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ImPURE thoughts

A while back now we made the decision to use PURE as the university CRIS system. This was a bit of a wrench to me as the ex-lead developer for EPrints, and someone who’s been a long time member of the open access and open source communities. However I made the case for using EPrints as the front end for the open access repository.

PURE isn’t something I’ve learned too much about but there’s some things that frustrate me. One is that doing “batch” processes like removing  a tag from 1000s of records isn’t possible with our contract. It turned out to be easier and cheaper to get an intern to do it by hand.

Another disappointment is that the API doesn’t expose all the data. As a result of the open data & equipment data projects we now have lists of most major facilities and equipment at this university and, critically, they all have IDs. This means we were able to add this as a field in PURE so we can tag research datasets and papers with facilities and equipment involved in their creation. This has some internal uses, I guess, but I was really keen on getting it into the public repository.

We’ve got nice pictures of much of our research equipment, and descriptions. I though it would add an interesting new dimension to our repository but it’s all borked unless PURE make it available in their API.

It did give me the opportunity to redesign the metadata page for EPrints.soton.ac.uk which I’m really proud of. Here’s an example. I tried to organise the page so that the most important information was at the top – the bibliographic stuff, with IDs lower down and more specialist tools like export and stats at the bottom.

I also managed to add links to the profile pages of authors currently at the university and to the research pages of relevant schools or research groups. This has helped make our repository pages feel more important to people as rather than a dead end.

nb. the text of the links to divisions on the right hand side is a bit of a mess. It’s on my TODO list.

Posted in Open Data, Repositories.


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