EPrints REF2014 plugin

Natalia Madjarevic from the London School of Economics describes the experience of installing the EPrints REF2014 plugin in LSE Research Online.

My presentation at the UKCoRR annual meeting focussed on our experience of installing the EPrints REF2014 plugin in LSE Research Online. The repository will be the main source of bibliographic data for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 and the plugin has enabled us to make use of the high quality bibliographic records for reporting publications information to HEFCE for the REF. Reusing bibliographic information in this way has provided a clear extension of the services LSE Research Online (LSERO) offers and, without a CRIS with an active publications module, enabled us to do so without needing to build a bespoke in-house solution to pull out publications reports in the REF format.
Our road to the installation of the EPrints REF2014 plugin was a slightly winding one, with an untraditional implementation set-up – we have the plugin installed on a separate instance of LSERO due to confidential information held within it. It’s now fully installed and running on the latest version, v1.2.2. In the video below I give a background to the repository set-up at LSE, describe our preparations for installation and reflect on the entire process so far:

As I explain in my presentation, we have now added details of our REF selections (REF2) and staff details (REF1) to the REF2014 plugin. We have also exported the full details of a Unit of Assessment in Excel format (converted from the CSV plugin report) and imported this successfully to the REF2014 test submission system. Reports are also available in XML format. This was a relatively straightforward process and the tweaks to reports on v1.2.2 helped tidy up previous bugs. As data in the plugin changes, we can simply re-upload files to the REF2014 submission system and this updates existing data. We’re also using the plugin REF2 reports functionality to check for missing metadata fields.

During the entire process, the repository community, EPrints team and REF submission system support have been helpful in sharing experiences and offering technical advice. If you are considering using the EPrints plugin, I’d recommend keeping an eye on the EPrints REF2014 Plugin Releases Changelog and signing up to the mailing list: EPRINTSREF@JISCMAIL.AC.UK. There’s also a User Guide, which is useful for initial set-up and instructions on creating benchmarks and assigning user privileges.

The slides from my presentation are available here – http://ukcorr.org/files/2012/11/REF-Preparations-LSE-UKCORR.pdf. The next steps for us in the REF2014 process will be continuing to update publications information, complete the metadata clean-up process and considering when to make the final transition from the plugin to using the REF submission system.

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