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April 6, 2021
Damon Strange, Alwyn Collinson
This webinar will cover how the University of Oxfords’ new Sustainable Digital Scholarship service uses Figshare to make some of their Digital Humanities research projects sustainably available. Topics that will be covered include how they set up the service, how they arranged consultations with research project leads to inform how they structured their instance of Figshare, how we’re working together to make Figshare a better place for humanities research, and more.To find out more about some of the research outputs from the Humanities Division at the university, visit https://figshare.sds.ox.ac.uk/, with further information about the SDS service available at https://www.sds.ox.ac.uk/.
Please note that the transcript was generated with software and may not be entirely correct.
Hi everyone, thanks for joining us this afternoon or morning or evening, wherever you are, and my name is Megan Hardeman. If I've not met you before, I'm Head of engagement at Figshare.
And I am joined by Damon and Alwyn from University of Oxford today. And so I'm still a little bit of introductions and a little bit of admin, and then I'll hand off to do the majority of the presenting.
So, firstly, is Damon Strange, the Project Manager for the Digital Humanities Sustainability Project, and Alwyn Collinson, who's the Digital Projects Manager for the Humanities Division, both with the University of Oxford, and we're going to be presenting this afternoon, And if you have any questions, there's both a questions and the chat section.
You're free to put your questions in either, and we will find it wherever, wherever the question is, and we'll, we'll answer them throughout wherever possible, and leave some time at the end as well for any questions, pop into your head throughout the talk as well.
I think that's over.
Admin and introductions, I wanted to do so. And with that, I'll hand off to Damon.
Thanks, Megan, for the introduction. It's nice to be here right now, going to Screen Share Mode, and hopefully this will work.
Can people see my screen?
Can all right.
Happening, there it is.
Something has happened that come from my second. OK, good stuff. yes, as Megan said, I'm Damon Strange, and I'm the Digital Humanities Sustainability Project Manager, and now in is additional projects manager and he's also the SDS service manager as well. Do you want to say a quick Hello, alwyn, So then people have got used to your voice them. Know what I fear that I never get used to my voice.
We'll take that as a hello and then I'll ruffle into the presentation.
And so, in terms of what we're going to be sharing with you today, I'm going to kick off the presentation to give you kind of a recap on how we've got to having a service. The sustainable digital scholarship service. And end date was born out of a project called the Digital Humanities Sustainability Project. And then I'll hand over to Allen to give you some more the ins and outs of what the service offering is to researchers at the University, and just talk about how we engage with researchers in terms of getting their data onto the platform and how we're using Figshare as a technology for SES. Before our then neatly passes back to me and I'll kind of talk about what dreams and hopes and plans are for the future of continuing to use Figshare, and carrying on music for the humanities type for research data.
So in terms of where this project came from, it's, it was culminated. It culminates in a couple of key key reasons. So, there's, there's, obviously the supply, in terms of, so, we've got many, who, have got hundreds and hundreds of digital humanities research projects, which have some of them spent decades in, terms of collecting information about various subjects and topics, and, and.
the key feature of these projects are the, they require so much, so they turn, traditionally, digital humanities project has two key components in terms of a database, often relational database. And then that's coupled with a web front ends to present the information in a bit more of a rich way. And, and the kind of, the issue for, for many research projects is the is the sustainability angle. That all is, well, and good, when the money's rolling in and you've got funding for your project, you're doing the work you noses to, the grindstone.
And you're collecting all this information you're putting into your database and you're building your lovely research collection quite often does not much thought that goes into what happens post project And some of these research collections become kind of vital resources in the relevant fields for other researchers to kind of use that information and make more discoveries. And if the sustainability isn't there, then some of these systems, you know, can can eventually die if they're not maintained, it adequately. So, so that's kind of, you know, the demand. And also, from a supply perspective, there's no real centrally co-ordinated approach in terms of offering support, or any solutions that we have at the University that kind of say, hey, you go, we, we, we look after this service and solution for you to put your data in and make sure that it's kept safe and secure forevermore.
So so that the key drivers for leading the project. And I think a key feature and a really nice feature from my perspective is that this is very much been a researcher driven initiative and we've had so much passion and interest from key academics who have given their time very generously to help scope out what they really need from a solution on what they want to see for. curating the research data.
And from my background, to delivering many other types of projects, and usually surround corporate systems, information, compliance, it's often like getting blood out of a stone in terms of getting people's inputs and buy in into gathering requirements, and that kind of stuff. So that's been really neat to see. And I thought it might be worth giving you kind of the potted history very high level of where this, where we've come from here. And this old predominantly stems back to a small, one year research projects called ..., which was a digital humanities archives for research materials, which was led by Professor Jonathan Prague, out the University.
And he's been a key influencer on the ... project and getting us to the point where we are today. But he set out with 12 other researchers to really take a deep dive into the functional requirements of what digital humanities researchers need. from a kind of a storage perspective, all the way through to the front end requirements of displaying the research.
And that really was a seed that was planted that led to a formalized project, which was run and managed within IT services for a couple of years, between 2017 and 2020. But then, we, the, the storm clouds of funding came over prioritization, and we certainly didn't make the cut as part funding.
This time round, so the humanities division, knowing that, this was one of the key prior IT priorities, took, they took it upon themselves to deliver this project Over the past year. and, and it's been a pleasure helping along the way, and I guess, you know, as you can see on the screen, there's a few reasons why we've been potentially successful, and a lot of progress and traction has been gained over the last over the recent months, is the, I guess first and foremost is that.
Originally we were intent on maybe building a solution from scratch. And which would have come up much higher cost, and then obviously the natural risks of hosting our lamp structure and the maintenance cost of that. So, the, the, the favorable, you know, route of going to provide a light Figshare who obviously take away some of those risks, and do naturally come a low cost, because it's a, it's a software as a service solution.
And I guess, from a human perspective, the, the, the, the presence of key players, both from the academic side on the support side who've been there through a while to been shaping, molding this vision and keeping it true. Banging the Drum for the DHS Project and Sustainability of research has been really helpful to get us to where we are today. And also minus, attaining those ties with the library's IT services and within the faculties. The legacy from being an IT services project has been quite a nice thing to be able to celebrate that. we've all worked together over the past year or so to deliver this.
And for those of you who really likes timelines, and probably not many of you, but me being a project manager, I like that kind of stuff. Here is a bit more of a detailed look in terms of how we did it in terms of, we were, obviously went through a period of scoping and analysis, and planning, and that's why we built upon the requirements that Jonathan lead on from this down projects. And that led us to thinking it'd be quite neat to run a bit of a proof of concept. So, we went out to Procure. We were looking to procure a software developers to our software development company to do, not, because of the solution that we could test and trial. But, we, we were very impressed with some, some Software as a Service Providers and Figshare being the one who won the contract. And we worked very closely with Megan, and the team.
And I think Megan probably single-handed, rebuilt our test area. For our test, three sample projects, and that was the eye opener that gave us the, you know, the real real belief that we could do something with Figshare.
And as a long term solution, for many different types of digital humanities projects and research at Oxford, And thought kind of, you know, lead into a period of delivery, and when to use, you can see there's three lines there, which is three trencher work, where we have the technical implementation leading to the platform launch. We did a lot of analysis of different types of research, projects at Oxford, preexisting ones that we could easily cherry picked for migration, easy migration onto the platform, to really showcase Figshare and our new platform.
To all the research that Oxford to kind of gain, buy in and groundswell of interest. And then a very key component is the service design. And, as I mentioned before, the colleagues from IT Services and the Bodleian Library today, were instrumental in terms of seeking their regular feedback, in terms of the right, and the wrong ways of perhaps going about this and embedding this as a service at Oxford.
And now we're starting to phase two of delivery, where we're looking to kind of move to a more business as usual model. and that will basically involve more of the same, migrating more preexisting research projects onto Figshare. Will be pushing this, It will be trying to push the service out beyond the humanities, engaging the appetite for, for adoption of Figshare in other disciplines.
And we'll be looking to kind of see if there's any other exciting new features we can hopefully influence or work with Figshare to, to, to bring to the platform.
And I think that's a neat place to leave it where I hand over to Owen who give you the lowdown on what the service is about, and how we engage with researchers over to you Alwyn.
Thank you very much indeed, Dave, and I think that's really taken us up to the current moment really effectively. By the way, I just wanted to say if people have questions that occur to you during this discussion, please do feel free to pop them in the chat. I'm told that you should be able to send questions out during our talk, and we will do our best to answer them either now or later. So, what this has led up to is the launch of the Sustainable Digital Scholarship Service, which is a new research data service operating at Oxford. We launched in February 2021. So we're a whole month than a tiny bit old, and like many things that a month old, it makes a lot of noise and it costs a lot of trouble. But it's also very rewarding, and I'm a lapse that because I had at my wife, had a baby last year.
So for the moment, we are based inside the Humanities division, which is one of the five Academic Divisions, which make up the University of Oxford. We are at, for that reason, primarily, for the moment, supporting humanities research projects. So these are faculty such as history, English, linguistics, oriental studies, those sort of things.
And we support researchers who need digital sustainability Now, that could be researchers of projects that have closed off those legacy projects that David talked about just a moment ago. If they could be projects that are currently in the middle of that grant funded period, and they're looking for somewhere to put the research that they're collaborating on or publishing now, or it could be projects that are at the beginning of that grant, funding life cycle. Because we want to ensure that the material that's being posted is going to be from day one, have digital sustainability, and long-term accessibility, built into it. Now, we're not, obviously, the only research service at Oxford. We would be pretty in a pretty bad place if the only one launched a month ago, there are at least three other major ones, which I'm not going to go into detail on. But I did want to mention that, although we already have an archival service, which is the or the research archive.
Some of you may have seen ... or something like that, that we have, did you safe, which is ideal for non public data, such as sensitive personal data or administrative records. And we have an upcoming series called the ...
Research Files Service, which is intended to provide short-term, low-cost, high capacity storage, but for projects that are undergoing active collaborations, but sustainable digital scholarship doesn't do quite the same as any of them, and I'm gonna walk through what it does do. So the thing we're using Figshare for and that's one thing and probably most interested in for today is that we operate a single, simple long-term home where digital projects can deposit their material and rely on having it available and sustainable for the medium to long term. Could I have the next slide?
So our sustainable digital scholarship platform. This lives at Figshare dot ...
dot AC dot UK and you're very welcome to, uh, go to that right now it's public and live, if you do want to see about it. So this is a sort of one stop shop for projects who do want to either place the research data for long-term preservation, or they want to publish it for public access, or they want to collaborate. So, one thing that we're seeing some projects already starting to take advantage of, is the Figshare ability to chair, unpublished private files, and therefore essentially kind of pre work on a fully mapped out selection of that research data and then push it live once.
They're fully happy with it, And that collaboration, because Figshare, obviously, is open to, you can create a free account from Outside Oxford. And we are really take advantage of that ability to international, or cross institutional collaboration, which is something that we are quite excited over, and it's interesting. Of course. It leads back to that point that David made earlier about whether we have choice between a software service or an internally managed service. It might have been more difficult, given the actual. If you work for an institution, you're all very familiar with the single sign on or similar institutional logins. A lot of material is gated behind one of those. This Figshare is a lot easier for people to access when you're seeing cross institutional international research projects. And of course, so many of them are.
Could I have the next slide?
So, the three major groups of people that were supporting, and this is a really simple diagram, I'm assured, of what our service offering looks like. So, you'll see from left to right, at the bottom, you have the yellow, preexisting research projects to these, all those legacy systems. Existing, dragging up, taking up project resources, faculty resources, or, in some cases, unfortunate cases, personal, private, resources of researchers who are keeping their life's work online via a couple of servers in the back bedroom, Which, get a cat sleeping.
I'm going because I always lovely and warm, humming away, day and night, not necessarily a false example. In the middle, we have new research projects. These are ones that want to work up sustainability by design, and they can write our costs into that grant applications. And then finally, you have individual humanities researchers. So, because we are based in the match division for now, this is open to researchers and needs faculties that I mentioned earlier.
But these researchers have the ability to have individual accounts on Figshare with some storage space, which we allocate a fairly small group to them. But this is where they can publish their material produced private, private work, and collaborate on a small scale with selected academic colleagues. Now, obviously all this goes up into the cloud. As you can see above all this lovely data, is scooped up into Figshare as AWS. And, of course, given secure hosting on the great.
Yeah, so essentially what we've created here, and I will be talking too much detail about the structure of what we created, but if you're familiar with the Figshare platform, it will be extremely familiar to you. We have essentially created a kind of space, a holding pattern, where researchers can have individual space for their projects. We operate that via the group structure and we recreated the Oxford University's divisional and faculty structure within Figshare.
So we can put projects in their proper place and then give them allowance from sent central data allowance from Figshare to work on their own projects and publish the research outcomes could on the next slide.
Thank you very much. So, that is kind of how we do it. This is why we do it.
These are all sort of points that are obviously very attractive to individual research projects, and, as I have, as I will mention, this and future slides, we can't force anyone to use this. This is not the new project, the new service, that everyone on Research and Oxford are going to have to put their research data onto. On the contrary, we are essentially selling our services on a project by project basis, whether that's through our central funding in our Division, or by getting grant capture from New and upcoming projects who want to base that material and Figshare from day one. So, sustainable digital scholarship has to be attractive to researchers. And as a result, we've tried to pull together a list of reasons, which will, of course, will look very familiar to you if you've had any contact with sustainability, and its importance and additional context.
But, of course, these are also reasons, which sort of similar to one statement outlined earlier, why this sort of institutional data repository is attractive to central universities, to administrators, and, indeed, to potential partners or grant funders. We are facing a very real issue with a lot of research, and often this research is not just a life's work, but it may underpin the an entire fields. You know, particularly given that we are based in the humanities, many of the research projects, which we've been migrating ones, which are caucuses. You know, digitizing every Syrian tablet digitizing every piece of addiction ..., anything you'd like that? These are materials whose continued access online underpins an entire field of study and of course represents a, reputational risk. An institution access suddenly goes down overnight, and also a lot of unwanted e-mails for people like myself.
We're also hoping that other, obviously, we are paying for a very reasonable payment, I'm sure, for fixed terrorism software service. And for such things as myself, but we're also hoping to, in the long term, even the short and medium term, reduce, the costs that the university. And deficient in particular is paid to maintain these legacy services. Both in hosting, but also in staff time.
A lot of these individual, fragmented systems which are built on technically obsolete or no longer secure database systems on platforms, including websites to securities, tokens expire, all these sorts of things, and we are hoping to gradually reduce all of these ongoing outlying cost, and centralize and rationalize, consolidate all our technical debt into one easy payment you might say. We're also really pleased, and this is a big selling point for researchers about the fairly powerful citation and sharing tools that live on the Figshare. So this, of course, is enabling us to give better evidence of research impact, both for individual researchers, of course, this represents their career and their passion, in most cases, so that's something that's very attractive.
But, of course, it also means that for things, like, the, if any of you have had any involvement, I'm sorry, in the research, such impact assessment, recently, the ref, that obviously is easier. If you have a single platform, which can provide easy analytics for things like citation downloads and shares, as the Figshare. We have the next slide.
So, I mentioned the costs, and now, we're trying to be very transparent. These costs are on our website.
And I'm very happy to share them with you now, and ask, answer any questions that you may have about how these break down.
Because Figshare or licensing it to us at a fixed cost and therefore, we can know and predict our hosting bills in the future, indeed, our technical builds, we are attempting to, very simply, gives a little bit of cost recovery from new grant applications. And, of course, this is, I'm speaking almost entirely in the context of academic research, But, of course, there may be people from other sorts of institutions here who are interested in the potential of using a digital repository, as we're trying to set up for any sort of data.
And we've been very pleased that the enthusiasm, that sharing these costs has generated, both amongst administrators and research stuff, compared to the cost that they might be facing to host these suddenly, these kind of quantities of research data on similar platforms, in particular, in building their own.
So one thing that we're able to do, because we are, we have Figshare give people accounts from day one is to basically say, the, you will be able to enter your materials straight away. You do not have to budget for a software developer, or, indeed, a database, or ... designer, on your, for your project. We do, obviously, most projects are going to want to project website, in addition, but that's fairly simple setup by the Oxford Central, Centrally managed CMS platform, Mosaic.
So as you can see, these costs are broken down into setup fees and hosting fees.
So, the one-off setup fees cover essentially, complexity of a project. How long we think it's going to take, to set up a project staff on Figshare, and that's setup, includes things like training, access to a helpdesk, and an initial set of customizing their metadata standards and that project groups to fracture. For that area of the Oxford University Fictious, based on thereafter, they're paying, I'll say, hosting fee to cover the grant funded period.
So, I think it's really important here to talk about the, kind of sustainability challenge, the digital product space, which, of course, in a sense, we haven't sold by creating this, and I'm sure there'll be some questions later, So, I'm gonna try and grab them about how, essentially, we keep posting material, whose grant funded period has long ended after they're no longer getting any cash people. You know, these, we are essentially creates a committing to maintain material almost indefinitely on the sustainable digital scholarship platform or other forms like it. So, as you can see, these costs, which are based quite simply on splitting up the cost of the Figshare license fees, based on a terabyte by terabyte, and year by year basis, they only cover the grant funding period. That does not mean but we delete people's material after their grant funding period has ended.
It means that it's archival, they can access it, They can continue, as long as Oxford has a subscription to Figshare, to edit and add more data, though, obviously, we'd prefer they didn't have enormous amounts of data. This means that essentially we are moving those costs, which I mentioned already being borne by various outline bits, the investee. We're putting them in one place so they become visible. However, we're hopeful that the groundswell of enthusiasm we've seen for researchers and other grant bias to write these kind of costs. Into their new grant applications. Mean that a sustainable digital scholarship service should maintain itself as being sustainable with these kind of costs into the future.
Next slide, please.
Thanks, Damon. So I mentioned I've mentioned a lot about selling ourselves to researchers about the appeal that these kind of the platform has to them. We begin our process of engaging with researchers by using a straightforward analysis. You can see a little diagram of to the left here, which asks you to, which we fell out and based on how suitable project is for Figshare ingestion. And this applies whether we're talking about a legacy project that needs somewhere to host, it's failing or, or, or failed, database and research outputs, or a new project that wants to be built on to the Figshare STS platform from day one. As you can see, they're all fairly self explanatory. I do want to particularly highlight two of these units, though.
one of which is the complexity of user journeys, and one of which is the motivation to move willingness to compromise.
These are both somewhat euphemistic, perhaps you could describe that essentially as being, like, what will we have to chop off in order to make your project fit a Figshare, and how happy are you good with that? We all know I think that Figshare obviously cannot replicate the entire functionality of a complex relational database.
Not with its its current structure, and indeed it's not built to do so by using Figshare as a project research repository, rather than what it's fence that was designed to do as a research publishing platform. We are already perhaps stretching the capabilities the platform, although we'll go into in a minute, we think in a very positive way that will only continue to get better.
one of the big elements of this project has been working with researchers to work out how much functionality, how much complexity they need out of the data research solution. And often, the answer is less than you might think. Building a relational database, obviously well, not complex, can be time consuming and potentially costly. And in cases where, for example, it's a fairly flat file structure where you have lots and lots of those Syrian tablets as I mentioned earlier. There's no need to, that you don't need to draw a particular links between them. Instead, the focus should be on finding sustainable access to these materials. And we think that we have been able so far to work effectively with quite a lot of researchers. And for those who can't or won't use this kind of service than we are very happy to encourage them to do what they were doing already, which is to build their own bespoke systems and create a sustainability challenge for the future. Although we do try and help them out with that as far as you can as well.
Next slide please.
I think I've covered quite a few of these points already but we are really pleased with a lot of the features on Figshare. In particular, we have been using the custom metadata fields and a keyword allocation and the group structure functionalities to the limits in order to try and build in as much discovery and interoperability between different files as possible. As they slide point, puts it here. That traditional relational database structure that I talked about earlier, while it doesn't fit naturally, you can recreate a lot of the functionality by building links directly between different files And this is something we've done particularly in one of the case studies I'm about to mention.
We are hopeful that given that the Figshare roadmap, it contains faceted search improvements, in particular for applying faceted search. Custom metadata fields Over the next couple of years, this is something it's gonna get better and better and we're really keen on the element the Figshare works with the Figshare use communities that you yourselves to try and allocate the importance of these things. And to really, really grateful that, particular, to look at some of the pioneers such as Sheffield Who have been using Figshare for longer than us, as a research repository, and to try and build on that success. And see how we can share our discoveries and innovations with each other.
Next slide, please, talking of the case studies. So I'm going to very briefly swim through these. I thought you might appreciate seeing someone else's face other than myself, This is Professor Brian Wood Perkins. His project is The Cult of Saints in late antiquity, which pretty much does what it says on the label.
This was a really interesting process in the template, the legacy database. That was hosted on a creating FileMaker database and a externally managed website. Both of which were managed, not within Brian's own Department of History.
In a different faculty, archeology, which is in a different division, So not even funded, by humanities, without going into the academic structure of Oxford too much.
This obviously made it difficult to get more funds and really, we needed to migrate it somewhat stable and reliable. That didn't mean that was a single point of failure of esteemed or friendly IT technician. We have migrated the files onto Figshare in doing so we have used links in the reference metadata field to build connections. So there are both evidence records and saint records. Which means that we needed to have some way of pointing one to many, and many to one connections in the same way that you might do the database. We think we've been able to recreate that functionality almost completely within Figshare, and in general, we've had very positive responses on adding sustainability to a very influential project. Next slide, please.
Similar but unrelated project is the around 968 Project. This refers to the Revolutions of 168. And this project is essentially an enormous corpus of oral histories collected with people who were instrumental in revolutionary and protest movements in Europe, around 19 68. So, this was an interesting one, which is an interesting one, partly because of the file types.
So, it's audio files, which are oral history interviews, which, of course, we're really grateful for the fact that Figshare can accommodate, and, indeed, in, in platform play, all of these audio files. It's also personal data. Every single one of these files is absolutely dripping with personal data. And if any of you have had to deal with the delights of the GDPR and see something saying that, Anything revealing your political beliefs or your sexual orientation or your religious beliefs is a special category. And therefore, they quit day to come to toxic waste around 60 it has nothing but that kind of material. So this was something that needed a long-term solution, with a nuanced access and something that could be explicitly, a search point to handle sensitive data.
We found Figshare to be capable of doing all of these. We have migrated to the initial set of files, the ones that were previously completely publicly available. And we have also started to maintain to build up a more restricted access area, so that these files will only be available to be held safely in Figshare. And information compliance department at Oxford has signed off on that, and we can give nuanced access depending on academic researchers to contact the researcher you see in that Professor Robert Gilda and request access to a selection files which can be granted or within the platform rather than selection of shonky solutions, which we previously had.
We've talked about the past, which was how this project came about, we talked about the present, which is how these, how we've used Figshare, and how we're currently providing sustainable digital scholarship service. I'd like to hand you back to Damon Strange to tell you a little bit about the future of how we see disabled digital scholarship and potentially Figshare improving over time.
Thanks, everyone, for that. I was just chatting to Megan in the chat and a few questions come in that we can actually see so she's going to feel them as a bit of a halftime break before I finish of the presentation.
Yes, thank you very much.
And yeah, there's one I could answer, but the rest I cannot so I will just verbally ask you both. So the first one is, do you regard your Figshare platform also as a tool for long term preservation and what is the relationship between the Figshare platform and array?
Yeah, it's a really good question.
I think the answer is, we haven't decided yet, As either as a project team or institution. ..., you may or may not know, is kind of, you know, run in the bodleian library, and it sort of taking on their long, that, that kind of, you know, role at Oxford. As you write your thesis, he put it in a book, You give it to the bodleian, and they keep it for a million million years. And, obviously, within that thought in the digital context, provides some more challenges. So, I think there's a kind of longer term solution, We are working really closely with the team behind ..., and behind that, Or a data, which is kind of specifically, this is where you deposit your database bit. We are potentially talking about migrating to a solution that's a mix of the two. Maybe, your data lives in Figshare for a long time, and then you might, then, we put it in all right.
Or maybe they've come one and the same thing, I'm not, I can't really talk about that too much more, but it's something that we're very aware of.
And we think that in theory, you could probably do archival.
Work through a Figshare David, George Washington.
Know, I think that answered it perfectly, and, I guess, you know, at the moment, that, the use cases are the, you know, use older data use.
Or, for, when, you know, you've decided that the Research Data life cycle of your research project has reached archival point, and it tips over, or a zip lock out. You've got, you've got you DO either. And that's where it is for a mall. But the purpose of SDS, is, is that kind of showcasing element in terms of, you know, having things not flattened down in a file. And being able to have these rich collections of images, tax, audio, video, whatever. It's just it's a case to to to kind of say that this research is out there for the world to see and to use and and I think that's why Figshare‘s perfect. Because it's all we're all about open data and sharing things, and and making accessible for people to use and re-use and, And, yeah, so, I guess it would be quite interesting to see how things develop in that light. But, you know, I think they they fit neatly at the moment as to services at Oxford.
I have the distinct purpose and, you know, then, definitely, no competitors in terms of what they offer.
Thank you both.
The next one is, is there any support for non funded research and scholarship?
Yes, Absolutely, I'm sorry. Is that non funded as in the sense of a project that doesn't have the question? You may not be able to answer some time.
So in the sense of a a research project that has no ongoing funding system that was funded in the past lives with the humanities division in some faculty yes that's exactly what we set out to try and support in the sort of more nebulous question of, what do you do? If I haven't got on my project has never received academic funding. Well, you can handle that partly through the individual. Individual accounts we're giving humanities researchers. There is, we are looking at providing Figshare accounts to all of our to begin with all of the students doing the forthcoming MST in digital scholarship at Oxford. So, we're hoping that all of them will, presumably, during their MST do a digital project that will be potentially if they want to built on a Figshare from the day Oh. Certainly. That will be available to them as a publishing and storage solution.
If you're talking in terms of someone who's at the University but has no no academic funding whatsoever, I think that would be a more difficult decision.
You know, really, one of the issues with universities is that sort of set up to sort of work the grant system.
And, you know, that is the unit of that no recognition of your your academic status, which is something we can't do anything about, but obviously, the money has to come from somewhere.
I guess just add to that and maybe simplify the answer of Yes, We can help. We will listen to and we'll have a conversation with researchers who are interested in using the service, took away to support people who want to use a service. We need a home for their data, and if there's a more suitable solution that is free, or can be provided by the faculty, or Central Services will, hopefully pass them along the way. Because, you know, at the end of the day, it's all about helping support our colleagues at the University! Get the best out The Technology, and The services, and the support networks that are in place. And we spent many years in terms of talking to people in IT services.
And the libraries who have done this for years, in terms of, you know, supporting researchers. So it's only right that we re-use those, that knowledge infrastructure to kind of connect people in the right ways. to, to, you know, make sure people will feel like this. I feel like they're loved and supported by the University. Because, you know, it's all about making the world a better place. Or whatever. Maybe I've gone too far without threat. But. Yeah, that's good.
Just a few more.
And that's right, so in addition to publishing research data, where you also use Figshare to publish manuscripts, such research results replacing traditional monograph publishers and journals.
I guess I'll take that. And the moment our focus is, is just primarily on kind of research projects in digital humanities research projects, and research data collections on that. So in terms of, I think the question is probably frame to the wave. Is the kind of any kind of, you know, must focus on those kinds of outputs, and it is not on our immediate Roadmap. It's, it's about collaborating with people internally within the university, See if we could offer some support from the service perspective, for that. So it's, you know, that, but it's not immediately on our radar, but it's not something that we'd ever discount, because obviously could be used for things, that we do have things at the University already in place within the Bosnian Libraries. The managed, you know, work well and have worked well for years, so it's, you know, if a broke don't fix it, kind of thing.
I think it's also something that we'd sort of throw back to the researchers. If individual researchers want to use the platform for that in that way, then absolutely more power to them.
Are there any issues regarding data security, slash privacy law laws, IE, differences between UK regulations and laws applied wherever the servers are warmly harming away?
Want you to Damon? Well, I guess I guess maybe I'll We'll go around in circles. I'll throw out … I guess, this is from our perspective is that, you know, we, we procure the solution this ISO 27001 compliant, we, we believe, and Figshare doing the right things in terms of, looking, looking after our data, encode in accordance with relevant GDPR rules and legislations in the right areas and zone. So, yes, in essence, we have fairly comfortable in using it. From that perspective though, I don't know if you can add any more all of you got anything to regale the audience? From the previous GDPR based kind of presentations? I assume Figshare would have given when when it was the flavor of the well, we're gonna say monthly seem to go on for years. Preparing for GDPR stuff.
Yeah, we have some sort of article documentation in our help site, which I can pop in the chat, or send around with the recording, things like that, around data security, and the type, both Personal information that we keep hold of, isn't a lot, is minimal.
But, yeah, that hus been taken into consideration, given all the various regulations and things that are in place.
I guess, just to add to that, you know, it around 19 68 is probably a rare use case, in terms of the project will contain personal data, especially from a humanist digital humanities perspective, where a lot of these projects are, very, you know, that they're all very historical, you know, artifact, the kind of projects that don't really skirts around all over the legislation too much. But, yeah, but that's not, say, expansion into other disciplines of the university will kind of raise these questions about information compliance and GDPR based things as well. So it's something that's definitely on our radar, and we are working with the information, can launch team at the university to make sure we're doing everything in the right way in terms of the guidance we give and make sure people got the relevant permissions before they're uploading things to Figshare, attributing. The cryptanalysis is all these kinds of things.
And there's two more questions that have come through, but I'm gonna, I'm gonna asked us to, and then I'll cut it off for now, and if any other questions coming through, maybe we'll just do them at the end and to give you a chance to get through the rest of the presentation. And they should be quite brief. Once I think. And in case study number two, who assesses access requests for files that are not shared openly is our Data Access Committee.
I saw the Committee, it's the projects. So we assign a GDP of times. We inject a data controller for the relevant files are stored on Figshare as the In as the In the first instance, the the PI of a fight, You can still see my screen. Of the, of the product in question. Then that's handled by that project. How, if they want to, within the structure, of course. one of the challenges for these sorts of projects is that, next day, by, what, you might call, legacy stuff, and people who are retiring leaving the University.
And so that's, that's going to be an ongoing challenge for us, but we have, basically, you decided to use a similar structure to the way that sensitive data might handle already.
Last one is, Are there any restrictions on permitted file formats when migrating a project to the Figshare platform?
Not not from our perspective, I guess we're just working with the limitations of what your Figshare and and you know, and I know that's one of your strongest pictures that you can cook anything in there and it'll all work and most of it can be previewed in the browser. So, from an internal service perspective, I don't see any reason why we restrict what types of file we put in. I guess there may be some kind of the rationale to maybe avoid putting files that may become file types that may become obsolete in the coming years if they're really decrepit and we think that they're gonna go out of fashion. So so, so that's probably not technical speak for the terms. But if there's an opportunity to kinda come the soon to be obsolete file types into more modern ways of viewing the falls, then that could be something that we would mandate, but we haven't come across any kind of examples of that today. And I think we ask enough questions at the start before a project gets involves, the some alarm bells go off of it.
It's like, now, how does that file type before we won't open on anything on my computer? Oh, maybe we need to conversation about lessened and how it would actually work going into Figshare. I think that answered the question. That kind of made a pivot service policy on the fly, but it seemed like a logical way of approaching the point. So maybe I should've mentioned that.
Cool. And yeah, that's all the questions for now.
If anybody, any, I'm talking to anyone's head and feel free to question 10, good stuff, and I will go back into sharing mode, so hopefully the slides of backup on the screen.
So this, this, this slide it and kind of moving on to kind of our relationship with Figshare on the future and how we see things going.
And and I guess, you know, I haven't seen the list of people on the call today but hopefully we're not alone in terms of getting the sense that, you know. working with Figshare is is not like a typical customer supplier relationship. Because as someone who's worked with many suppliers on projects before, in terms of procuring solutions or upgrading solutions, it's been a bit of a nightmare.
In some cases, in terms of, you know, supplies, you know, being really, really nit picky about costing, particularly itemizing things or just not willing to share information and, and, and, you know, and being less transparent than they need to be. And I think Figshare has been a breath of fresh air in the kind of attitude to, especially towards product development and all the public roadmaps and and consultations that they have on feature development.
So that's been quite a nice thing to to witness and and a specific example is something that we've been working with a Figshare on this the is a TI viewer that hopefully currently in development and this has been quite a positive collaboration because we've got a lot of internal TI knowledge about the university, and the requirements to help shape this. And I'm obviously Figshare have some knowledge and know-how of the platform as they should. And it's been quite neat to see how quickly manage to prototype things up and give us a few kind of options in terms of being able to commission in this work. And I guess, you know, it's perhaps not the scale of Oxford. The astra zeneca an Oxford Figshare T You potentially does offer opportunities to, to people across the world of who have bunch of XML files, who they can view any more, because the T of U is broke. And they don't have the necessary skill sets to kind of width of. An open source TO DO for them to work. So if they can just upload and Figshare, view those T I file.
So that's, that's great as a kind of a benefit to other people will beyond our particular use cases for ingest of T, I fall specifically.
And thinking about kind of the future, and we'd like to see kinda Figshare continue to grow on its current trajectory in terms of what's on the roadmap, and, and as Alwyn mentioned, I think there's a few times in terms of that. We're very pleased to see the things on the roadmap. Really do seem to align with the direction of travel that we want it to go.
But kind of in the meantime, the, we are doing some kind of, um, some thorough analysis work to make sure that we, maybe low hanging fruit is not the way to describe some of our research project. But in terms of how compatible lay a Figshare compatible, they are in terms of the functional requirements or whether they could be met by what we can do on Figshare. Today. There are immediate focus over the next couple of years to get on board in terms of migrations and I guess it'd be quite neat to see how you know, the the roadmap develops and and the things get implemented. On the two weeks, we, and other institutions who are using Figshare, a similar kind of way, hopefully key influencers in that space, generally, and to give you kind of a flavor of the things that, you know, they're already on the roadmap.
So, it's not, so we, effectively, pushing on an open door for some of these, these points, to go into, like, a slightly, a little more detail. I think we've covered most of this as part of his presentation, anyway, that these are things that are really enhance the kind of, the, the service offering to our researchers, and the ability to have slightly more flexibility on the custom metadata, and especially around date ranges, I know, because, as I mentioned, a lot of our projects as a historical provenance. And at the moment, you may have noticed, or you may not notice, that you can't attribute to date on a custom date field earlier than 1900. And that's kind of a problem for some of our projects, the, the based culture studies in late antiquity. I don't know the exact time period of late antiquity boots before 1900, so using the the custom date fields and expanding now be great.
Faceted Search would be really useful in terms of being able to take that deep dive into some of the custom fields. So that'd be great and, and also the some of the administrative updates and the I know on the Roadmap and scoured, Chris's documentation to see if if certain features are coming. Going to help, give us a little bit more control and our system administrators to manage things. So, hopefully, you know the, the inclusion of realization of things on the roadmap. For the next few years, will not only help us kind of reached those high hanging fruit in terms of research projects at the university, and, and, and, and push out to offer to projects.
So, I guess this seems like a good point to end the presentation, But I've got a final bonus.
In terms of, this is something that I wanted to try with. The people in this chat today. I can't seem to see comments in the chat box, but we'll go with it. This. This is, this is what the Figshare looks like for us, And this is what it looked like for many institutions. But we've had a lot of feedback recently for my project board and from some key people in terms of it doesn't really say, what does it really do what it says on the tin, in terms of? We talk about collections of Digital Humanities research project. This just shows some data being uploaded from individual researchers. So looking around, and when mentioned in Sheffield, other kind of front ends, the other kinds of platforms all institutions have. And top left is Sheffield their own kind of interpretation of a custom built front end that sits over.
Figshare uses the metadata, and pushes that to, to make it a bit more of a custom tailored. It looks, you know, a little bit better. And top right is our digital dot landing page, and bottom left is Live Nova's open access module that they have. And it would be really interesting to hear whether, you know, if people out there who are using Figshare a similar way in terms of curation of, of individual research projects, every state. Or whether they've got any kind of feeling of whether they like something like this.
And obviously it's not for me to say that you know where the Figshare, whatever moving in this direction, because this is something we may look to do ourselves in terms of invest in building a front end, similar to what Sheffield.
But, I was wondering if people wanted to give me a crude Y, or N in the chat now, as to whether this kind of thing would be of interest to people. Just to perhaps discuss offline, or I know, Megan setup, UK and Ireland Figshare user group meetings. And this may be something quite useful to just talk as a solid piece with some people who are potentially interested.
And that is all for me, so time for any more questions, if there are any more questions, and I'll hand back over to Megan. Because if you can see any questions rolling ... or any wiser ends in the chat, while maybe no one wanted to play with my audience participation. There has been some responses, but it's come through questions.
I guess first of all I wanted to say is somebody, has asked for a link to the public roadmap.
So, I've put that in the chat and I hope people can see it. And if not, I will include it with the recording of this webinar when we send it around to all the registrants, so you will have access to public roadmap. And there was also a question about whether features developed by Figshare for this project have been added to the standard product. I think I typed out the answer to that but I'm not a goto Webinar expert and I don't know whether that's worked or not. So I'm just gonna answer it internally as well just to cover all the bases And that's just to say that anything that Figshare develops and for any institution or that's Oxford or or anyone else does get rolled out to everyone using Figshare. So it's made available to the wider community as well. And so, yeah, I hope that answers your question. But in answer to Damon's question about the collections, there are a lot of yeses.
And there's one, no, and there's someone saying, I do have reservations about the standard Figshare landing page in terms of supporting discoverability.
And so that might be something to consider.
It's looking at more of a collections page as well and whether that would aid discoverability better than the existing and sort of page layout does.
Just, this is now an opportunity to a strong arm. Your product roadmap or, you know, pushing on the, Chris has no, say, in an expedited way. It's just for general interest, because it's, it's, it's Come up a couple of times and compensation in terms of, people. Didn't quite get it in terms of, you know, just random bits of random data item just appeared at the bottom. And that's fine because, you know, from our perspective, it's a data repository date is going to live.
This is time stamped by upload, that's fine, but for those who are expecting a more, kind of, you know, fully customize, CMS, kind of, wow, Is pretty thing, is, they just do that because it's not white, is made for as we've kind of discussed before, I think.
Yeah, there's been a couple of requests for more, like, adaptive option, so I suppose, whether an institution wants to, And sort of configure a collection style landing page, or they would rather show the most recent uploads. Like, it is now a bit more, I guess, More flexibility. And, that sounds quite neat if you add kind of like a widgets, just sticking just like a, you know, a carousel of different featured projects. So it's just something I guess, that, that make it kind of more eye catching. But, you know, I guess, these are all things that you can kind of take away, and just go, oh, yeah, Maybe maybe that's too hard to do, or maybe it's quite easy to do. But, you know, I'm not technical. So I'm going to be saying how easy or hard things, as I, as I often like to put my foot in it with technical people, and they get told off, and it's not that easy to do.
Sounds good. And we got a lot of a lot of interest in it, so that's really good.
I don't see any other questions bang on more PM, So, we'll leave it there. I would just like to say a massive thank you experiment, and I went for presenting this afternoon.
It was very informative, very interesting, and really keen to see how it progresses. And as it develops and thank you all for attending and we'll send around the recording to registrants afterward. And feel free to get in touch if you have any questions that you didn't get around to answering to asking and will answer them.
Can I, can I say thank you very much for having us? and also if people do want to ask questions. Or indeed just to kind of chat about whether you maybe how you're using Figshare how we use for chat. Do you. Feel free to get in touch. I think David put our e-mail address is at the end of the slide pack there. So yeah, but I'm Alwyn ... in the humanities to extra AC dot UK.
Yeah, and my e-mail addresses or just just contact Alwyn first.
Cool. All right, Thanks, everyone.
Have the rest of your day, thank you, OK.