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Recent posts

  • Ozmeka: extending the Omeka repository to make linked-data research data collections for (any and) all research disciplines - Ozmeka: extending the Omeka repository to make linked-data research data collections for (any and) all research disciplines by Peter Sefton, Sharyn Wise, Katrina Trewin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. [Update 2015-06-11, fixing typos] Ozmeka: extending the Omeka repository to make linked-data research data collections for (any and) all research disciplines […]
  • Implementing ORCID and other linked-data metadata in repositories - Implementing linked data metadata systems Peter Sefton University of Technology, Sydney This is a short presentation for the ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) implementers Roundtable in Canberra April 14, 2015. The ORCID site says: ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows […]
  • A quick open letter to eResearch@UTS - 2015-02-17, from a tent at the University of Melbourne Hi team, Thanks for a great first week last week and thanks for the lunch Peter Gale – I think I counted 12 of us around the table. I thought the week went well, and I actually got to help out with a couple of things, […]
  • Letter of resignation - to: The boss cc: Another senior person, HR date: 2014-12-10 Dear <boss>, As I discussed with you last week, I have accepted a position with UTS, starting Feb 9th 2015, and I resign my position with UWS. My last day will be Feb 6th 2015. Regards, Peter Dr PETER SEFTON Manager, eResearch, Office of the […]
  • Digital Object Pattern (DOP) vs chucking files in a database, approaches to repository design - At work, in the eResearch team at the University of Western Sydney we’ve been discussing various software options for working-data repositories for research data, and holding a series of ‘tool days'; informal hack-days where we try out various software packages. For the last few months we’ve been looking at “working-data repository” software for researchers in […]
  • Trip report: Peter Sefton @ Open Repositories 2014, Helsinki, Finland - [Update: 2014-07-08, fixed a couple of typos since this is getting a bit of traffic] Just self-archiving this post from the UWS eResearch blog here Trip report: Peter Sefton @ Open Repositories 2014, Helsinki, Finland by Peter Sefton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. From June 9th-13 th I attended the […]
  • We are not dinosaurs - This post by Peter Sefton is licensed under a Creative Commons CC by license My recent trip to Europe started with the week-long Open Repositories 2014 and ended with the one day Disruption in the Publishing Industry: Digital, Analytics & the Future in Edinburgh. I suggested to my colleague Peter Murray-Rust and others interested in […]
  • Elitist geeks considered hurtful (sic) - On the Slashdots today there was some stuff about how spreadsheets are evil and MUST NOT BE USED FOR RESEARCH EVER. This is really sad. Instead of ranting about what’s wrong with office software, why aren’t the smart kids (ie us) working on ways to make it better? Surely one could develop some tooling to […]
  • Notes on ownCloud robustness - I’m on my way to a meeting at Intersect about the next phase of the Cr8it data packaging and publishing project. Cr8it is an ownCloud plugin, and ownCloud is widely regarded as THE open source dropbox-like service, but it is not without its problems. Dropbox has been a huge hit, a killer app with what […]
  • Introducing next year’s model, the data-crate; applied standards for data-set packaging - This is also up at the UWS eResearch blog [Update 2013-11-04: If you’re reading this in Feedly and possibly other feed readers the images in this post won’t show – click through to the site to see the presentation Added some more stuff from the proposal, including the reference list – clarified some quoted text] […]
  • Questions for the Australian (library) Repository Community - I am at the CAUL Repository Community Days meeting, and along with a few other Antipodeans will he giving an update on the Open Repositories 2013 conference. I gave a report in a previous post, but I thought I’d do another summary with the benefit of a couple more months of hindsight, and ask a […]
  • Round table on vocabularies for describing research data: where’s my semantic web? - [UPDATE: Fixed some formatting] Round table on vocabularies for describing research data: where’s my semantic web? by Peter Sefton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Summary: in this post I talk about an experimental semantic website for describing what I’m calling ‘research context’, wondering if such as site can be used […]
  • Trip report: Open Repositories 2013 - Trip report: Open Repositories 2013 by Peter Sefton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Update 2015-04-22 – fixed some formatting From July 8th to July 12th I was on Prince Edward Island in Canada for the Open Repositories conference. I try to participate as a member of the OR committee, particularly […]
  • Another student project – crossing the curation boundary - Another student project – crossing the curation boundary by Peter Sefton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Another student project – crossing the curation boundary I wrote last week about a student project on HTML slide-viewing for which I’m the client. This week I met with another group to talk about […]
  • HTML Slide presentations, students to the rescue - HTML Slide presentations, students to the rescue by Peter Sefton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Thanks to Andrew Leahy’s organising skills I am now the client for a group of third year computing students from the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics at the University of Western Sydney who have […]
  • 4A Data Management: Acquiring, Acting-on, Archiving and Advertising data at the University of Western Sydney - This is a repost of a presentation I wrote with Peter Bugeia and delivered at Open Repositories in Canada, originally published on the UWS eResearch team blog, and presented here with minor updates to the notes, mainly formatting but with one extra quip. 4A Data Management: Acquiring, Acting-on, Archiving and Advertising data at the University […]
  • Research Data @ the University of Western Sydney (Introducing a data deposit management plan to the research community at UWS) - I was invited to speak at the National Higher Education Faculty Research Summit in Sydney on May 22 about our Research Data Repository project. The conference promises to provide a forum for exploration. Explore Sourcing extra grant funding and increasing revenue streams Fostering collaboration and building successful relationships Emerging tools and efficient practices for maintaining […]
  • Running an Open Source project from a university dev team - Steven Hayes from Arts eResearch at the University of Sydney invited me to visit their group and talk about running open source software projects, as they are making their Heurist (semantic database-of-everything) software open source. This was more of a conversation than a presentation, but I prepared a few ‘slides’ to remind me of which […]
  • Repositories! (What are they good for?) - Repositories! (What are they good for?) by Peter Sefton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Repositories! (What are they good for?)Georgina Edwards has invited me to Intersect NSW to give a talk to the software engineering team about repositories in eResearch. There were also quite a few eResearch analysts in attendance, […]
  • Putting data on the web - I attended this data newsroom (#datanews) event in Melbourne Monday Feb 3rd [Correction – it was the 4th] 2013. David Flanders asked me to come prepared to give a talk on tools and techniques for embedding data into web pages, particularly using, the corporate sponsored ontology of everything that matters for commerce.So here are […]
  • CAIRSS – CAUL Australasian Institutional Repository Support Service - By Dr Peter Sefton (University of Western Sydney) with Ms Caroline Drury (University of Southern Queensland).On Wednesday 5th Dec I (Peter) visited the Japanese Digital Repository Federation at their invitation and expense, to talk about how our respective repository communities are organised.  I’d like to thank the DRF for this opportunity to make the brief […]
  • New Avatars of the Book in Digital Culture - New Avatars of the Book in Digital CultureWhy are we here?This week the University of Western Sydney held a symposium, New Avatars of the Book in Digital Culture. I was invited to contribute to the event, in my capacity as eResearch manager. One member of my team thought it meant I was going to get […]
  • Receding Repository Software? - “Receding Repository Software?” by Peter (pt) Sefton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.I’m leading a brief session at the CAIRSS community days today (CAIRSS is the national repository support service for Australasia). The title is “Emerging Repository Software”, but I thought I’d turn that around and propose that the future of […]
  • Culture and climate - Culture and climateI was invited to attend the planning day for the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) at the University of Western Sydney, to talk about the eResearch team at UWS, discuss collaboration tools, and show a few useful, relevant examples of eResearch in the humanities. Here are some rough notes for the discussion. […]
  • Tip: Arrange dock icons by shape, colour to reduce seek-time - Like the guy in this video I used to think it would be a good idea to arrange icons in the OS X dock by how often I used them, or maybe by type. But I found that whatever ordering I used I would have trouble finding things. I know that iTunes is a blue […]
  • NeCTAR Über Dojo, Reproducible Research (UWS eResearch team in Cloud Land II) - Alf (Andrew) Leahy and I were recently in Melbourne for the NeCTAR Über Dojo event. By coming to this two day event you will be able to go back to your institution with a signed certificate showing that you’ve been ‘black belted’ as a Cloud expert, specifically we’ll train and qualify you in using the […]
  • Sliding towards declarative Scholarly HTML - [Update 2012-09-18 – Changed “microformats” to “microdata”]I have been working with others on ways to embed simple PowerPoint-like overhead slide presentations in longer documents for years. I like to combine an essay or blog post with the presentation in one source document, to give some context to the slides.I also find it much easier to […]
  • Virtual Infrastructure and Research Support: Fostering collaboration across institutions - I’m speaking at one of those commercial conferences in Melbourne this week, Virtual Infrastructure & Research Support an honour gifted to me by boss Professor Andrew Cheetham who couldn’t make it. There are three points they wanted me to speak about in a session about Fostering Collaboration. When I decided to do this, I thought […]
  • Open Repositories Developer Challenge. DRAFT manifesto v0.1 - I am on the committee for the Open Repositories conference. This year in Edinburgh I chaired the judging panel for the “Developer Challenge”, the development (or ideas) competition that runs inside the conference. Over the years I’ve been in a number of these things as a contestant, a judge, and last year one of the […]
  • How to write and format a technical procedure - About this documentBackgroundThe first job I had after doing a PhD in linguistics, back in 1995 was as a technical writer for TAFE NSW, working exciting stuff like how to set up networking in the MicroVax servers they had running the networks in the computing labs (TAFE does vocational education). The tech-writing team leader was […]
  • Reading in the new Word? Really? - While I don’t spend nearly as much time as I used to working on web publishing systems I am still thinking about how academic users can make the most of tools like Microsoft Word and keeping an eye on things. Today, there was an exciting and enticing post from the Word team. Reading in the […]
  • Think local, act global: Institutional Data Repositories being built in Australia with lessons learned from Institutional Publications Repositories - Slide 1This short presentation from Open Repositories 2012 is “Local in, Global Out” Copyright Peter Sefton, Vicki Picasso, Anna Shadbolt, Simon Porter and Caroline Drury. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License. Images used in this presentation are copyright the presenters unless otherwise noted. Slide 2In this talk we’re going […]
  • The tyranny of the file? -  A wonderful ad recently aired on Australian TV. The product is Ezyline and the ad announces “ The End Of Pegs”. It has some great writing in it “Hang your clothes quick and bring them in fast”, (which I think really should be “Hang your clothes quickly and bring them in fastly”). And my favourite […]
  • Research Data Australia down to Earth - Context: free cloud servers, a workshop and an ideaIn this post I look at some work we’ve been doing at the University of Western Sydney eResearch group on visualizing metadata about research data, in a geographical context. The goal is to build a data discovery service; one interface we’re exploring is the ability to ‘fly’ […]
  • Watching the file watcher: more on capturing feral research data for long term curation - File wrangling for researchers / Feral-data captureI wrote recently about a potential technique to help manage file-based research data so researchers can identify and ‘package’ collections or sets of data for deposit in a repository. This is an update on that, reporting more progress on integrating the data capture part of the chain, where a […]
  • File wrangling for researchers / Feral-data capture - [Had some problems with the images in this post at fist, should be fixed now]At UWS we’re about to start work on our Research Data Repository project, which you can read about over on the UWS eResearch blog. The starting point will be the Research Data Catalogue component of the repository. The main point of […]
  • Did you say you “own” this data? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. - In this post I question the use of the word ‘own’ in relation to research data. Is it misleading to talk about owning data? This came up as I was doing research into policies and procedures for research data management, in the context of projects funded by the Australian National Data Service, designed to promote […]
  • An Australian Research Data Repository - By Peter Sefton and Peter Bugeia, with input from the UWS eResearch community and beyondAbout this postDuring 2012 The University of Western Sydney (UWS) will be rolling out a Research Data Repository (RDR). Peter Bugeia from Intersect put together the project proposal which secured the budget to move ahead with this project and Andrew (Alf) […]
  • 2011 - It’s been very quiet here at media empire I’m still alive, and working, just not blogging a lot during a house and job move, and over the break. Thought I’d quickly sum up 2011.To put the end at the beginning, in November I started at the University of Western Sydney as the Manager, eResearch. […]
  • Draft eResearch diagram/map - Today we’re having an eResearch strategic [UPDATE: strictly speaking IT & Research] planning day at the University of Western Sydney. The meeting has been organized by IT Services, which is a really healthy sign of a commitment to taking eResearch seriously. But what is eResearch?The usual definitions say something about “Advanced IT and communications technology […]
  • WordDown: Word to HTML5 conversion tool - HTML5 Case Study WordDown: Word to HTML5 conversion tool Document details Author: Peter Sefton Author’s ID (URI): Document Type: Date: 2011-09-22 Version: 0.1 File Name: QA Notes: This is a first draft – I will post it to my blog, using the tool it describes, to seek feedback. Rights This work has been […]
  • Scholarly HTML5: experimenting on myself with microdata and vocabs - [Update 2011-09-12 & 2011-09-13 Fixed formatting/encoding issues from using my new Word2HTML converter without proper testing] Introduction: I’m embedding machine readable data about me and my career in a web pageThings have been very quiet on the Scholarly HTML front, but I have been working away in the background, on a number of things that […]
  • Template design issues for word processors and (possible future) EPUB export - [This document is a re-post of one for the jiscPUB project – please comment over there:]This document is a collection of notes on how to design word processing templates for creating EPUBs – particularly theses. It’s probably not very interesting as a general read. The intended audience is support and technical staff who are […]
  • The repository is watching: automated harvesting from replicated filesystems - Managing a thesisDemonstrationInstallation notes[This is a repost of please comment over there]One of the final things I’m looking at on this jiscPUB project is a demonstration of a new class of tool for managing academic projects – not just documents. For a while we were calling this idea the “Desktop Repository”, the idea being […]
  • The end of files might be inconvenient for scholarship - O’Reilly’s Radar site has an post advocating a post-file computing paradigm. It’s a bit short on concrete details about how this might be implemented, but it’s something we need to think about in the context of repositories and libraries, particularly because the main place this post-file computing is being delivered is on the back of […]
  • Real life scenarios for creating and disseminating linked-data publications - In this presentation for Semantic Web Technologies for Libraries and Readers (STLR 2011), which I can’t attend in person I want to talk about what happens before things hit the library. I have pre-recorded a couple of demos and asked Jodi Schneider if she would mind introducing the talk for me – I know she […]
  • Mustering - [This is a repost from the DevCSI blog. I am at Open Repositories 2011 conference in Austin Texas, courtesy of UKOLN, helping Mahendra Mahey run the developer competition. DevCSI stands for “Developer Community Supporting Innovation”.] By Peter Sefton and Mahendra Mahey Pitching for the DevCSI Developer Challenge at Open Repositories 11 On the first day […]
  • Making EPUB from WordPress (and other) web collections - [This is a re-post of from the jiscPUB project please make any coments over there:] BackgroundAs part of Workpackage 3 I have been looking at WordPress as a way of creating scholarly monographs. This post carries on from the last couple, but it’s not really about EPUB or about WordPress, it’s about interoperability and […]
  • Anthologize: a WordPress based collection tool - [This is a copy of a post on the jiscPUB project – if you have comments please do so over there:] In this post I’ll look at Anthologize. Anthologize lets you write or import content into a WordPress instance, organise the ‘parts’ of your ‘project’ and publish to PDF or EPUB, HTML or into […]
  • WordPress [and the jiscPUB project] - IntroductionSo far in the jiscPUB project I have been looking at word processing applications and EPUB, as well as how repositories and other web applications might support EPUB document production. One of the tasks in workpackage 3 is to look &hellip; <a href="">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&rarr;</span></a>
  • How to add EPUB support to EPrints - Putting EPUB into EPrints as-isWhat does the repository need to do?In a previous post here on the jiscPUB project I said it would be good for the EPrints repository software to support EPUB uploads. I#8217;d love to do something with hellip; a href=quot;;Continue reading span class=quot;meta-navquot;rarr;/span/a a href=quot;;Continue reading span class=quot;meta-navquot;rarr;/span/a a href=&amp;amp;quot;;amp;quot;Continue reading span class=&amp;amp;quot;meta-nav&amp;amp;quot;rarr;/span/a &amp;lt;a href=&amp;quot;;quot;&amp;gt;Continue reading &amp;lt;span class=&amp;quot;meta-nav&amp;quot;&amp;gt;&amp;amp;rarr;&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt; &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Continue reading &lt;span class=&quot;meta-nav&quot;&gt;&amp;rarr;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; <a href="">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&rarr;</span></a>
  • Scholarly HTML website up at - I have set up a website for Scholarly HTML at The site is intended to hold some key documents about Scholarly HTML, what it is, lists of tools etc. It will be populated as time allows. I will announce this on the Scholarly HTML mailing list now, and invite people from Beyond the PDF […]
  • Introducing Epub2Html – adding a plain HTML view to an EPUB - BackgroundDemo Trying it out / the future[This was originally posted on the jiscPub blog – if you have any comments please go there.]BackgroundEPUB ebook files are useful if you have an application to read them, but not everyone does. We have been discussing this in the Scholarly HTML movement; to some of us EPUB looks […]
  • Some questions about EPUB, WordPress, tools - If you publish EPUBs now, what tools do you use?What’s considered best practice for EPUBs?JISC project people: What do you have to do to get your reports up in JISCPress?[This is a repost from the jiscPUB project – please comment, but do so over there]I have a couple of questions for discussion in this jiscPUB […]
  • Metadata in word processing monographs - Introduction – why worry about metadata?Thesis workflowThesis metadataSummaryWhere now?[This is a repost of a document I posted to the jiscPub blog – posting here as well to reach more people but please use the comments over there.]Introduction – why worry about metadata?I have been working on a simple service to take word processing documents – […]
  • EPub for word processing users - SummaryInitial impressionsDemonstration softwareWhere next?Lessons learned[This is a repost of – if you have comments please make them over on there on the jiscPUB blog.]Author:Peter Sefton <>Date:Time-stamp: <2011-04-05 15:38:38>Description:First informal report on progress with Workpackage 3. Looks at tools for turning word processing documents such as Microsoft Word documents into epub.SummaryLast week I started on […]
  • Onwards - Yesterday was my last day at the University of Southern Queensland.I won’t miss the reminders to change passwords every 90 days, or the travel forms where you have to sign each line, number each receipt and staple them all to bits of paper. I am mildly disappointed that I won’t get to try out the […]
  • Scholarly HTML: Fraglets of progress - [update 2011-03-18 Fixed some typos] PDF version Preamble Example Summary Preamble I have been in Cambridge for 10 days working on Scholarly HTML with Peter Murray-Rust and team, plus assorted remote participants. I think the emerging consensus says that Scholarly HTML is a set of practices and conventions for using the web for scholarship [in […]
  • Scholarly HTML: new approaches to authoring Scientific Papers - PDF version I’m in Cambridge, in England. And I have given a talk as part of the leadup to Peter Murray-Rust’s Scholarly HTML hackfest. Friday 11th March1530  Todd-Hamied Room  Dept of Chemistry, University  of Cambridge Martin Fenner , Hannover Medical School Cancer Center (DE)  Brian McMahon, Int. Union of Crystallography, Acta Crystallographica Peter Sefton, Univ. Southern […]
  • Beyond the PDF: Some ideas for document formats and authoring tools - PDF version This post has been sitting my work folder since Beyond the PDF in January. I’m going to post what there is of it now, as background to the Scholarly HTML hackfest that’s on in Cambridge this weekend. In the lead up to Beyond The PDF there were lots of ideas flying around about […]
  • Hacking towards Scholarly HTML - PDF version Following from my attendance at the Beyond the PDF workshop in January, I’ve been invited to Cambridge by Peter Murray-Rust. That’s where I am now. (We have two just under weeks to revolutionise scholarly communications :) Peter has organized a hackfest for the weekend of March 12th and 13th and the theme is […]
  • Another look at desktop repositories - [Update: There were a few issues with this post, I forgot the reference list, and a couple of formatting bugs – hand fixed it] PDF version This post is a refresh on where we are at with the idea of Desktop Repositories, sparked by a discussion I had this week with people from Intersect, the […]
  • Beyond the PDF workshop trip report - Beyond the PDF Trip Report PDF version The Goal Outcomes Back at ADFI Demonstrator architecture Benefits for USQ Some issues I want to follow up A couple of weeks ago I was in San Diego, USA for the Beyond the PDF meeting. Other parts of the country were a bit snowed under, but in San […]
  • Beyond the PDF proposed session : Bring the web to the researcher : Mainly on authoring tools - Introduction Proposal User community? User tasks Current solution & issues Proposed improvements Proposed discussions for Beyond the PDF References Peter Sefton Australian Digital Futures Institute, University of Southern Queensland I’m posting this as a kind of extended abstract of my proposed presentation at the Beyond the PDF workshop. I want to demonstrate some of the […]
  • Before Beyond the PDF: Authoring tools for document semantics - Summary Relationship to Beyond the PDF A task: embed machine readable metadata inline in a word processor References By Peter Sefton [Update: fixing typos] Summary In this post I am going to demo some infrastructure that I think will be useful in scholarly communications; a way of encoding an RDF triple, in this case some […]
  • Towards Beyond The PDF – a summary of work we've been doing - Issues Technologies and ideas Getting on the web Improving repository models Packaging Annotation There’s a workshop happening in the USA in February [update: I mean January] 2011 called Beyond the PDF. This is really exciting, as we have been working for years here at USQ, and with collaborators such as Peter Murray-Rust and Jim Downing […]
  • Like a version? No thanks, I'll have a revision. - Collaborative servicesPublishingSome final thoughts on version control Tom Worthington has been dropping names again. Mine this time, and Martin Dougiamas’.Tom’s thinking about version control for academia, wondering if it’s a killer app. He tells a story about meeting a professor who is swamped with documents managed in email, of all places:During the World Computer Congress […]
  • I'm not going fundamentalist on you, but let's look at the fundamentals of Open Courseware licensing - Fundamentals It’s about © licensesIP?What counts as OCW?The basics, summarisedSome final thoughtsIn this post I want to look at what makes the various kinds of “Open” tick. Open CourseWare, Creative Commons, Open Source and Free Software are all frameworks for sharing various kinds of information-artefacts. (Open standards is a different kind of thing, which I […]
  • EPub as a way of packaging scholarly resources? - And the point of this is?But does it make sense?How to make this happenThere’s a lot of talk at the moment about EPub as a repository-relevant format, both for distribution, and as a packaging format.Recently Brian Kelly has been exploring EPub delivery, and there’s a really good discussion going on in the comments of his […]
  • My fave two reasons not to release OpenCourseware - Poor quality materials are embarrassingThe sky is falling!The cost of the current attitudeWe’re having a workshop about Open CourseWare (OCW – AKA Open Educational Resources or OERs) here at USQ soon, organised by Michael Sankey. I’d like us to talk about some of the potential costs and benefits of going OER from the points of […]
  • ICE to DocBook? Yes, but I wouldn't bother. - DocBook, XML, and the cost of ‘doing it right’The factsMy opinionYou get what you pay for / get back the effort you put inSummaryFollowing my last post on the demise of Google Wave and the future of scholarly word processing, Anthony Hornby of Charles Darwin University asked:@ptsefton Met Cameron Loudon here @CDU, he mentioned ICE. Could […]
  • The next wave in scholarly word processors? - Wave bye bye to the futureThe present: word processors are (according to Sam) evilThe past: Why did USQ leave behind the ‘semantic’ publishing system?The futureThis post is about the past, the present and the future, and also about word processors, PDF and that doomed Google Wave thing about which I have written a few posts.Wave […]
  • Open Repositories 2010 – Learning and Culture - Issue: packagingAn idea for USQThe last couple of days of the Open Repositories conference were devoted to the user-group streams, splitting the community into the Duraspace crowd and the ePrints devotees. You can move between them, of course, but some of the stuff that’s in those sessions is not really software specific, and I think […]
  • AWE – Presentation for Open Repositories 2010 - Peter Sefton University of Southern Queensland Duncan Dickinson University of Southern Queensland [Update: added link to the paper] The short paper Duncan Dickinson and I put together for this conference is organised around the conference themes, and what our Research and Development group at the Australian Digital Futures Institute is doing about each […]
  • Names (but not IDs) for Name Authority Services - In my last post I asked “What should we call this name-authority, vocabulary-server, linked-data URI factory service we are building for ANDS?” I got a few answers, one of which I really like, but they’re really suitable as names for a particular service rather than the class of services. MINT “Mashing Identifiers and Names Together” […]
  • What should we call this name-authority, vocabulary-server, linked-data URI factory service we are building for ANDS? - Today I am at the National Library, at the “Names Round Table”. I’m part of the ARDCPIPAG, which stands for “Australian Research Data Commons Party Identifier Advisory Group”. We’re advising a team at the library who are building party-identifier services for researchers and research institutions in Australia.At my work, at ADFI we’re working on developing […]
  • Cheap laugh #1. Suggest opening up courseware just a little. - The other day I attended a Moodle developers’ co-op group at USQ. Over lunch we were kicking around ideas for what USQ could do to improve our learning and teaching.Two things I said sent one long-standing member of staff into gales of laughter.First, I said, we should let all the students access and search all […]
  • ICE and word processor / HTML interop, the ugly, uglier, ugliest - We have started having post-Friday-morning-tea information sessions in the ADIF technical team. Ron Ward kicked the series off with a great overview of Javascript which is both the world’s most widely deployed and worst misunderstood language and Greg Pendlebury introduced us to some of the wonders of spelling suggestions in Apache Solr indexes (he works [...]
  • ICE and word processor / HTML interop, the ugly, uglier, ugliest - Something went wrong and I got a duplicate post when I tried to make a correction here. See the new version.
  • Repositories post 2010: embracing heterogeneity in AWE, the Academic Working Environment - [update remove reference to a project which is not yet approved] 1 Introduction 2 AWE: Meeting the grand challenges for repositories 2.1 The web and the repository & The cloud and the desktop 2.2 Knowledge and technology 2.3 Wild and curated content 2.4 Linked and isolated data & Ad-hoc and long-term access 2.5 Disciplinary and […]
  • Making things happen to the book - A week ago I was at the National Library’s Innovative Ideas Forum in Canberra – that’s #iif2010. I posted something about Kent Fitch’s take on innovation in libraries over on the CAIRSS blog.One of the other speakers was Mark Pesce, asking What Ever Happened to the Book. This looks at how books are evolving, and […]
  • My obsession with WordPress - Why WordPress in particularWhat’s not to like?My team received some interesting, thoughtful and detailed feedback this week from one of the computer programmers in one of our sister-teams at USQ. One thread in this missive was to do with the superiority of general purpose content management applications,and Joomla! In particular over mere blogs. Oh, and […]
  • Publishers, Authors, what's stopping you all from just using HTML - Dorothea Salo says OA publishers: just use HTML!. And of course, you know, I agree. Ironically, one of the papers she's picking on is on is all about publishing theses in HTML and I co-wrote it.
  • branding - I which I celebrate new modern blue seagulls
  • Back to the wordprocessor - It’s been quite a while since I have looked at word processing here. Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to revisit some of the ongoing themes I cover on this blog about document formats and Scholarly HTML and so on, working with my colleague Ron ”If The Encodings Don’t Get You The Namespaces […]
  • More details on a metdata store for data in/alongside VITAL - 1 Requirements2 Implementation2.1 Components3 RisksHere’s another post about the ANDS metadata store work I’ve been doing. I was at the university of Newcastle last week working with Vicki Picasso and Dave Huthnance, with calls to Teula Morgan at Swinburne. Together we fleshed-out a model for how Newcastle might run a data-registry alongside their VITAL repository.I […]
  • ANDS metadata stores: Describing metadata collections in VITAL - The new modelGoing furtherI’m at the University of Newcastle visiting repository rat extraordinaire Vicki Picasso (actually at this bushland campus she should be a repository wallaby or something) and her colleague Dave Huthnance from IT. We are working on a model for how research data collections destined for Research Data Australia might be described and […]
  • ANDS Metadata Stores: Integrating VITAL with the NLA's Party Infrastructure Project - Why is this important?How?Linked data more generallyHere is some more news on the metadata stores project for ANDS (see previous posts) and how we might build links between VITAL/Fedora and an identity service for people (parties in ANDS-speak). This is potentially a step on the way to a linked-data future not just for research data […]
  • ANDS Metadata store: starting point - Starting pointIssuesThis is the second post about the ANDS-funded metadata store work we’re doing at ADFI. The project now has a Trac site where we will be tracking progress and keeping notes; the site will be open to the public to read, to make it as easy as possible to reach a wide range of […]
  • New Project: Metadata for data collections - Scope & DeliverablesIssues for a new standalone metadata storeIssues with adapting an IR[This is a re-post. I put this up a couple of days ago but my hosting provider lost the server for a day and had to restore from backup.]At the Australian Digital Futures Institute we’ve landed a contract with ANDS (the Australian National […]
  • Bye Bye Word 2007 Custom XML ? - I have argued here repeatedly that building applications using Microsoft Word’s Custom XML feature is a spectacularly bad idea, but it turns out that I missed the best reason of all not to use custom XML: It may well be going away very soon, because, I gather, it infringed someone’s patent. In reaction to this […]
  • DRFIC, Tokyo - Suggestions for collaboration based on hard-won experience On Tuesday last week I took to the stage at the University of the Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre for the CAIRSS community day, I talked about seven things we’re doing wrong in the world of repositories. Negative? Maybe, but there’s no point in spending all our time patting […]
  • ICE Week, background - PDF version History FrameMaker LaTeX Lessons? GOOD CPS ICE Future directions? Working parties References This week at the Australian Digital Futures Institute we’re taking a look at ICE: the Integrated Content Environment, an open source software system which is now part of the core infrastructure at USQ. The ADFI team are spending all week exploring […]
  • Promising developments in the Australian Access Federation - PDF version At the eResearch Australasia conference last week I attended a Birds of a Feather session, Authorisation community developments run by Markus Buchhorn (Intersect), Lyle Winton (Victorian eResearch Strategic Initiative), Clare Sloggett (Intersect) and Neil Witheridge (ARCS). Clare asked me to come along, possibly because she knew I had been critical of some aspects […]
  • Showing off presentation-to-html-to-blog using The Fascinator - PDF version Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4
  • Wave as a scholarly document editor: not promising at this stage - PDF version [Update 2009-11-18: fixed links that were broken by The Fascinator] I have had a couple of looks at Google Wave here on this blog, initially thinking about whether it can be used to create academic documents. At this stage it doesn’t look promising for document collaboration on scholarly works to me, although I […]
  • Boundaryless eResearch: Use Linked Open Data - I am at the eResearch Australasia conference, official tag #eraust09. Yesterday afternoon Anna Gerber, Peter Murray-Rust and I convened a Birds of a Feather (BoF) session: Boundaryless eResearch: use the Web, use Linked Open Data. I put up some thoughts about what I’d like to see from the session. It was well attended, and the […]
  • Second post powered by The Fascinator, with pictures - PDF version A few days ago I did my first blog post from The Fascinator Desktop. This post is just to show that embedded images are now supported. Next step will be posting a presentation to a blog. After that we'll be looking at repository deposit, and the ability to build complex objects from multiple […]
  • First Post! - [Update 2009-11-25: Fixed broken links] This week we missed a huge opportunity to promote our eResearch software The Fascinator, what with the race that stops a nation and all that other spring racing stuff. There were fascinators everywhere, even Toowoomba. But us geeks don’t seem to care about horse races as much as we care […]
  • A bit more on Wave as a Scholarly HTML editor -
  • Some thoughts for our BoF session on boundaryless eResearch for #eraust09 - At eResearch Australasia 2009 in November in Sydney, I'm going to to be co-facilitating a Birds of Feather session with Anna Gerber from UQ, and Peter Murray-Rust and Jim Downing from Cambridge; Jim Downing will be involved but he won't be able to join us at Manly. The topic is Boundaryless eResearch: use the Web, use Linked Open Data. There's an extended abstract in PDF format which I'm hoping we can build into a paper. I'm supposed to be starting that work now, hence this blog post to try to get my thoughts in order.
  • Wave as a Scholarly HTML editor - I did a series of articles here a while back about trying to use various word processors and editing tools to write scholarly works for publication in HTML. Then this year, I looked in more detail at what Scholarly HTML might be like. Now it's Google Wave's turn.
  • Lesson learned from the Australian IR experience, we should recognize that some institutions will need hosted software - I have been invited to speak at DFRIC 2009 in Tokyo in December, and I’m working on a paper with my CAIRSS colleague Kate Watson, to form the basis for my presentation, the working title of which is Suggestions for Asian/Australasian regional cooperation based on a critical evaluation of collaboration and standardization across Australian Institutional […]
  • Shared metadata, self-serve - Bryan Lawrence has pointed out The relationship between collecting metadata, and the optimum size of a child’s plate of food. Bryan says:Ok, so I think I make a cogent argument about benefits [of metadata], so where does childrens eating behaviour come in? Well, I think when one is trying to gather metadata, we’re in the […]
  • ICE for theses (ThesICE) , where we are we up to? - About ICE and thesesWhy use ICE? Getting things doneUsing ICE-classicUsing ICE-ServerUsing ICE with other servicesConclusionDanny Kingsley who is the Manager, Scholarly Communications and ePublishing at the Australian National University, emailed me to ask about ICE and theses. I asked Danny if she minded making her question and my reply public, and she’s OK with that, […]
  • Article of the future? Let's talk about scholarly communications. - It has taken me a while to get to commenting on the Article of the Future examples from Elsevier and Cell Press. If you look at their two prototype articles you will see an attempt to sex-up the presentation of a research articles, with a few social-web trimmings via a share/save button. I already know […]
  • Towards Scholarly HTML - [update 2010-08-31 Clarified something] Abstract The problem: paper-based thinking The Integrated Content Environment ICE features Journals in ICE Electronic theses and dissertations Conclusion: a proposed new model References Copyright © 2009 Published by Peter Sefton A while ago, I got an email for the nice people at Elsevier (actually I think it might have been […]
  • A few discoveries - In which I build a discovery service for Southampton to better find papers by Les Carr
  • More progress on exploded PowerPoints in a desktop repository - The team here has made some progress in their work on The Fascinator Desktop which can blow up presentations into component parts. We're going to release a developer version very soon that you will be able to check out using Subversion.
  • I'm beginning to hate the word 'repository' - A twitter experiment in seeing how people define repostiories
  • ADFI collaboration and documentation tools - Shirley Reushle has been beating me up1 about the mess of software and websites and stuff that we use here at ADFI.
  • Wanted: someone to actively sell open repository solutions in Australia - I think that there is a gap in the market in the Australian Repository scene; I think a lot of sites would be interested in services and/or hosting around a completely open source software stack. In this post I will outline the kinds of services I think might be attractive, how they might be provisioned, which bits of software I think would be suitable.
  • Living Holding Hands? - So in my last post I mentioned the household ePrints repository. I was joking, kids. But it sort of got me thinking. I bet the Les Carr household has one. Maybe I should do something for the family heritage.Anyway, here’s a bit of ephemera I found in a plastic sleeve in my song-lyrics folder. A […]
  • Very Early Career Researchers (Engineering) - Peer review for the under-twelves
  • eResearch happiness in Australia? - I have posted here before about work at ADFI that may be of interest to ANDS. After a recent visit to Canberra I have another couple of ideas presented here in a very quick blog post.
  • Desktop Repositories: Smashing up PowerPoint - Les Carr has been experimenting with desktop repository services. He started by wondering how he might manage the thousands of PowerPoint slides and presentations he has, moved on to converting them into images, with embedded textual metadata, then put them in ePrints on the desktop and started speculating on how slides might be reassembled into new presentations and exported. These workflows are exactly what we have been looking at with The Fascinator Desktop, our nascent eResearch repository platform. Our goal is to index and understand everything on an academic's desktop, including presentations, documents, video, images, audio, data of all kinds, everything; via a plugin architecture which will be easily scriptable. We're in the middle of a two week development sprint getting some of the pieces in place for this, so I thought that picking up on Les Carr's PowerPoint work would make for a good target for the end of next week.
  • Trip report: visit to Microsoft -
  • eResearch at ADFI as summary and potential projects - Some ideas for
  • Open Repositories 2009 trip report - Summary report from Atlanta
  • Should I click the button? - Do Elsevier deserve exclusive rights over my paper given recent revelations about fake journals?
  • Stop saying 'Protect our IP' in educational contexts? - I agree with RMS - the term Intellectual Property is misleading and leads to fuzzy reasoning
  • Three big hairy audacious goals for an open USQ - Theses ont he web in HTML, all coursware in the open and a series of journals of pedagocial practice
  • Ontologize me! First demo - Demo of an RDF triple encoded in a URL
  • Journal 2.0: Embedding semantics in documents - One of the goals of Scholarly HTML, sorry Journal 2.0, will be to have embedded semantics in documents, like being able to say that the string Peter Sefton represents the name of the author of this post, or that when I say Toowoomba I am talking about a town on the Darling Downs in Queensland, not some farm in South Africa.
  • Scholarly HTML: Simple, rational modern citations using links - Suggestions for how a journal might get authors to cite stuff using links only, without fiddly citation formats
  • Some ideas for rapid innovation projects: jiscri - Things we have been thinkign about and could collaborate on with UK partners
  • Scholarly HTML - This week I feel the time is right to look with fresh eyes at something we have been over and over in the ICE project; the place of HTML in scholarly publishing. There have been a couple of things happen recently that made me look at the issues in a new light.
  • Trip report: Intersect and University of Sydney - Notes on an eResearch themed visit to University of Sydney and Intersect
  • More on Microsoft Collaboration and word processor interop - It's not like I'm ever going to get the last word on this unless I turn off the comments but I would like to wrap up the discussion that's gone on here about word processor interoperablity and format support in various word processors, which was sparked by Glyn Moody's complaint that the Science Commons people were working with Microsoft and perpetuating their monopoly on word processing and move it onto specifics about what we can do for scholarly communications.
  • Linda Octalina - A post for AdaLovelaceDay09 on an early career open source heroine
  • More on Microsoft Word and non-interoperable standards compliance - Glyn Moody was pleased with my response to his rant on Microsoft Collaboration.Others were less so. And Jim Downing would like me to expand on what I think might be good ways to do interoperable plugins. I’ll start by dealing with the comments, which leads to looking at how plugins like Chem4Word might work. I […]
  • Opening up Microsoft - Glyn Moody has posted Open Science, Closed Source in which he takes John Wilbanks to task for collaborating with Microsoft and effectively perpetuating Microsoft’s stranglehold on word processing. I agree with this analysis:Working with Microsoft on open source plugins might seem innocent enough, but it’s really just entrenching Microsoft’s power yet further in the scientific […]
  • The Desktop Fascinator AKA #DTeRrev - Less than two weeks ago I posted here on what I called the Desktop eRearch revolution. Jim Richardson gave that resulting discussion the twitter tag #DTeRrev. You can see what people said.Since then we went ahead with the idea – Oliver Lucido has put together a version of The Fascinator that can index a hard […]
  • Developer happiness and associated meetings - Dev8DOther visitsUKOLN, BathSouthamptonKings CollegeBirkbeckThis is a report on my trip to the UK in February 2009. It will start life as a blog post, which will then form the basis for a report to ADFI.The main event was the Developer Happiness Days conference, but I also had meetings with four institutions: UKOLN @ University of […]
  • Desktop eResearch revolution - It seems to me that there is a bit of buzz at the moment around the need for a desktop eResearch tool that can organize your stuff locally and push it up to a managed store.In no particular order.There was a conversation between a couple of Sydneysiders on Twitter on the #eresearch channel:usyd_dpa: @jimrhiz The […]
  • The path to developer happiness: Unit testing in Python & XSLT - When David Flanders asked me what I’d like to talk about at the Developer Happiness Days, I thought I could do something on XSLT – which turns out to be not that much of a hot topic – I ended up giving a short talk on XSLT and where to use it and where to […]
  • The path to developer happiness: Beyond PDF - Here are my notes from the lighting talk ‘beyond PDF’ at the developer happiness days. There’s a video online – I haven’t watched it but I imagine it’s the usual incoherent ranting, apparently with added sound quality issues, not to mention a touch of jetlag.The intention was to:Explain the big issue: we’re not realizing the […]
  • Still no sympathy for IBM Lotus Symphony - I think I might be onto a trend here. Sun’s HTML Project for is stalled, as reported here a few days ago so I thought I’d catch up with IBM Lotus Symphony and see how it’s going. Last year I dashed off an excited blog post when I discovered that it had avoided all […]
  • is bad for the planet - It’s been a while since I have whinged here about how hard it is to make web documents with Office tools.This is actually old news, but did you know that in Writer the Save as HTML is completely stupid?If you embed an image, lets say a 5Mb photo in your document and size it […]
  • Gimpowerment - At my house there lives an eight year old, who is almost certainly my son. I came home on Wednesday to find him trying to mutilate a Pokemon picture he’d snaffled off the web using the drawing program in This was not going well: a (not great) vector drawing tool meets a bitmap image. […]
  • Potential projects: #2 Integrating ICE with the Open Journal Systems - Back in December I was at the Open Access Publishing meeting in Sydney, where I got to meet MJ Suhonos and John Willinsky from PKP. I talked about how ICE complemented software from PKP.Coincidentally, while I was writing up what I said at the meeting I got an email from Chris Rusbridge wondering about whether […]
  • Potential projects: #1 A general purpose document annotation system - In December I was in Cambridge visiting Peter Murray Rust’s group. I have been working with Jim Downing, Nick Day and Joe Townsend on the TheOREM-ICE project. Thanks to the Cambridge team for hosting me, the several visits to the pub and to Peter for inviting me to dinner at his college. Luckily I don’t […]
  • Old Slides - Dorothea Salo:I can’t establish that I was the first to decry “build it and they will come” thinking with regard to institutional repositories. Gibbons decried it in 2006 with regard to the Rochester repository. In her slide “early misunderstandings”:Early MisunderstandingsFaculty see need for repositoryFaculty see value in repositorySelf-archiving is a practical expectationTechnology is the difficult […]
  • Scholarly Publishing using the Integrated Content Environment - 1 Orientation2 Introduction3 About ICE2008-12-11Peter Sefton University of Southern OrientationThis is another blog post based on a presentation. What I’ve been doing lately is working on each presentation as a document with embedded slides before I give it. I think that working this way makes for a more coherent delivery and I can take […]
  • More thoughts on thesis embargoes - I wrote last time about how we might do thesis embargoes with ICE as part of the TheOREM-ICE project we’re doing with Jim Downing and team at Cambridge. That post was mostly about why we wouldn’t want to add complex access control at a very granular level to ICE.I’m actually in Cambridge now and I’ve […]
  • Embargoes on bits of theses: skating on thin ICE? - I gave myself a task* after the last TheOREM-ICE teleconference to look into how ICE might be used for fine-grained thesis embargoes.I have not seen a full spec but I gather from the conversation that sometimes you want to make a thesis available but place some of the data, or maybe a chapter or two […]
  • The Fascinator @ !dea MMVIII - The Fascinator is a bit of repository software, designed to show off stuff that resides in a Fedora Commons store. It was designed and built at the Australian Digital Futures Institute at The University of Southern Queensland (USQ). The software development was funded by the ARROW project with a contribution from USQ. It is based […]
  • Towards (Australian) repository interoperability using OAI-PMH - [Update: fixed typo in title]Jim Downing tagged the presentation I posted on Tuesday What the OAI-ORE protocol can do for you as “Apart from the ORE parts, this contains a nice exposition of the difference between standards and interoperability.”That tag nails a lot of what the talk was about. ICT Standards are nice, but they […]
  • Happy Open Access day - Chris Rusbridge points out that at the ARROW day on Tuesday week nobody mentioned Open Access Day.I knew it was Open Access day when I was preparing my talk, and I meant to mention it but I forgot* as did everyone else, apparently. So happy Open Access day everyone. I hope this doesn’t say anything […]
  • ARROW week - This week I’m in Brisbane for an ARROW week. On Tuesday there was the ARROW repositories day, which was live-blogged [1, 2, 3] by Chris Rusbridge. Chris and I met via the blogosphere talking about how many clicks it should take to put stuff in a repository. His presentation at the ARROW day was good […]
  • What the OAI-ORE protocol can do for you - 1 Introduction – Standards2 Two examples of standards2.1 OAI-PMH2.2 XACML3 OAI-ORE4 ConclusionPeter SeftonUniversity of Southern presentation for the ARROW Repository day 2008-12-14Abstract: Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE), is an important new protocol for representing compound objects, or aggregations, in a web environment. The system is generating a lot of development activity […]
  • eResearch for Word users? - I’m back in Toowoomba after a week away at the eResearch Australasia 2008 conference in Melbourne. As usual I didn’t live-blog any of it but I will try to post on my thoughts from the conference over the next week or so. Not sure how I go with that as I have stuff to prepare […]
  • ICE: eResearch for Word users - View as PDFI’m just blogging this poster from OR08 to show that it can be done. About this hyperposterThis poster is a hyperdocument designed to show some potential applications for eResearch publications.This document has embedded semantics.For example, it was written in: Toowoomba at USQ (S 27.601335° E 151.930854°), for a conference in Melbourne (S 37.849925° E 144.978368°)Embedded geographical data (via geohash) […]
  • Is this thing working? - I’m working on my hyperposter for eResearch Australasia 2008. This is a test to see if the mapping system here is still working.This document has embedded semantics It was written in: Toowoomba at USQ [Update: fixed spelling] (S 27.601335° E 151.930854°), for a conference in Melbourne (S 37.849925° E 144.978368°)
  • Embedding XML in word processing documents (if you really must) - Rick Jelliffe has posted a comparison of how foreign XML can be embed in OOXML (that’s the XML format for Microsoft Office) and ODF (the Open Document Format).Rick starts with:First the caveat: Word and OpenOffice are not general-purpose XML editors. Right. That means that if you do decide that there’s a case for embedding extra […]
  • More ideas about online and offline word processor integration – is anybody listening? - Via Glyn Moody who doesn’t want to say he told us so I see that Adobe is discontinuing support for Flashpaper, a proprietary Adobe (via Macromedia) technology for disseminating documents online. This means that anyone who has put stuff in there now has to migrate all their stuff to some other format. That’s what you […]
  • Put on The Fascinator - View as PDFAt the Australian Digital Futures Institute (ADFI, née LFII) we have been working on a software project, funded by our friends at ARROW, to build a lightweight web front-end to the Fedora Commons repository software. It used to go by the name of Sun of Fedora, which was just a temporary off the […]
  • More thoughts on an application to find structure in word processing documents - In my last post I said I’d write more about how Ian Barnes’ Structure Guesser AKA Structure Sniffer1 might work, and how it might be able to leverage Schematron.The sniffer is part of Ian’s Digital Scholar’s Workbench concept, where you can upload an unstructured word processing document, and use the workbench to add explicit structure […]
  • A courseware authoring dashboard using Schematron - As with busses, sometimes you can wait ages for a Schematron and suddenly a whole pack of them come along together*.For those of you who don’t know:In Markup Languages, Schematron is a rule-based validation language for making assertions about the presence or absence of patterns in XML trees. It is a simple and powerful structural […]
  • Compound documents in ICE and beyond: referencing parts of things - Ben O’Steen has put up some thoughts on what he refers to as ‘compound’ documents and how to store them in repositories and allow for referencing of parts of a document, such as a table, a graph or even a paragraph. Why did I add the scare quotes to compound? While to a computer scientist […]
  • Study shows real-world ODF/OOXML interoperability is not great - Via Doug Mahugh at Microsoft comes this study (Shah & Kesan 2008)⁠ on interoperability of word processing applications using the Open Document Format and Office Open XML.After outlining some possible approaches to testing conformance of applications against the standards and pointing out what a gargantuan task that would be, they settle on a pragmatic approach: […]
  • Another look at the Article Authoring Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007 - Usability?Lock inPreservationAn alternativeThe “Article Authoring Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007” (AAAiMOW1) has been turned loose as a release candidate. I looked at an earlier version of this a while a ago. The name of the thing doesn’t let on that it is targeting just one version of what an article looks like, in the […]
  • Improving VALET – part 2 - This is my second post on the VALET repository deposit tool. Again, if you’re not a repository aficionado you can probably move on1.Still here?One of the issues we confronted with VALET was to rewrite in Java or not to rewrite in Java? VALET is written in Perl and quite nicely written in my opinion, apart […]
  • Improving VALET – part 1 - This week the ARROW community is having get together for developers to work on the VALET repository ingest tool. This is probably of little interest if you’re not a repository person (or rat) but if you are then this may be of interest whether you are associated with the VITAL / Fedora world or not.VALET […]
  • More on Buzzword - Two people have recently reminded me about Adobe’s online word processor, Buzzword. Coincidence? Groundswell of popularity? Probably not as they are married to each other.Anyway, it has improved a bit since I first looked at it. At least it has HTML export now (it handles lists wrongly, nesting lists inside lists instead of inside list […]
  • Some architectural changes to ICE - View as PDFThis post is a look at some architectural changes we’re looking at for the ICE system, as we hit the limits of what we could squeeze out of the old architecture. Ron Ward has just finished a major rewrite of lots of the application, designed to make it work on a central web […]
  • Tim McCallum shows off Sun of Fedora - Here in the Repository Services group at USQ we have been working on a project funded by ARROW and in partnership with the National Library of Australia. It’s a bit of repository software originally designed to explore the Apache Solr search application.We looked at Solr last year at USQ, and I blogged about it as […]
  • A few words on magic - MJ Suhonos from PKP has patiently explained where I got some things wrong about Lemon8XML in my previous hasty post.I’d like to pick up one theme from MJ’s post. MJ says (with emphasis by me):The larger problem, of course, is that L8X is encumbered, in a way, by the common expectation that it should just […]
  • Lemon8 XML beta released - The PKP people have released a beta of Lemon8-XML, (L8X) their journal-oriented word processor-driven XML publishing system.I tried out the demo server with an ICE test document. The bad news is that the service had significant problems with my document; It could not locate author metadata, incorrectly identified some ordinary text as being citations, and […]
  • An ICE like ODF based web publishing system - From Kay Ramme at the GullFOSS blog at Sun comes this demo of a wiki-like system using ODF as a document format and as an editor.It seems to be using WebDAV to allow users to edit documents on a server, then convert them to HTML automatically when they load the document in a browser.Good […]
  • Adventures in Geocoding part 2: Embedding data points in documents - [update: the map doesn’t seem to work well in IE – works well for me in Firefox.] View as PDFI have been thinking about how to start integrating more semantics into ICE documents. This is only a preliminary look, but it’s very promising so far.A wrote a while ago about embedding metadata in pictures. This […]
  • More on negative click or net benefit repositories - So the conversation that Chris Rusbridge started about low-effort repositories rolls on. Chris summarizes some of the responses. Including mine and broadens the discussion to bring in some of the stuff that Andy Powell has been saying:Andy wants repositories to be more consistent with the web architecture. He spoke at a Talis workshop recently; his […]
  • Deflation in repository clicks - My thoughts on repository workflowNet-benefit repository workflowsChris Rusbridge is contributing to repository click deflation at the Digital Curation Blog with a post about Negative Click Repositories.Why deflation?At Open Repositories 20008 a group of us Australian developers entered in the Repositories Challenge, with an entry entitled Zero Click Ingest [1]⁠. The introduction puts it like this:This […]
  • Why wasn't I using styles in diagrams? - I have said here many times “use styles”. So why wasn’t I doing so when I could have been?Regular readers will know that I’m a bit word processor-obsessed. In the word processor a style is name for a bundling of formatting and structural information. For example, in most word processors if you use Heading 1 […]
  • Please comment on this abstract - I’m writing a paper that I hope to submit for the eResearch Australasia 2008 conference if I get it done in the next three days.I’m putting the current draft of the abstract up here for comment. What do you think? It’s due on Friday, but there’s still time to change things around a bit. For […]
  • More on ODF and OOXML - Updated converter tableRevised view: how well does the ODF add-in work?I posted yesterday about document formats and applications.Today a couple of additions and a correction.I left the Sun ODF plugin for Microsoft Word off the list. So here’s an update of my summary table. I have not been able to test it yet.Updated converter tableAll […]
  • Claims about ODF support are typically meaningless - I know I’m repeating myself a bit. But as you know there’s a Wikipedia page about applications that support the Open Document Format and it gets quoted and linked to. A lot.I linked to Peter Murray Rust yesterday, and one of the commenters on his blog also talks about the number of is only […]
  • Some comments on OOXML, ODF and Microsoft Word - File format conversionsWhat can we do now?Some comments on the Microsoft issueThere is a conversation about file formats and word processors going on between Peter Murray-Rust and Glyn Moody.Peter made some comments about wanting access to chemistry publications in Word format so he can better extract chemical information embedded in them, which sparked some push-back […]
  • Adventures in geocoding part 1: The Toowoomba BUG Cycle Hazard Investigation Team does Ruthven Street - One of the things we’re thinking about at USQ is how researchers might integrate data into their publications. This will be key to the Australian National Data Service.I have posted a few things here before about stuff like embedding chemistry, maps, and graphing. I’ll start keeping track of those and other posts under the […]
  • Some comments on the NLM XML plugin for Word 2007 - View as PDFI have been very slow getting to this, and I missed catching up with Microsoft people at Open Repositories 2008 but I wanted to make a couple of comments on the new Microsoft Word 2007 plugin for authoring journal articles in the (USA) National Library of Medicine XML format. I saw this originally […]
  • Some thoughts on vendor lock-in, from the domestic to the institutional (is Apple Mac OS X evil?) - View as PDFI spent a fair bit of time during a period of enforced physical inactivity in March sorting out the home music and picture collections, getting rid of stray MP3s that nobody wants and trying to work out how to start organizing our photos a bit better. This is another exercise in self preservation, […]
  • Go go gadget gauges - View as PDFGoogle have released some new toys: visualizations AKA gadgets.This is what we’ve been waiting for without quite knowing what we were waiting for.If you have some data in a Google spreadsheet, or another application that implements the API (are there any?) then you can hook it up to a visualization. See the gallery.This […]
  • Google Docs as a blog editor? - View as PDFLast post here was another complaint about Google Docs and its terrible OpenDocument Format support. I’ve been very sick for the last little while and it turns out purely by coincidence that the next post I feel strong enough to write is another complaint about Google Docs. I promise I’ll complain about something […]
  • Google claims to support ODF over OOXML but Google Docs has awful ODF support - I wrote last week about the way supporters of the OpenDocument Format talk-up the number of supporting applications, but for our purposes the support is not as widespread as is often claimed.Now there’s a post on the Official Google Blog A renewed wish for open document standards. Note the plural; standards. They talk about supporting […]
  • ICEify this document! - I have been working on some proposals to get us a some interesting projects (with attendant money) for the Learning Futures Institute, where I work. To do this I have to work with other people’s templates, which is fine, but it could be so much better if I could use some of the tools we’ve […]
  • Anyone know about research into what authoring tools academics use? - [Update: Fixed a typo and added two more names]I’m in paper-writing mode at the moment which means doing some actual reading-type research. I’m interested in issues like why repositories use PDF and not HTML. It’s surprising how many papers there are on ‘Library 2.0′ or ‘Repositories and Web 2.0′ that manage to not mention HTML […]
  • OpenDocument Format support not as great as the cheer squad keep saying - I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t help it. Just because an application has ‘Save as OpenDocument’ feature that does not mean it has useful OpenDocument support.Benjamin Horst at SolidOffice points to Dispelling Myths around ODF (I don’t think all the myths really are myths (and why do people keep saying that ODF […]
  • XHTML Challenge: Mozilla Seamonkey Composer is not suitable for writing academic papers - I have written a few posts about trying to write HTML, peferably XHTML, with various word processing tools. Today was reminded of the Mozilla Seamonkey project by this post about open source alternatives to proprietary software packages. (Some things on the list are sensible, but suggesting that ‘DocBook‘ might be a replacement for FrameMaker is […]
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  • Mini websites of supporting material for scholarly articles - Via First Author, I see that BioMed Central has added the ability for authors to include extra web material with a paper:… to make it possible to upload collections of files that can be conveniently navigated in the web browser – essentially a miniature website associated with the article. This functionality has now been added […]
  • 2008 - Immediate future The future Summer holidays have been wrung out to the last drop. Kids are back at school. Time to start on 2008. RUBRIC is now officially finished, except that we are keeping the tech team running until the end of March to continue limited support for the RUBRIC partners. The RUBRIC tech team […]
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Curriculum Vitae – Dr Peter Sefton


Peter Malcolm Sefton

Current role:

Manager, eResearch



New South Wales







Short bio for conferences etc

Peter Sefton is the Manager for eResearch support at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Before that he was in a similar role at the university of Western Sydney (UWS). Previously he ran the Software Research and development Laboratory at the Australian Digital Futures Institute at the University of Southern Queensland. Following a PhD in computational linguistics in the mid-nineties he has gained extensive experience in the higher education sector in leading the development of IT and business systems to support both learning and research.


While at USQ, Peter was involved in the development of institutional repository infrastructure in Australia via the federally funded RUBRIC ( project and was a senior advisor the the CAIRSS repository support service ( from 2009 to 2011. He oversaw the creation of one of the core pieces of research data management infrastructure to be funded by the Australian National Data Service consulting widely with libraries, IT, research offices and eResearch departments at a variety of institutions in the process. The resulting Open Source research data catalogue application ReDBOX is now being widely deployed at Australian universities.


At UTS Peter is leading a team which is working with key stakeholders to implement university-wide eResearch infrastructure, including an institutional data repository, as well as collaborating widely with research communities at the institution on specific research challenges. His research interests include repositories, digital libraries, and the use of The Web in scholarly communication.


I am Innovative, tenacious and creative in coming up with socially workable solutions to hard technical problems. For the last ten years I have worked in senior roles in and around Higher Education and research on systems, policy and change management to support research and learning. I am plugged-in to networks of practitioners, theorists and developers in a broad range of scholarly technologies including institutional repositories, web publishing and research data management. An experienced technical communicator, I have listed many conference presentations and papers belowi.

I am also experienced at leading software development. I know how to recruit, mentor, inspire and guide technical staff to produce systems that meet the requirements of stakeholders. I’m also maintaining my technical skills. Recently I have been working with document processing in JavaScript / JQuery and some PHP, although I still fall back on Python. I have a background in XML and XSLT know my way around the major word processing file formats, and I have worked in both Java and C# (not to mention Lisp) .


  • PhD, Linguistics (computational) University of Sydney, 1996

  • Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics), First Class Honours, University of Sydney, 1990

  • Associate Diploma, Outdoor Education, Bendigo College of Advanced Education, 1986


Contact details for referees are available on request. But here are some quotes – please don’t contact these people unless I have explicitly advised that they are:

Peter thinks deeply about repositories and disseminates his thoughts on top of working software. Pay great attention.

Peter Murray-Rust, University of Cambridge, blog post

You created and managed a work environment where innovation thrived, teamwork was incredibly productive and our professional inputs were given thought and weight, our outputs were respected and sought after and staff morale was buoyant.

I have been here for only a little more than a year, but in my 15 years in the workforce I have never worked somewhere I enjoyed coming to work this much, and I think I’ll be looking for a work culture like this for some time to come.

Greg Pendlebury, Former Senior Software Developer ADFI, blog comment

Peter’s role as RUBRIC Technical Manager has contributed significantly to the success of the project to date through his ability to work positively with partner universities as well as to lead and foster a professional technical team to support the outcomes of the RUBRIC Project. Peter’s responsiveness to the competing and diverse needs of the various RUBRIC Project Managers serves to highlight his commitment to client focused outcomes.

Vicki Picasso,
University Library, University of Newcastle

In my capacity as a manager and director of a series of federally funded development projects (ARROW, ARCHER, ANDS) I have worked closely with Dr Sefton, who has led the development of a number of pieces of software on my behalf. In most cases these were very much of a sector leading nature, and required a high level of innovative thinking and research into possibilities and options. My willingness to continue working with Dr Sefton in this area demonstrates my confidence in his ability to perform these tasks to a very high standard.

David Groenewegen
Director, Research Data and Operations
Australian National Data Service




Manager eResearch Support

University of Technology, Sydney 



Manager, eResearch

University of Western Sydney  



Technical editor, HTML5 demonstrator projects 

In mid 2011 JISC in the UK called for bids for case-study projects showing how HTML5 can be used in academic materials online, including integrating documents with data and making research outputs machine-readable. I will be contributing case studies and documentation. (subject to contract negotiations).



Word processing expert, Digital Monograph Technical Landscape study 

Short landscape study looking at the issues surrounding the adoption of e-book reader technology within the scholarly publishing environment to assist with the publishing of scholarly literature, in particular monographs.



Word processing expert, Digital Monograph Technical Landscape study 

Short landscape study looking at the issues surrounding the adoption of e-book reader technology within the scholarly publishing environment to assist with the publishing of scholarly literature, in particular monographs.



Manger, Software Research and Development Laboratory

Australian Digital Futures Institute, University of Southern Queensland

With the management team, established the Australian Digital Futures Institute (ADFI) at the University of Southern Queensland. I built-up a technical team with high-level software development capabilities and established the major centre in Australia for expertise in Institutional Repository technology. Provided strategic advice to the university on matters related to eLearning and eResearch and brought in circa $1M in external funding for 2008-2010.



Senior strategist (Repositories), CAIRSS

University of Southern Queensland

Provided Strategic advice to the CAUL, Australian Institutional Repository Support Service CAIRSS team and community. (Externally funded 0.2 FTE) and Supervised CAIRSS Technical Officer and CAIRSS-ANDS Liaison Officer.



Technical Manager, RUBRIC project

University of Southern Queensland

Led the technical team in a project “Regional Universities Building Research Infrastructure Collaboratively”, rolling out repositories to a number of Australian universities, plus one from New Zealand. Developed toolkits for managers and technical staff and established a digital communications infrastructure for the network of partner project managers.



Senior Research Technologist in Flexible Learning Systems

Distance and eLearning Centre, University of Southern Queensland

Project development for content management in eLearning. Analyzed requirements and re-engineered business processes for a project (The Integrated Content Environment) to replace the existing publishing system.




Distance and eLearning Centre, University of Southern Queensland

Developed preliminary project material and prototypes for publishing and e-Learning systems. And participated in reviews of the existing publishing system.



Director, Applied Knowledge Systems

NextEd Limited

Developed and supported educational technologies for collaborative online learning and Knowledge Management including a scalable content-management and publishing system for educational and general content using XML



Consultant to Standards Australia International Document Technologies

Standards Australia International

Continued with strategic input to the projects established over the previous three years (see below).



Consultant web-site redesign

RMIT University

Designed word processor template input, with metadata capture mechanism for the enterprise-wide RMIT content management system based on the SIM (TeraText) database.



Associate Director, Document Technologies

Standards Australia International

Developed knowledge management strategy and policy using SGML and XML technologies. Successfully re-engineered the production system for major publications.



Document Management Consultant

Standards Australia

Formulated document management and electronic publishing strategy and developed a project proposal for re-engineering publications



Publishing Systems Analyst & Technical writer


Started as a tech writer documenting TAFE computer labs, established an automated web-publishing service for a large distributed educational organization.



Language Consultant; language skills training manual

University of Technology, Sydney

Researcher for Effective Communication in the Restructured Workplace (1994, ISBN 1 875940 11 1).



Senior Research Assistant, “Dialogue Project”

Departments of Electrical Engineering and Linguistics at the University of Sydney

Worked on a Telecom-funded project looking at speech processing, and developing a natural language interface to directory database.



Associate Lecturer

University of Sydney

Functional Grammar and Discourse, Undergraduate linguistics program



Researcher, Multilingual Text Generation Project

University of Sydney

Developing computer systems to generate written language in multiple languages automatically from databases



Desktop Publisher


Production of technical diagrams for academic publications.



Professional Officer Telecom Research Laboratories

Telecom Research Laboratories

This position involved implementing specifications from the Dialogue Project (see above), using Lisp.



Outdoor Instructor

Lucas Chakola, Kangaroo Valley

Casual: worked with all kinds of people: from school children to adult. Main role: “get the message across”—often in situations where the immediate consequences of not doing so could be very serious.


I maintain an online reference list at:

1. Sefton P, Dickinson D. The Fascinator & Fedora Commons: A toolkit tour [Internet]. Open Repositories 2011, Austin, Texas Austin, Texas: 2011. Available from:

2. Drury C, Watson K, Sefton P. Building Collaborative Environments: Institutional Repositories in Australian Universities [Internet]. Open Repositories 2011, Austin, Texas Austin, Texas: 2011. Available from:

3. Sefton P, Dickinson D. Repositories post 2010: embracing heterogeneity in AWE, the Academic Working Environment [Internet]. Open Repositories 2010, Madrid Madrid: 2010. Available from:

4. Drury C, Sefton P, Watson K. Ready or not here it comes: Australian institutional research repository data readiness surveys 2010. Open Repositories 2010, Madrid Madrid: 2010.

5. Sefton P, Downing J. ICE-Theorem – End to end semantically aware eResearch infrastructure for theses. JoDI [Internet]. 2010 Mar 22;11(1). Available from:

6. Sefton P, Picasso V, Morgan T. Balancing business imperatives and leveraging capability: a model for research data management [Internet]. eResearch Australasia 2010, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia: 2010. Available from:

7. Dickinson D, Sefton P. Creating an eResearch desktop for the Humanities [Internet]. eResearch Australasia 2009, Sydney Sydney: 2009. Available from:

8. Sefton P, Lucido O. The Fascinator: a lightweight, modular contribution to the Fedora-commons world [Internet]. Open Repositories 2009, Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta, Georgia: 2009. Available from:

9. Sefton PM. The Fascinator – Desktop eResearch and Flexible Portals [Internet]. Open Repositories 2009, Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta, Georgia: 2009. Available from:

10. Sefton P, Watson K. Suggestions for Asian/Australasian regional cooperation based on a critical evaluation of collaboration and standardisation across Australian Institutional Repositories [Internet]. DRFIC 2009: DRF International Conference 2009, Tokyo Tokyo: 2009. Available from:

11. Sefton P, Downing J, Day N. ICE-theorem – end to end semantically aware eResearch infrastructure for theses [Internet]. Open Repositories 2009, Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta, Georgia: 2009. Available from:

12. Sefton P, Barnes I, Ward R, Downing J. Embedding Metadata and Other Semantics in Word Processing Documents. International Journal of Digital Curation [Internet]. 2009;4(2). Available from:

13. Sefton P. Re-discovering Repository Architecture: Adding Discovery as a Key Service. New Review of Information Networking. 2009;14:1–18.

14. Sefton P. Towards scholarly HTML. Serials Review [Internet]. 2009;Available from:

15. Murray-Rust P, Hawizy L, Downing J, Townsend J, Day N, Sefton P. The Semantic Electronic Scientific Thesis [Internet]. Electronic Theses And Dissertations, Pittsburg, USA Pittsburg, USA: University of Pittsburg; 2009. Available from:

16. Sefton P. eResearch for Word users? [Internet]. In: Proceedings of the eResearch Australasia Conference. Melbourne: The University of Queensland; 2008. Available from:

17. Sefton P. An integrated approach to preparing, publishing, presenting and preserving theses [Internet]. In: ETD 2007. Uppsala: 2007. Available from:

18. Sefton P. The integrated content environment [Internet]. In: AUSWEB 2006. Noosa: Southern Cross University; 2006. Available from:

19. Sefton P. Hacking Open Office. O’Reilly, [Internet]. 2005;Available from:

20. Sefton P. Word to XML and Back Again. O’Reilly, [Internet]. 2004;Available from:

21. Sefton P. The Role-based Design Engine. Open Publish, Sydney Sydney: 2003.

22. Sefton P. Word to XML – Towards a word processor interchange protocol. XML Asia Pacific Conference, Sydney Sydney: 2000.

23. Kannegieter T, Sefton P. Content Management for all of us: The  Standards Australia Experience [Internet]. Ausweb 2000, Cairns Cairns: 2000. Available from:

24. Sefton P. The web as a Trojan horse: How to sneak SGML into an organisation. SGML/XML Asia Pacific Conference, Sydney Sydney: 1998.

25. Sefton P. The Australian Design Awards Online – Small-Scale SGML with a Large-Scale Vision. SGML/XML Asia Pacific Conference, Sydney Sydney: 1997.

26. Sefton P. State-potentials and social-subjects in systemic-functional theory : towards a computational social semiotics [Internet] [PhD]. [Sydney, Australia]: University of Sydney; 1995. Available from:

27. O’Donnell M, Sefton P. Modelling Telephonic Interaction: A Dynamic Approach. Interface. Journal of Applied Linguistics. 1995;10:63–78.

28. Rowles C, de Beler M, O’Donnell M, Sefton P. The Use of Context in the Understanding of Spoken English. In: Proc. 6th Australian Joint Conf. Artificial Intelligence. 1993.

29. Rowles C, Huang X, Vonwiller J, King R, Matthiesson C, Sefton P, et al. Understanding Spoken English. First Australian Workshop on Natural Language Understanding and Information Retrieval, Melbourne Melbourne: 1992.

30. Rowles C, Huang X, de Beler M, Vonwiller J, King R, Matthiesson C, et al. Using prosody to assist in the understanding of spoken English. In: Proceedings of SST. 1992. p. 248–53.

31. King R, Vonwiller J, Matthiesson C, O’Donnell M, Sefton P. Speech Modeling of Interactive Speech Response Systems in Telecommunications. In: The Institute of Engineers Australia Communications Conference. Sydney, Australia: 1992. p. 101–11.

32. Peter Sefton. Making plans for Nigel (or defining interfaces between computational representations of linguistic structure and output systems: Adding intonation, punctuation and typography systems to the PENMAN system). [Ba Hons]. University of Sydney; 1990.

iI can even say that I’m an O’Reilly Author, and I have my framed cheque signed by Tim O’Reilly himself to prove it, I had a couple of articles published on the magazine site, see.

Peter Sefton.

4 thoughts on “CV

  1. I’ve been reading your diss, Making Plans for Nigel, and finding it useful.
    I’ve downloaded the version on line, but noticed that some of the pages are missing data. Is there somewhere online that I can capture more of the diss and the data missing from those pages?

  2. gives me a 404 error- The requested URL was not found on this server. After reading your rationale I now understand the extension mechanism and subclassing the Event type. IMHO it causes more angst than clarity since you’re not actually adding anything other than an error.

    Why didn’t you use the Person:alumni element for your degrees and the to tag the university names where you earned your degrees? The Event:name should be the title of the degree with Event:description describing awards, specializations, thesis/dissertation title… No?

    Why didn’t you use the Person:worksFor and itemtype=Organization for the organization you worked for? Unlike “Job”, they are already ‘subclassed’ in the schema, i.e. and Using the Event:name to represent jobTitle makes perfect sense since jobTitle only applies to the person in general –once. Using the Event:description as a nefarious substitute for setting Organization(:name, :location, :branchOf, :url, :logo).

    Your microData resume tree has roots and leaves, but seems to be missing the semantic trunk and branches.

    Do any of the job recruiting sites such as Monster, LinkedIn, and CareerBuilder parse the microData the way you’ve constructed it?

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One thought on “Not spot!

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Scholarly HTML

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jiscPUB: Digital Monograph Technical Landscape study

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Current projects here include:

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Google Talk:

Skype: ptsefton

Zotero library

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