Oct 30

As dotAC progresses, we now feel that we’re in a position to start integrating the different components and datasets that we’ve created so far. We’re planning a sprint for the latter half of October and November to this end, with the main targets for implementation being as follows:

  1. dotAC RKBExplorer (UK repository data + JISC project data)
  2. Coreference editor backend
  3. Geographic visualisations (OpenSpace-based)
  4. CERIF-RDF translator


(a brief glimpse of our main project management tool: the whiteboard)

On a related note, we’ve decided that the state of CERIF adoption in UKHE is just not mature enough for us to be able to rely on data from that source; at last month’s ResearchRevealed workshop, it became clear that any widespread adoption of CERIF by institutions and funding councils was going to be some way in the future, certainly beyond the lifetime of this project. The second REF consultation document talks about developing “a standard format for reporting research income and PGR data” (a subset of what may be represented in CERIF), but with reference to the formats currently required by HESA, and sets the timetable for starting the development of the REF data collection system to be the Spring of 2010. It would therefore seem unwise to rely on any CERIF-based research information (from funding bodies) for the dotAC demonstrator.

Having considered CERIF implementation in the context of dotAC, and talked to others at the ResearchRevealed workshop, we’ve taken the decision to deemphasise this aspect of our work. We have the mapping from CERIF to DC+BIBO+AKTP that Marcus worked on, and we intend to put together a prototype XSLT transformation from the CERIF XML serialisation to RDF/XML (time permitting), but we’ll be prioritising the other tasks that we’ve set ourselves ahead of this.

Incidentally, this decision is why we’ve tagged this post both ‘valueAdd’ and ‘FAIL’. Even if it’s only a negative result, we’ve satisfied ourselves that CERIF isn’t the way to go now – and may not be ever – but at the expense of some misplaced effort on our part.

Consequently, we’ve decided to pull in UK publication metadata via OAI from the repositories listed in ROAR, and to integrate this with the JISC project data that we’ve received from David Flanders. We’re also working with Chris Gutteridge (of EPrints fame) to make sure that we can get Linked Data support into EPrints 3 (this was originally a fall-back plan).