Monday, 28 February 2011

AEIOU Project Plan

Based in Aberystwyth University, the project will utilise existing relationships and build on the national repository infrastructure established through the Welsh Repository Network (WRN), a collaborative venture between the twelve Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Wales.

Aims, Objectives and Final Outputs of the project

The AEIOU project aims to increase the visibility and usage of academic research by aggregating Welsh institutional repository activity data to provide a “Frequently viewed together” recommendation service, such as those used by Amazon and many other e-commerce websites. We hope that this will lead to increased use, a greater awareness of ongoing Welsh research interests and improved collaboration between Welsh Institutes.

Building on the partnerships developed through the Welsh Repositories network project, we will focus on a core of six Welsh HEI repositories. A user group will be set up, meetings held and data gathered will be used for project evaluation.

The main outputs will be:

  • Activity Data Analysis Report
  • Recommendation service: model, Open Source software and documentation that can be applied to other institutions and networks of repositories
  • Information event for the community
  • User focus group exemplars
  • Final report

The data audit is already under way and will identify and document current activity data gathering across partner repositories to establish a base line that will be used to compare data throughout the course of the project.

Outputs will be largely via this blog and development activity will be managed through our Google code project. Final documents will also be linked to the project website.

Risk Analysis and Success Plan


Creative Commons icon Apache icon
All document outputs will be released under a Creative Commons license (attribution CC BY) which is recommended for maximum dissemination and re-use of materials. Data will be released under ODC Public Domain Dedication and Licence (PDDL) and software is released under the Apache foundation license (version 2.0) which allows for modification and distribution of source code. The aim is to promote re-use of all outputs and encourage collaborative development across both nonprofit and commercial organisations.

Project Team Relationships and End User Engagement

  • Project Manager - Jo Spikes: Jo Spikes is currently a member of Aberystwyth University Information Services and works in the Research Support Team. Jo has no prior experience of JISC projects directly but has worked on EU Frameworks V-VII, on ERDF and on WEFO-funded projects in the past. A previous role as Publications Officer for a BBSRC-funded institute has led to knowledge of the importance of disseminating research outputs to a wider audience. Jo will be responsible for workpackages 1 and 5, and parts of 4. End user engagement: Jo will deal directly with the partner institutes’ personnel, establishing a user group, arranging meetings, and liaising with the evaluation consultant.
  • Project Developer - Antony Corfield: Antony Corfield is also Repository Support Officer (Technical) for the WRN EP where he is responsible for providing technical advice, development and deployment for Institutional Repositories throughout Wales, including the e-theses harvesting project. Antony has a background in IT with a Masters in Computing Science and over 10 years experience as a Java developer within the HE sector working on several Information Management and eLearning projects. Antony will be responsible for workpackages 2, 3 and parts of 4. and be primarily involved in all technical development and deployment with the core institutions.

Projected Timeline, Workplan & Overall Project Methodology

Workpackage 1 - Activity Data Audit
We will identify and document current activity data gathering (including Google analytics) across partner repositories and analyse the relevance of any activity data to the current project (item views/ file downloads etc.). We hope to establish baseline activity data from all the partner institutions for comparison and evaluation throughout project and provide an assessment on the activity data collected through the six core partners over the life of the project to prove or disprove the hypothesis.

Workpackage 2 - Recommendation Service (specification)
Investigate and specify system architecture and components for both aggregating activity data and a shared recommendation service using open standards / protocols where appropriate (e.g. OAI, RSS). Specify the activity data model required to fulfill goals of project and a simple API for the recommendation service.

Workpackage 3 - Recommendation Service (development and deployment)
Development of shared service for repository activity data using open-source solutions where possible based on the specification. Development and deployment of activity data feeds at six core institutional partner repositories. Development work to display related item recommendations with associated metadata and links in each core partner repository.

Workpackage 4 – Evaluation
We will report on the recommendation service model and provide an activity data overview. A focus group will be established with the core partners to undertake a user group analysis in order to explore the potential of the recommendation service and its impact on repository users.

Workpackage 5 – Project Management
Project management will be undertaken according to JISC guidelines. This will include project planning, report and blog writing, dissemination activities and scheduling and attending meetings.

The project methodology will involve identifying and documenting current activity data across repositories. This is being done using a questionnaire and follow up-emails and conversations with partners. Data gathering will be automated through harvesting once the service is deployed and compared with this initial baseline activity data. We will establish a user focus group with core partners in order to explore the potential of the recommendation service and its impact on repository users. Software development will use an Agile approach and where possible, work closely with other JISC projects to build upon and share development effort.