A quick post about the Open Repositories conference in Edinburgh that I attended last week. This is a big annual event for the ‘institutional repository’ community. Many universities now have repositories where researchers can deposit copies of published research papers and other material.
The main repository platforms are DSpace, EPrints and Fedora, all open source projects. They have some things in common with CKAN, in that they allow you to deposit material and add metadata, and of course they are specialised for bibliographic and research metadata (author, department, funding body, supervisor, ….)
These systems have been developed with long-term archive needs in mind, but there is another need that researchers have: somewhere to keep data that is being actively used – where it can be searched, queried and organised in ways that help get results from it. This is an area where CKAN may have something to offer. So I had submitted a conference poster, which was accepted, to raise awareness of its possiblities. This got quite a lot of interest at the poster session, and it was good to meet so many people passsionate about making research more accessible.
It was also great to hear Cameron Neylon‘s brilliant opening plenary keynote. He explained how 400 million people on Twitter change not just the size but the structure of the global network, enabling many new connections to be made – but only where research outputs are open for all to see.