- ‘Your Projects’ now includes an Activity Timeline of comments and file changes aggregated across all projects in Orbital; each project page also displays a timeline for that project.
- Files from the File Archives can be organised using Collections (which are ‘tag-like’ rather than ‘folder-like’: i.e. a file can belong to more than one Collection).
- You can now edit project information and add new members to a Project. To do this, go to the Project within Orbital, click on the ‘edit’ button, and scroll down to Project Members.
- Finally, a bug which was preventing the upload of files using Internet Explorer has now been fixed.
The Orbital project team met today (24 May 2012) and agreed the following:
- User documentation will focus on the “why”s of Research Data Management, rather than being a point-and-click guide to the Orbital UI (which should not require detailed explanations).
- JW will create a changelog (human readable text file) for each major release of Orbital, so that documentation for each feature is review if that feature is updated.
- PS will lead on writing documentation (as HTML pages, stored in the GitHub repository), with documentation for release v0.N completed and available by the launch of v0.N+1
- PS will email colleagues from the Library and Research/Enterprise for assistance on writing documentation.
- JW will invite Melanie Bullock and David Sheppard on to the Orbital working group. He is meeting Annalisa Jones to discuss RDM training for staff.
- Orbital v0.1.1 (including bug fixes) met all of the initial ‘minimum viable product‘ requirements specified by Dr Tom Duckett, and also includes the basics of project administration.
- v0.2 will include improvements to the file upload/management, project management, and license management interfaces, as well as clearer distinction between language files and operating code.
- NJ demoed the current version of Orbital to Siemens staff. He now has access to Siemens machine data for testing within Orbital.
- The group discussed the LNCD plans for internal servers/private cloud, and about the disk space requirements and costs.
- The current version of the DMPOnline tool has been installed on a test server. The group discussed our approach to integration between external tools/software (such as DMPOnline, R, Gephi) and Orbital.
- NJ is going to email Adrian Richardson at the DCC to ask when the DMPOnline APIs will become available.
- RDM policy
- JW presented the draft policy to the University RIEC committee. The committee have been asked to send comments to Joss. (One comment at the committee meeting was that our having a policy too geared around the requirements of the Research Councils may not be appropriate for Lincoln, which generates a lot of non-RC income. However it was noted that the good practice specified by the RCs is good practice for management of all research data, whatever the funding source.)
- Conferences and meetings
- JW, NJ and HN reported on the recent MRD hack days.
- JW recently attended an event organised by the UWE in Bristol (Raising your ReDMan:Approaches to Research Data Management), at which he spoke about Orbital’s minimum viable product approach, and about how Lincoln’s user-led development means we have to take a close interest in RDM issues.
- NJ and JW are presenting a paper at OR12 (Open Repositories 2012). PS will attend for ~1 day of the conference.
- JW is chairing a planning event with Ken Evans, looking at data/schema modelling for all the University’s research information systems (Orbital, EPrints, the Awards Management System, people systems) using an Object Role Modelling (ORM) approach.
- Data Asset Framework survey
- The group discussed the recent DAF survey which we conducted at the University of Lincoln.
- JW will convene a sub-group to consider the responses in detail, and plan follow-up interviews.
- Business case
- JW is currently gathering costs for long-term data storage. This will form the first strand of the Orbital business case, which will be presented to University SMT (along with the agreed RDM policy) in September 2012.
Orbital v0.1 was released on 16 May 2012. Every two weeks, staff working on Orbital meet with Dr Bingo Wing-Kuen Ling and Dr Chunmei Qing to discuss their research and RDM practice. Until now these meetings have been all about requirements-gathering – today was the first opportunity for some real, hands-on user testing with the alpha release of Orbital.
The notes below have been turned into tasks on the Orbital project Pivotal Tracker site.
BL = Bingo Wing-Kuen Ling.
- BL successfully viewed Orbital v0.1 in Internet Explorer 7 on the UoL corporate desktop and was able to sign in and grant access to the application using his UoL credentials. BL was able to create and describe a new project.
- BL tried to upload a file from his desktop to Orbital using IE7 and received an error (this is a known bug with Orbital in Internet Explorer). He was then unable to delete this file.
- Switching to Firefox, BL uploaded multiple files from his desktop to his project in Orbital (it wasn’t clear from the page that this was possible). This completed successfully: but because the files sizes were small, he did not receive any feedback on his upload.
- Returning to the original file upload screen, BL had to manually refresh the page to view the changes made (files uploaded). Files scheduled for processing are marked as ‘queued’ however this status does not update automatically without refreshing.
- Joss Winn demonstrated the file and project metadata pages, citable URLs for files, and Google Analytics on projects. The display of file metadata needs to be more complete, and G.A. needs a better explanation and links to sources of help.
- The group discussed BL’s requirements around project calendars/timelines. BL wants to be able to view project events (meetings, deadlines, etc.) for each project (but not aggregated) and is not particularly concerned about notifications on activity/changes to files. The group discussed this and will explore ways of presenting timelines made up of three sorts of events (project events, activity stream, and comments) with each type of event suppressible in the timeline. A timeline overview will be displayed on the Orbital ‘front page’ once a user has logged in.
- BL also would like to be able to organise project and data files in all Orbital workspaces using folders/tags, and to allow bundled file download by organising files into collections.
This week sees the formal two-day launch event for the JISC Managing Research Data programme 2011–2013 (the programme which is funding Orbital). It’s being held in the National College for School Leadership, next to the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus.
Unfortunately, after schlepping it from the furthest fringes of Lincolnshire (and then having to go back home for the evening), I was only able to attend a couple of hours of day 1. But it was worth it.
I arrived just in time for a workshop about a number of research data management tools developed/provided by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC). Dr Mansur Darlington, who’s acting as external assessor/consultant to the Orbital project, was also in this workshop and contributed greatly to the discussions. (My Orbital colleagues Joss Winn and Nick Jackson attended the [parallel] workshop on various JANET, Eduserv and UMF SaaS/cloud storage services.)