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					   ESRC Society Today

ESRC Research Methods Festival
        20th July 2006

Cormac Connolly, ESRC Society Today Editor
  Economic and Social Research Council

   The Vision
   The Content
   The Technology
   The Site
   The Future…

Contacting us

The Vision

   “Giving social science a voice”
   “a first port of call for anyone interested in the UK‟s
    society and economy”
   Broad spectrum to serve the needs of a wide range
    of users
   Integrated access to ESRC-funded research and a
    wide range of high quality national and
    international sources
Supporting ESRC Strategy

 Engagement with users of social science

 Dissemination of knowledge from the social sciences

 Promotion of the understanding of social sciences

 Impact of research on policy and practice

 Highest quality of social science research
The Content...

   Replacement of REGARD Award Holder Database (abstracts, end of award reports and bibliographical references to
    other outputs:

     –   Database of ESRC research records as far back as 1975, containing >8,500 awards, and >86,000 outputs
     –   Allow Award Holders to self-submit award abstracts, outputs, non-technical summaries and end of award reports, as well linkage to or
         uploading full texts.

   Extended service to include

     –   plain English summaries
     –   Facts, Figures and Training Materials (inc *.ppts)
     –   easier access for award holders to update information
     –   links to e.g. authors information, full text papers and articles as the service develops
     –   News, opinion pieces, and interviews with prominent and emerging academics.

   Managed services from Amaze

     –   maintain research award information
     –   support service for award holders
     –   award holder survey at least annually
ESRC Centres and Programmes…

 Harvesting Research Websites

    – To include briefing papers, presentations, events, news – “grey literature”

    – Extend / maintain both their and ESRC identities

    – Archiving for completed programmes and centres

 Inclusion of selected websites of other research awards / outputs

 Provision of hosting for responsive mode mini-websites
ESRC Sponsored Resources

   Deliver users to the front door of appropriate content (dataset, abstract, etc)
     –    SOSIG, UK Data Archive, CRDS, ESDS, COPAC, ZETOC, IBSS
     –    Looking to deep link and integrate further datasets over coming months.

   Phased development:
     – At launch (May 2005): delivered users to the front door.

     –    Phase 2 – in progress - incorporating 50 additional external content targets for release in August, together
          with new functional developments. (Aug 2006)

     –    Phase 3 enhancements: investigate deep links to selected subsets or extract subsets for „facts and figures‟ section
          around specific themes. (2006-2007).

     –    Phase 4 enhancements: deep integration, but this might be overtaken by the next lifecycle of ESRC Society
          Today, likely to be largely influenced by the E-Social Science developments and JISC research environment –
          which are constantly being polled. (Within 4-5 years of initial launch).

   Forward compatibility with current and emerging data standards (including Z protocol, OAI).
Non ESRC funded third party materials

 Access to an unusual wealth of information

    –   non-ESRC quality research outcomes from, for example, government departments.

    –   published materials, those freely available and through commercial publishers

    –   Currently include: Cabinet Office PolicyHub, Info4Local, Homeoffice, Europa, Joseph Rowntree
        Foundation, Nuffield Foundation, Bank of England, ONS, BBC, SSRN, Wellcome Trust

    –   Continued expansion of sites

          •   Around social science themes
          •   Around ESRC sponsored providers
          •   Benefiting from wider developments (such as Open Access movement)
          •   Impacting on wider developments
The Technology

“Search” belittles Autonomy’s capability as an enabling technology for personalization,
   knowledge management, and collaboration - an automated “Intelligent Data Operating
   Layer” for unstructured content…

…"Autonomy can understand and analyse huge amounts of information….. (it can) categorise
   the ideas that they contain and build a sophisticated idea of what it is looking at without
   human help…..Autonomy has developed a program that reads, analyses and acts upon
   text, a breakthrough in artificial intelligence" Sunday Times

“Autonomy shines when finding interesting or unanticipated matches between texts or digital
   assets … important and needed to drive collaboration… or knowledge sharing activities
   …” Forrester

             Intelligent Data Operating Layer
      Intelligent Data Operating Layer Functionality
           Hyperlinking              Summarization
            Education                Alert & Delivery

          Categorization                 Agents

            Clustering                 Community
                XML                  Collaboration
Unstructured  Structured   Audio     Video         People
             Retrieval             Metadata Handling

             Connectors                           LCM
Autonomy and Key Concepts
Harvests and absorbs material…
Highlights the key concepts…
stores statistics on the document…
and forms a conceptual understanding…
enabling a natural language response…

  “Tell me about the
   golden labrador...”
stuff about the golden labrador…
and about dogs…
The Site
A quick overview

    Homepage

    Plain English

       –   Our Research
       –   Facts and Figures
       –   Major Investments
       –   Other Commissioned Materials and Publications

    Searching

       –   Simple
       –   Advanced

    Registration and Profile

       –   My Contact Details
       –   My Interests
       –   My Search Preferences

Live examples if time permits.
The Future

 Open Access Compliance
    – Extending ESRC Awards and Outputs Database (AOD [see next slide])
    – Compliance with Open Access Initiative – Protocol for Metadata Harvesting
      (OAI-PMH) + Dublin Core
 Becoming an Open Access subject repository for ESRC funded
    – Making ESRC funded research materials open access compliant
    – Allowing 3rd parties to discover and harvest research outputs
    – Harvesting OA research outputs from other 3rd parties (such as institutional
    – Encouraging submission of full text e-prints.
 Integrating all of all this with Autonomy and the newly enhanced search
Thank you

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