In July this year the Names project team went on a feedback spree. We asked our Expert Panel members difficult questions about the project and, at the same time, we surveyed UK institutional repository managers with some slightly easier ones. The response rate was about the same for both exercises, with around a third of each group giving us their views.
We’ve combined the results of these two pieces of work into one report [PDF, 771KB], which is now available from the Names project’s website. Thanks to everyone who took part and to those institutional repository managers I visited in October as a follow-up exercise. Particular thanks are due to Barbara McCormack, who worked extremely hard on the survey.
From the executive summary of the report:
Seven members responded to the request for feedback. There was general approval among these panel members for the approach that has been taken by the Names Project in developing its prototype and sharing the information within it. The members of the panel were unanimous in their support for the principle of assigning unique identifiers to researchers and making as much of the information associated with those identifiers as possible available as open linked data. Continuing co-operation with related initiatives was seen as important, with Names being just one of an international set of similar name-related services. The potential benefits that could be realised in a range of fields with the availability of Names services were mentioned, with the proviso that trials should be set up as soon as possible to demonstrate these.
In response to questions about sustainability, there were a number of suggestions about possible additional services which could be made available for a fee. It was generally agreed that a basic level of service should be made available free of charge, certainly within the UK research community.
The survey of repository managers demonstrated that over three-quarters of respondents had encountered problems relating to identification of authors, including issues around variant forms of names or materials being wrongly attributed to authors with similar names. Around two-thirds of the sixty-five respondents thought that names-related functions such as deduplication, disambiguation and data clean-up services would be either useful or very useful. A quarter of respondents indicated a willingness (in principle) to pay for one or more of these services.