Gavia Libraria

The CRIS and the IR, redux

The Loon owes the entire UK an apology; her last post completely ignored the HEFCE requirements for open access. Completely her mistake, and she is sorry, as well as grateful to Twitter user @pennyb for correcting her.

What we have, then, is a situation where both research-output tracking and green open access are required, and the decision therefore becomes which software best accomplishes these requirements with the least bother possible.

It appears that open source is losing this procurement battle, and Elsevier’s Pure (despite fairly significant preservation shortcomings and the usual fear of Elsevier eventually taking everyone to the cleaners) is winning, aside from a very few outliers. Why? Usability that isn’t the Ronco spray-on variety.

Having been blown off by more open-source repository developers than she can even remember on the topic of usability (see e.g., the which exasperated yodel accomplished little or nothing), the Loon feels not-insignificant schadenfreude about this alongside her disappointment. Those loons should have listened. They will keep losing until they do listen.

Put a stake in DSpace and EPrints; they’re done. Done. Islandora will not survive either, in the Loon’s estimation, and given its pessimal usability, should not. BePress may last a bit longer, but the Loon is only bullish on its survival as long as open-access, open-data, and research-output-tracking mandates bypass the teaching-intensive institutions that are its main market. The Loon does not know what to think of VIVO; it had a tremendous market opportunity it seems to have squandered.

Hydra(-in-a-Box) has time to learn from the open-source IR fiasco and do better—but possibly not much time. The likes of Elsevier and Figshare are not witless, and Elsevier seems to have acquired some usability wonks from somewhere (possibly the Mendeley acquisition?) and is using them wisely. Aside from usability concerns, the Loon would suggest interoperability with at least one and ideally many CRIS/RIM systems to be a major desideratum, and that right speedily. Considering this out-of-scope is dangerous, as many potential Hydra adopters will not want Hydra alongside an unavoidable CRIS/RIM-plus-repository. That is the moral of the EPrints story in the UK.

Little else but Hydra(-in-a-Box) can prevent the Purepocalypse, as best the Loon can tell.

4 thoughts on “The CRIS and the IR, redux

    1. Library Loon Post author

      The Loon has never thought van de Velde worthy an instant’s consideration. That post is no different.

  1. Christina Pikas

    Fwiw, Elsevier has long had a huge usability effort entirely separate from anything acquired recently. Elsevier is evil but at least their stuff works and is attractive (except for the aqua – why?!?). Full disclosure: I have participated in several usability sessions with them – some with my expenses reimbursed directly or to a charity. Nothing I say represents an endorsement from my employer.

  2. Mike Taylor

    For what it’s worth: speaking as a research at an institution whose IR is PURE, I thinks its usability is awful. Now I have never made a serious effort to use DSpace or EPrints, so I don’t discount the possibility that they are even worse. But that would be impressive.