Thursday 29 November 2012

Repository Twitter Training

In a previous post I reported on using EPrints to gather data from Twitter in order to support researchers  in the social sciences, particularly those looking for evidence of social processes or for the impact of the Web on society. The work was also reported at OR2012 in Edinburgh in a paper Microblogging Macrochallenges for Repositories that described the work involved in adapting EPrints to support this task.

Having got some more experience from running a pilot service at Southampton, we would like to invite anyone from the repository community who is interested in this work to join in a training session at the University on Tuesday 11th December from 1-3pm (buffet lunch included).

The first hour will focus on using the service: how to harvest twitter streams, how to monitor the harvesting process, how use the repository tools to analyse the collection of tweets, how to export the data to other visualisation and analysis services and how to deposit the analysed data in an institutional repository.

The second hour will discuss the management of the service itself: how to install twitter-harvesting functionality using the EPrints Bazaar, how manage the functionality, how to integrate it with your institutions other repository services and consideration for the licensing and ethical restrictions on gathering and using Twitter data.

If you are interested in attending or finding out more information, please email me,

Monday 12 November 2012

Repositories, Theses and Graduation Ceremonies

I was attending my son's graduation ceremony at Bournemouth University last week. While waiting for his turn, the title of a graduating student's PhD thesis was read out. It caught my attention (it was about TV production on Dr Who) and so I slipped out my iPhone, googled the student's surname, a word from the title and the name of the university and found the thesis available in the Bournemouth Institutional Repository (first result). I was able to download and start skimreading the PDF before the student had returned to his seat .

It's difficult to express what a genuinely exciting experience this was - it felt like I had arrived in the future! This is a repository use case that I had never thought of, and everything just worked.

Congratulations to Bournemouth's repository team on the hard work they have put in to making the experience join up. Also, congrats to Andrew Ireland on a really interesting thesis!

 PS Universities really should consider letting graduation audiences see some of the really impressive work that their students have done. Perhaps an onstage projection of a poster from their final dissertation while they walk across the stage?