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Five Prerequisites for a Sustainable Knowledge Commons

I very much like this infographic from COAR. I've been working with COAR on the Next Generation Repositories Working Group and we have been gradually building a picture of a technological future for repository systems. As this work has progressed over the last year or so, it has gradually become clear that there is an opportunity to describe a sustainable knowledge commons. While the Next Generation Repository group is gradually assembling a picture of the technical components and protocols which can make this work, this infographic covers some other, non-technical aspects which will also be required.

Paul Walk , November 1, 2017

My New Venture

Today is my final day at EDINA. Rather than stepping into a new role in another institution, I'm taking a bit of a leap into the unknown. I have started my own consultancy business, Antleaf, a vehicle which allows me to take on new, challenging and rewarding work. I'm pleased to say that, through Antleaf, I have a contract to act as the Managing Director of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI), and I'm negotiating a contract with an institute in Japan to help with an exciting development there, so Antleaf seems to be off to a good start!

Paul Walk , October 16, 2017

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Leaving EDINA

After four good years, I am moving on from EDINA. My last day there will be the 16th October. I have very much enjoyed my time at EDINA, which has allowed me to work with some very smart people, on some great services and projects. For many years EDINA has made a valuable contribution to the fabric of teaching, learning and research in universities in the UK and I am grateful for having had the chance to be a part of that, working in such areas as scholarly communications, digital preservation, mobile development and citizen science, metadata management, open-access repositories and more.

Paul Walk , September 18, 2017

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Melissa Terras keynote, BL Labs Symposium, 2016

These are some rough notes from what I thought was an interesting keynote from Melissa Terras, Director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, at this year's BL Labs Symposium. Melissa has a blog: Adventures in Digital Cultural Heritage and a recommended book: Defining Digital Humanities Melissa started by asserting that reuse of digital cultural heritage data is still rare, and that preservation of such data is problematic. Of the content digitised in the National Lottery Fund's New Opportunities programme around the turn of the Millennium, ~60% of the content digitised then is no longer available now.

Paul Walk , November 7, 2016

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Cooperative Open Access eXchange (COAX)

(This is the second of two posts forming my contribution to Open Access Week 2015.) The following proposal was written as a thought-experiment to test, in a recognisable problem-space, the idea outlined in my previous post, The Active Repository Pattern. I was able to call on the the advice of colleagues at EDINA who have world-class expertise in the area of 'routing' open-access metadata and content. The United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories (UKCoRR) was invited to comment, and many members of that organisation provided some very valuable feedback, for which I am very grateful!

Paul Walk , October 20, 2015

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The Active Repository Pattern

(This is the first of two posts forming my contribution to Open Access Week 2015.) Context Institutional repositories It is easy to overlook, or take for granted, the way in which the drive towards open-access (over the last decade or more) has succeeded not only in creating several viable "institutional-repository" software packages, but also in encouraging libraries and IT departments in universities to deploy them. It should be recognised that individual universities have shown, and continue to show commitment to maintaining their repositories in spite of shrinking budgets.

Paul Walk , October 19, 2015

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Virtual reality on a shoestring

A while ago, Google released Cardboard, an inexpensive virtual-reality system for smartphones running Android. As well as the software, Google has made available the plans for building a viewer which is designed to wrap around the smart-phone, producing a set of virtual-reality 'goggles'. I found this intriguing - but I don't own an Android-based smartphone. I do have an iPhone, and it turns out that there are a few compatible apps available for iOS, including the two which I downloaded onto my iPhone 6:

Paul Walk , May 3, 2015

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What (Organisational) Strategy Isn't

At EDINA we are just entering into that period where we review and revise our organisational strategy. In the course of a little light research this afternoon to refresh my thinking about and understanding of approaches to doing this, I came across a briefing paper by Ken Chad called Developing and reviewing strategy. Making reference to a book by Richard Rumelt called Good strategy, bad strategy. The difference and why it matters, Ken offers a short and clear list of things which are confused with, but which are not, strategy:

Paul Walk , November 15, 2014

Buzzed by a drone on the London Eye

Yesterday, I went on the London Eye with the family. We were very lucky with the weather which provided excellent visibility - so good in fact that I noticed a small drone in the distance. The drone came gradually closer until it hovered a few tens of metres away (although it's difficult to estimate distance when all available points of reference are so far away). I guess it says something about me that I found this more fascinating than the lovely view of the Thames and North London.

Paul Walk , October 29, 2014

EDINA Geoforum 2014

I attended EDINA's Geoforum 2014, described as: ... a free all day event aimed at lecturers, researchers and support staff who promote and support the use of geo-services at their institution. I came along primarily to learn more about the services that my own organisation, EDINA, provides in this space. These are my notes from the day - I had to dip in and out of parts of the day to deal with other things so my notes are quite selective - my aim is to give a flavour of the day.

Paul Walk , June 19, 2014

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BL Labs and AHRC Digital Transformations

Last week I attended an event, organised by BL Labs working with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, at the British Library's Centre for Conservation. The event, described as a showcase event for British Library Labs and AHRC Digital Transformations, consisted of a packed series of presentations - I won't describe them all (and I missed Bill Thompson's talk anyway) but will, instead, pull out some snippets which interested me in particular.

Paul Walk , November 18, 2013

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Joining EDINA

I'm delighted to announce that I will be joining EDINA in August as Head of Technology Strategy and Planning I have long admired EDINA, having had several opportunities to collaborate with them in the past few years. EDINA is a powerhouse of technical service delivery and innovation, and has carved out an enviable national and international reputation in several fields. I'm excited to be joining this successful and innovative organisation, and am looking forward to what I have no doubt will be a challenging role.

Paul Walk , June 26, 2013

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Call for feedback to the ResourceSync specification for synchronisation of web resources

I have been slightly involved (through Jisc funding) with the ResourceSync specification project, being led by Herbert Van de Sompel of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The project has just released a draft specification, which is available at http://www.openarchives.org/rs/. The draft will be available for public comment until March 15th 2013 - you are invited to comment via the ResourceSync Google Group. Group discussions are openly accessible; posting requires group membership.

Paul Walk , February 1, 2013

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RIOXX application profile - draft 1

Together with Sheridan Brown, I have been tasked with developing some guidelines and a metadata ‘application’ profile for institutional repositories (IRs) in the UK. We are calling this work RIOXX. This post focusses on the application profile more than the guidelines, and describes phase 1 of the project, which aims to deploy this application profile across IRs in the UK by the first quarter of 2013. Objectives to develop an application profile which enables open access repositories to expose metadata more consistently and which, in particular, conveys information about how the item being described in the metadata was funded to develop general guidelines for repositories which support the use of the application profile to support such technical development as is necessary to implement these recommendations and the application profile in common repository platforms to develop these such that they pave the way for a likely CERIF-based solution in the medium-long term.

Paul Walk , October 23, 2012

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Web preservation - a minor anecdote

I have recently resurrected a domain I used to use actively - sockdrawer.org. I started blogging on this site in about 2003 and stopped using it in about 2007. I only started using it again this week because I needed a free domain name and I discovered I was still paying for this one.... Anyway, having installed a new web-server which listens on www.sockdrawer.org, I had cause to examine the server logs.

Paul Walk , May 20, 2012

Library systems of the future

Edit: The presentation I gave to accompany this post is available on Slideshare I was asked by Ben Showers of the JISC to write a ‘challenging and provocative vision’ for library management systems, for a joint JISC / SCONUL workshop. I was given a free hand with this - the only parameters were that the piece should be non more than a side of A4 paper in length, and that it should use 2020 as its target year for prediction.

Paul Walk , January 20, 2012

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Responsive innovation - change management in a recession

Back in August I gave a short presentation to the JISC Innovation Group about the DevCSI project, introducing some ideas about possible future directions. The DevCSI project is a JISC-funded initiative designed to work directly with (software) developers in Higher Education through the general approach of encouraging them to establish a community or peers, sharing knowledge, experience, code etc. An aspect of this which has emerged during the first year of the project is the potential value in peer-training - where one developer trains a few of their peers.

Paul Walk , December 3, 2010

Institutions and the Web done better

Introduction - (warning - old-timer indulgence) From the mid-nineties through to the end of 2006 I earned my living as a developer of Web applications, or as someone managing Web application development projects. I like to think I was quite good at it, and I certainly have a lot of experience. I worked with CGI writing in Perl and a little C, moving into ColdFusion and Java (via JServ - anyone remember that?

Paul Walk , September 21, 2010

JISC CNI Meeting, Edinburgh

I've been at the excellent JISC CNI Meeting in Edinburgh these last two days. Lots of interesting work being described and met some great new people. Some people have asked me to post my slides, so here they are: JISC CNI Meeting, Edinburgh 2010 from Paul Walk

Paul Walk , July 2, 2010

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OR10 Challenge

In case you missed it, the OR10 Developers Challenge is now live! Andy McGregor has explained why he thinks you should enter the challenge and, I'm pleased to say, there have been some expressions of intent already. If you do decide to enter, please register your intention on the OR10 Crowdvine forum. A reminder of the challenge: Create a functioning repository user-interface, presenting a single metadata record which includes as many automatically created,useful links to related external content as possible.

Paul Walk , May 25, 2010

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