3-month report: September to November 2014


As part of the DiXiT project our ER, Magdalena Turska, has been working with the TEI Consortium’s Mellon-funded TEI Simple project. Her work has involved the migration of the reference corpora into the TEI Simple tagset as well as prototyping an implementation of the TEI Simple Processing Model. The latter she presented at the TEI Conference in Chicago. The TEI Simple Processing Model aims to allow general specification of intended processing scenarios targeting multiple output formats by using extensions to the TEI ODD customisation language. Magdalena also travelled to Romania spending a week at the headquarters of DiXiT partner SyncRo Soft SRL implementing some additional features to the oXygen XML Editor’s TEI framework. Magdalena will be returning to Romania for a longer period in 2015. She also took the lead in organising and teaching an ‘Introduction to TEI’ workshop, assisted by James Cummings, on behalf of DiXiT in Warsaw in October that was very well received and resulted in a number of potential future partnerships. Upcoming plans for Oxford’s contributions to the DiXiT project include the analysis and publications of the results of Magdalena’s survey of publication infrastructures, continued implementation of the TEI Simple Processing Model, and preparation for DiXiT Camp 3 to be held in February in Borås, Sweden where she will again be doing some additional teaching.

Luke Norris, Ken Kahn and the fishing prototype created using the MIT app inventor

Luke Norris, Ken Kahn and the fishing prototype created using the MIT app inventor

ORDS ELS Update 1.0.6 has been released and fixes a number of software bugs. There are ten full research projects and 14 trial projects in the system at the moment, which is good progress towards the target of 20 full projects by September 2015.

The Things to do with data series is running again and we will soon release recordings of these talks online.

The Lecture capture project was funded and we will deliver a work package that will evaluate current solutions i.e. for recording and sharing lectures in a way that people can attend remotely and the footage can be shared afterwards with voice matched up with presentation slides.

The Oxford Innovation platform was launched for IT Services, Libraries and Museum staff. Our team contributed many ideas and comments and we look forward to finding out which are funded.

Luke Norris completed his 1 week work experience placement from Woodgreen school in Witney. Luke has already decided he wants to be a game programmer. Luke investigated tools for creating a game that fisherman (and other stakeholders) would play to design a common pool resource institition (aka sustainable fishing in light of climate change and the bleaching of coral reef that is happening very rapidly all around the world). Luke is 15 and in the last year of his GCSEs.

Progress against plans for last 3 months

Engagement statistics, September to November 2014

Engagement statistics, September to November 2014

  1. Meriel is leading our communications plan and we have requested a series of changes to the research support page on the IT Services website.
  2. The ORDS early life support project is underway and the team have just submitted release 1.0.6. We have also initiated the process to handover application ownership to the software solutions team.There are currently ten projects in the system.
  3. Current projects:
    1. VALS is a project that aims to provide “virtual placements” for computing students where they work with mentors on open source projects. So far 64 open source organisations have contributed 237 potential placements.
    2. WebCMS project has been put on hold until January 2015 but we are supporting the project by conducting requirements gathering and analysis exercises.
    3. DiXiT is a 3 year Marie Curie ITN where Oxford is employing Magdalena Turska for 20 months to look at scholarly digital edition publication infrastructure.
  4. We submitted the following project proposals to the research committee:
    1. OxLangCloud would provide online access for research purposes to members of the University, as well as authenticated and authorized users from other HEIs, to the large and growing number of textual resources managed by the
    2. Live Data would create a pilot data visualisation service for the research community at Oxford. The project will demonstrate how data sets can be visualised to promote public understanding of research.
    3. Participant Data would investigate how we can support academic researchers who need to maintain a database of participant details e.g. in order to conduct longitudinal social science studies, invite people in for psychology experiments or conduct vaccinatation trials.
    4. Redds would scope a deposit process for archiving databases created in ORDS
  5. We’re waiting to find out our role on the StaaS project i.e. supporting the selection of a tool that would make it easy for researchers to store data
  6. We decided not to look into whole lab RDM solution at this stage, and we have instead decided to focus on a project with software solutions that would deliver a coherant set of webservices for support research requests, with a particularl eye on more advanced requests e.g. making research data sets available for search, browse and visualisation.
  7. The communications plan is set up and we are submitting articles regularly e.g. to the medical sciences newsletter and IT Services communications
  8. We have not been able to implement the changes we need to make to the IT Services website because of the recent severe security issues that have hit Drupal instances.
  9. We ran a 3 hour meeting with service teams across IT Services who provide support for research i.e. research support, ITLP, software solutions, ARC team. The main outcomes are:
    1. Research support team to setup and implement a single point of contact for researchers and ensure that IT Services offers a high quality advice, support and guidance service for researchers who request IT-related advice.
    2. To change the research support page on the IT Services website to reflect the full range of services we provide i.e. ARC, ITLP, Crowdsourcing, Software Selection,

Plans for next 3 months

  1. Update research support service reporting based on what is requested by the Research Committee
  2. Deliver or continue ongoing projects: ORDS ELS, VALS, WebCMS, DiXiT
  3. Start new projects if funded i.e. OxLangCloud, Live Data, Participant data and Redds
  4. Plan our work on the lecture capture project that has just received funding
  5. Create a new wall of faces page within the Openspires site to feature researchers interested in the openness agenda, and create a new documentary style video focused on research data at Oxford.
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