Friday, 4 April 2014

LIR Seminar 2014 (Headlines) PART 2 (Afternoon)

My previous post about the LIR Seminar was focused on my presentation 'Open Source for Libraries: feel the fear and do it anyway", but here are the headlines from the other presentations.

LIR HEAnet User Group for Libraries

2014 Annual Seminar

Pride and Prejudice: the Challenges with Open Access and Open Source
Friday, March 21st
Trinity College Dublin School of Nursing and Midwifery
D'Olier Street Dublin 2.


Scott Wilson, OSSWatch, Oxford University.
Niamh Walker Headon, ITT Dublin : Institute of Technology Tallaght
David Kane, Waterford Institute of Technology

Hugh Murphy and Padraic Stack, NUI Maynooth
Jennifer Collery, University College Dublin
Lightning talks
Deirdre Judge  (slides) IADT / David Kane (slides) WIT  / Michael Ladisch, UCD (Slides)

Headlines and Highlights

Scott Wilson

This talk outlined that it is not just the software license that has financial implications for an organisation, but a myrid other items arise. 

Other costs include: 
  1. Support
  2. Infrastructure (physical and virtual)
  3. Training
  4. Security
  5. Liability
  6. Upgrading 
  7. Maintenance

For publicly funded organizations it is essential that transparency of process is guaranteed.Look for OS (Open Source) projects that have vital communities, regular updates, and consider joining the project if it does.  

Sustainability should be considered when choosing software, as should risk management and a comprehensive exit strategy. 
  • Establish how you get your data out in a format that is compatible with other software and is usable.
  • Ask yourself will the software be around in 5 years' time. (Consider the long procurement cycle in HE)
    • OS data is public
    • How many commits to the software per month
    • How many contributions to the code per month
  • Avoid lock in 

User needs should be central, and a local trial of the product's usability should be undertaken during any pilot phase. Assess any software against the recognized 'best of breeds' ... you will find that OS is the market leader in some fields. UK government G-Cloud was given as an example

How do you account for OS in the procurement process? 

Make sure you are procuring within your organisations procurement policy, and establish whether OS is excluded by that policy. 

Approaches used
  1. Agnostic: Don't mention open source or closed source in you specification documents. 
  2. Equal consideration: to all options
  3. Preferential consideration: state preference will be given to OS solutions. 

The Process

Shallow engagement > Mature OS, customize locally 
Deep engagement: contribute back to the project, lead how the project is developed. 

NOTE: it is hard to do a 'trial' with OS. There is often no 'vendor' behind it to set it up for testing etc. 

Engage in active pre-procurement processes. Do your own survey of the market, and identify solutions yourself to inform your procurement process. Procurement processes can be designed to include a paid discovery stage. If an OS solution looks like the beat fit then go externally for support and services at this stage. 

Un-bundling can identify bundle deficiencies. 

In Sweden a parallel purchasing model is used. Two separated competitions are run and the results of both are compared. 

Is your organisation prepared to participate in 'deep engagement' with external partners, if it is a project fit? 


  • Should be open
  • Meritocracy
  • Open governance
  • Business case: doesn't need to create more bureaucracy. 
  • In practice are there 'people barriers' to the software's acceptance by users?
      • Are staff / users aware of the procurement?
  • Are those involved in procurement aware of the staff / user needs and abilities? 
    • Are they all aware of policy, tools and how OS works? 
    • Understanding is needed
    • Capacity is needed to deliver both of the organisation and the staff / users. 
  • Cultural alignment needs to be attained as there will be differing levels of readiness for software change. 

Niamh Walker-Headon 

See previous post:

David Kane (1)

WIT institutional repository (e-prints) needed more user friendly submission form. The solution was found by workign with CalTech, to create a html form eprintshelper. 
Github was used to manage the collaborative process. It was simple to use, maintaainable and provided a single source for the php needed. Changes are vetted by the library/s before they go live. 

Hugh Murphy & Padraic Stack 

NUIM's digital archive is hosted by the Digital Repository of Ireland

Omeka has recently been used to curate two exhibitions online. An advantage of this is the avoidance of  vendor lock in as Omeka is 'free and open source'. Omeka was used to re-imagine NUIM's exhibition space and reinterpret it to an online environment. It is low cost, flexible, customizable, and intuitive to use. 2 different exhibitions were delivered this way, using two different workflows, and two different install methods. It is cheap, very low risk, and maintained by an academic institution.  One hosted locally, one hosted online.
Tools, plugins and themes are all supplied. 
COINS compatible, csv import, drop box plugin, Dublin CORE extended. There were some issues with data in incorrect fields. 

The development community is quite small. There are .org (download) and .net (upload) versions. 
These can be compared at

Jennifer Collery

Reused and open edutation resource (OER), the online Plagarism tutorial from ITT Dublin (IT -Tallaght), available at It complimented a VLE quiz,  

OER's can be found at Jorum, floc, google, Slideshare, youtube etc.

To reuse the tutorial local branding was applied, navigation was changed to allow the user full control, and made mobile device ready via Articulate Storyline. This was then taken a step further and translated into Irish with a narration 'As Gaeilge' supplied. 

Positives from the project include the development of collaborative links, and time efficiency. 

Deirdre Judge

The concept of the Open Lirary as per the Danish model was introduced and outlined as the library being open without staff, but with staff hours. More details are available at including an overview of the type of technology needed to deliver such a service.  

David Kane (2)

The Bookscanner, open source hardware project was outlined. A DIY book scanner project was located online,  blueprints were downloaded, and a cradle built from them. A camera etc was then installed to create a low cost book scanner. 

Michael Ladisch

The ORCID ID scheme was discussed. It was outlined that the scheme is accepted by multiple organisations, and ties into the 'OPEN' movement, in that it is an Open Researcher ID, a 16 digit DOI for researchers if you will. The aim is to eliminate name ambiguities, increase the discoverablility of research and researchers, and reduce the amount of data entry needed. SFI will require ORCID ID's from next year. 

It was suggested that perhaps batch registering could be considered for organisations. 

There is currently no ID vetting on ORCID, not validating that people are who they say they are. 

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