RepoFringe11, a whistle stop review

This years repository fringe was another resounding success. Successfull placement in preview week of the Edinburgh fringe made the atmosphere electric.

The event kicked off with a presentation by Eloy Rodrigues about the monumental amount of work him and his team have been doing to run the Portugese national open archiving service. It included a range to valuable tools from a repository hosting service, collation, monitoring, reporting of data, training and community building to boot.

From there the event took a brief dive into standard form for these events with a few presentations and reports about various projects in the repository space. Mo McRoberts gave a very interesting presentation which even still left me thinking maybe he was underselling the scale of cool on which the BBCs digital public space project opperates. Yvonne, Andy and I took the stage to show off the latest and greatest output of the JISC funded campusROAR project demoing to the keen interest of the assembled crowd.

From there proceedings went fringe bound into a block of 6 pecha kutchas (20 slides x20 xseconds) . All these presentations were good and i think the format really focuses the mind of academics which sometimes have the tendancy to ramble. Particular note was an excellent presentation by Marie-Therese Gramstadt from the Kultivating group.

Day one rounded up with a good reception in a room overlooking Edinburgh. For the strong willed among us furious activity into the night at the DevCSI hackathon.

Day two was more of the same from what I can tell although most of our day was consumed by Andy, Matt and I parcipating in the Hackathon. We stopped only briefly for me to give a pecha kutcha about the importance of understanding and wielding the power of news on your campus ( . Applause should also go to Nicola Osborne’s informative 101 on social networking in repositories which covered the important aspects in a digestable way.

The Hackathon was presented at 4. There were 5 really strong entries which is lovely to see. We were lucky enough to win the top prize of £300 Amazon vouchers which was really cool. The other entries were really strong and it was good to have genuine competition. I’ll put a link to the DevCSI blog when they publish the details.

The fringe ended with a talk by Prof. Gary Hall, probably one of the most profound talks I have ever seen. It took us through the socio-political philosophy of the impact of Open Access and looked at some of the most weird and wonderful examples of work in the area. Topics included liquid publishing, IP tv broadcasting and piracy as a distribution mechanism. Utterly enthralling and when the video is up on the web I will link it.

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