Names Project Blog

Names at JIF2010

Posted in conferences by bmccormack on 4 August, 2010

Names poster

The JISC Innovation Forum (JIF2010) at the Royal Holloway University of London presented the project team with another great opportunity to demonstrate the Names prototype while periodically stuffing ourselves with free food. I personally left JIF2010 with a notepad full of new contacts and a handbag full of mini blueberry muffins (which didn’t survive the journey home).

The event itself focused on the key tenets of innovation – openness, collaboration, and user involvement – which collectively foster creativity and encourage overall sustainability. Delegates were given the chance to learn about other JISC projects through interesting project showcases and jazzy exhibition stands. Innovative ‘Thunderbolts & Lightening’ sessions enabled audience interaction and facilitated idea sharing (which resulted in some impressive illustrations!).

Other hands-on sessions focused on project management, community engagement, and sustainability and access. I attended sessions on ‘writing to get your project noticed’, ‘promoting your project to different audiences’ and ‘engaging with communities – social media and networking’ during which I picked up some useful tips and practical advice on identifying and delivering to target audiences.

Amanda Hill gave a very well received presentation and demonstration of the Names prototype to a roomful of authority control and identity management enthusiasts. A live blog summary of the session is available here. We got some useful feedback and suggestions from the demo, including the possibility of incorporating an ‘Erdős number’ type rating system for authors appearing in Names (the Erdős number being a measurement of connections or associations between a given author and the prolific mathematician and writer Paul Erdős – see Wikipedia definition here). Unfortunately, we don’t yet have any articles authored by Erdős in the Names prototype but maybe in the future…

The event wrapped up with a talk from Professor John Potter who emphasised the significance of effective leadership, negotiation and collaboration within the higher education environment; all crucial endeavours in these uncertain times.

All in all, JIF2010 was a great opportunity to meet new people, learn about interesting projects, and develop practical skills for sustainability and community engagement. The blueberry muffins were really just an added bonus…

Barbara McCormack