3-month report: March to May 2014


Magdalena Turska profile

Magdalena Turska joins the research support team.

James Cummings has recruited the DiXiT project’s Oxford Marie Curie ITN Experienced Researcher: Magdalena Turska started started work on 1 April 2014 for 20 months investigating and implementing improvements to the requirements for publication of scholarly digital editions. During that 20 months she’ll also have secondments to King’s College London and the SynchRo Soft (who make the oXygen XML editor) in Romania.

The OSS Watch service team has been working with the VALS team to plan the Semester of Code – work experience on open source projects as part of undergraduate degree courses.  We are currently signing up projects willing to provide mentoring. Mark, Scott and Rowan will support the Semester of Code initiative throughout the next academic year.

James Cummings on YouTube

James Cummings on the Digital Humanities summer school (click image to watch the video on YouTube)

We have recruited two interns to work on the ‘open Oxford’ website over the summer. Rowan Wilson will lead this project which aims to showcase University open resources that can be used in research and teaching.

Meriel is taking a lead on managing our communications plan. This means gathering newsworthy activities and promoting them to different channels. For instance we had 3 items in the latest IT Services newsletter. Meriel has weaved some magic, Google Analytics now claims the following headline figures for this team website:

  • Between 1st March and 29th May 2014, the Research Support team website received a total of 1208 page views.
  • This represents an increase of 59% over the previous 3-month period.
  • The most frequently visited page was the one advertising the ‘Things To Do With Data’ talk series, which received just over a quarter of all page views.
  • Next most popular were the About page (18%), the RDM courses page (11%), and the Blog (11%).
Team website stats March-May 2014

Team website stats March-May 2014

We submitted our final financial forecast for this academic year. Our IT Services and departmental recharges, along with externally-funded project work have meant that we significantly exceeded our target.

Progress against plans for last 3 months

Engagement statistics, March to May 2014

Engagement statistics, March to May 2014

  1. The Things to do with data lunchtime talk series is underway. Most popular so far was the talk about securing data in the cloud. Meriel gave an excellent overview of the basics of research data management.
  2. (a) The Software Hub project is still open, but only until 1st October. We agreed with Jisc to use the underspend to fund 2 x 8-week internships over the summer. (b) The OxGAME project is nearing conclusion too: David and Howard will give a seminar to the Complex Systems group at York University, and attend an Understanding Risks event with Pablo Suarez in London.
  3. There are teething issues with the ORDS software which are delaying a soft launch.
  4. We are still using RT to manage support requests from researchers. The plan is to move to the new system over the summer.
  5. Our measures of engagement (advice and teaching) for the last 3 months are up in the Humanities and down for Medical Sciences, but otherwise look fairly healthy.

Plans for next 3 months

  1. Write/contribute to 7 x IT Services project initiation documents (PIDs): (1) Matrix replacement and X5 updates (2) ORDS early life support (3) OxGarage project to service (4) Oxford-BNC Web (5) Live Data (6) Researchers dashboard (7) DataStage development
  2. Deliver another successful Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School (Directed by James Cummings).
  3. Create the open Oxford portal and manage two productive internships
  4. Finish the CatCor, DIVA, and OxGAME projects
  5. Plan the next series of Things to do with data talks to run first academic term (Oct-Dec).
  6. Launch ORDS
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