort them all out for him - but to do that I'll have to try and find out all the proper conference details for each publication.

Why did I offer to do it for him? Why didn't I stick to my self-archiving principals? Did I mention that he was a professor and I'm not?


  1. One of the tensions in repository design and management is how much of the work is or should be pushed downstream. Two elements to it, really: 1) faculty are control freaks, and they want to be able to do stuff to their deposits, and 2) faculty are lazy and want someone else to do everything for them.

    As yet, IMHO, no repository software addresses this tension adequately.

  2. That's a good point and well made. What could we add to the software to address the tension a bit better?

    We could also add other perspective:

    1) librarians are perfectionists and are not satisfied unless they have separate ISSNs for the print and electronic versions of their holdings
    2) librarians are too under-resourced to add this valuable metadata

    Similarly - what should the repository software do to fill the reality gap?

  3. It all ended up happily enough - I didn't get around to making the changes for a couple of weeks, by which time he had done them himself. I apologised for not helping him in time, he expressed gratitude for me having shown him what the problem was. Win win as far as I'm concerned because I didn't increase my workload, and my user feels that "the system" worked alright in the end.