mSpace and Open Archives

We have been working on two projects in the Open Archive area: Research at ECS, and the UK EScience Research Explorer. Each mSpace is a view over various collections of information, in particular, information about research publications produced by research groups in the UK. The idea is to provide a reasonable context for someone to investigate what's happening in various areas of UK research.

The Research at ECS explorer

The research at ECS explorer connects information about research groups, projects and people with EPrints@ECS, the Open Archive which houses ECS's resaerch artefacts - papers, presentations, videos, demos, and so on.

The idea is that the Research Explorer will help people new to ECS to discover what ECS is about, and be able to discover new things not printed in one spot on the ECS School web site. For instance, by using the Research Explorer, one can find out who is working in biometrics or biologically inspired computing or chip design or knowledge technologies or any number of areas. They can just as easily view any papers associated with particular projects or researchers.

With mSpaces slicing, sorting and swapping, the dimensions in the Research Explorer can be changed and rearraged to suit the interests of the person using the space. Additionally, it's easy to save a reference to a person, project or paper by spacemarking an item: this action will add that marker to an interests pane to which the searcher can come back to at any time.

The EScience in the UK explorer

The eScience in the UK explorer is a prototype to demonstrate how mspace might be applied over a number of ePrints archives to make it easy to explore what's happening in eScience in the UK using the mSpace interaction approach to support user-determined exploration of research.

Based on this demonstrator, we're making recommendations in concert with ePrints and JISC on how to make it easy to make data from diverse archives publishable so that any mspace (or simmilar technology) can point to that information and wrap it up in such an explorer for easy access and knowledge building.