Personal Engagement with Repositories through Social Networking Applications (PERSoNA)
The project will build on issues identified by the Streamline project, namely that the relatively low take up of the use of repositories is a result of attitudinal issues as well as technical ones. Streamline has consulted potential repository users as part of its activities in supporting workflow and found that even staff who are willing to engage have serious concerns about loss of control and ownership of their outputs. The need to manage their own resources, while still sharing them with others, is therefore important. Building a community of trust around repository use would alleviate some of these issues.
Aims and objectives
To examine an individuals’ interaction with the repository and investigate how social networking tools might facilitate connection between the institutional functions of the repository and the individual’s own use and exploitation of it.
Using a range of social networking tools already in use by stakeholders: social bookmarking, informal tagging, synchronous/asynchronous communication and text-clipping the project will look at traditional approaches to information retrieval vis à vis the amount of information potentially available to an individual, against the proportion of information actually retrieved and compare this to the quality of retrieved information and how much they then go on to use/recommend to others.
The project methodology will be based on an iterative cycle of testing the use of social networking tools at points throughout the workflow, and making changes and adjustments on the basis of feedback from users. The process will be entirely based around technical developments which present the social networking tools at the most relevant points in the workflow, e.g. to aid deposit, to exchange experience around publishers’ policies, funding body mandates, copyright and IPR, and also at the points of searching, retrieval and onward discovery/signposting, and maintaining user engagement throughout to promote further development.
Anticipated outputs and outcomes
A range of social networking tools already in use by the stakeholder groups for both projects will be used and will be organised to support the following:
- Stakeholders commenting on the various processes around the use of the repository,and encouraging each other in the deposit of materials.
- Onward signposting and bookmarking of resources elsewhere to promote use of both in-house and other materials.
- Members of the project team engaging with users both in guiding them in use of the system, and in observing user behaviour and comment on the use of the materials in the repository to feed this into improvements in the system.
Technology / Standards used
A range of social networking tools including social bookmarking, informal tagging, synchronous and asynchronous communication and text clipping.
Open Source and proprietary platforms/software/websites used may include but are not limited to: de.lic.ious, Facebook, TiddlyWiki, Flickr, Twitter