Because good research needs good data

Record Turnout for Repository Fringe 2014

Nicola Osborne | 26 August 2014

EDINA's Nicola Osborne summarises the highlights of Repository Fringe 2014. Presentations and photos online now! 


This July a record number of participants gathered at the University of Edinburgh Informatics Forum for Repository Fringe 2014, themed around Open Access. The event, which is organised jointly by the University of Edinburgh Library and Collections, EDINA, and the Digital Curation Centre (and always runs parallel to Edinburgh Festival Fringe preview week), has its origins in an “unconference” format and remains very much participant-driven despite having moved to a more structured format.

The two day “RepoFringe” opened with a lively keynote, “The Revolution has been cancelled: the current state of UK Open Access” from Yvonne Budden,  Academic Support Manager (Research) at University of Warwick and the current chair of UKCoRR – the UK Council of Research Repositories. Drawing upon research at Warwick into attitudes towards Open Access, Yvonne challenged the idea that the battle for Open Access was already being won thanks to policies from RCUK, HEFCE and other funders, questioning the publishing status quo and the subsequent costs of implementing these Open Access policies.

Repository Fringe continued with highlights including repository software user sessions for DSpace, EPrints and Hydra; a workshop on the Jisc Monitor Pilot Project; updates from several of the new Jisc Open Access Good Practice Pathfinder Projects, including University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and St Andrews’ Lessons in Open Access Compliance for Higher Education (LOCH) project; and two very impressive entries to the Developer Challenge.

The focus on Open Access also provided an opportunity for preservation issues – both through Steph Taylor’s session on digital preservation and the problematic nature of the relationship between repositories and true digital preservation, and through Alex Ball’s presentation on “Preparing for the UK Research Data Registry and Discovery Service”. Both Alex’s slides and the current pilot registry may be of interest to those considering RDM (Research Data Management) plans, and particularly those who are making use of our MANTRA resources.

EDINA contributed a number of aspects to Repository Fringe 2014: Paul Walk provided a detailed update on the RIOXX Application Profile and guidelines; Muriel Mewissen led a well-received session on the Jisc Publications Router and how it is delivering Open Access content to institutions; Richard Wincewisz took part in the winning Developer Challenge team; Nicola Osborne provided live blogging and social media amplification across the event; and Peter Burnhill brought Repository Fringe to its conclusion with his closing remarks on the preceding two days.

It was very encouraging to see such a strong turnout for this year’s Repository Fringe, and to see that delegates were drawn from Higher Education institutions from across the UK (and beyond); those engaged in research and repositories in other specialist organisations beyond HE and FE - including the NHS Education for Scotland, the British Antarctic Survey, the British Library, The National Records of Scotland, and a number of specialist repository consultants and software providers. It was also very useful to have Jisc and several key organisations involved in funding and supporting research in attendance, including the EPSRC, the STFC and HEFCE.

The organising team are now turning their thoughts to next year’s event and would welcome your comments and suggestions to help shape Repository Fringe 2015.

Find out more:

·         Repository Fringe website and liveblog

·         Images from Repository Fringe 2014

·         Jisc Publications Router

·         RIOXX Application Profile

·         Jisc Open Access Good Practice Blog

·         RepositoryLinter Developer Challenge entry code on GitHub


You can also request to be signed up to the Repository Fringe mailing list for updates on next year's event.