Linkey

What is the project about?

Linkey is a JISC funded research project under the Access and Identity Management programme. It will run from June 2012 to May 2013.

The project will provide a detailed case study of the use of OAuth as an authorisation protocol here at the University of Lincoln. Working closely with the university Library, we will examine how the OAuth 2.0 specification can be integrated into a ?single sign on? environment alongside Microsoft?s Unified Access Gateway.

Who is working on the project?

Alex Bilbie, ICT Services

Joss Winn, Centre for Educational Research and Development

Tim Simmonds, ICT Services

Dave Masterson, Library

Why are we undertaking the project?

A recent review of the university?s library systems and services indicated that we had around 10 core applications which provide access to over 150 other resources, all of which have different methods of authenticating users ? some used LDAP to authenticate users (and so users use their network username and password) and others had their own database of users (which require a different passwords ? and in some cases usernames ? and every single one of these flows have a different sign in experience; some are web based with various designs, others are desktop based with a mixture of custom sign-in windows and Microsoft sign-in screens. Over 80% of user queries sent to the Library?s support email address around about problems accessing resources.

Outside of the library there are over 100 other systems and services that have visibility in the business processes across the university which also authenticate in a number of different ways.

All of these different authentication flows lead to a very inconsistent user experience and consistently for the last few years this has been highlighted in numerous student surveys.

What will the project achieve?

The anticipated outcomes of the project are:

  1. A case study of our implementation of OAuth 2.0 together with Microsoft?s UAG product. We will provide draft sections of the final case study in 12 monthly blog posts, allowing for early peer-review.
  2. Continued development of our open source OAuth 2.0 server (based on my server code), including an implementation of the SAML 2.0 Bearer Assertion Profiles for OAuth 2.0 specification and other relevant extensions to the main standard. We aim to produce a ?drop in? solution for OAuth 2.0, in a similar way that the SimpleSAMLphp project supports SAML implementations.
  3. A public workshop on the use of OAuth 2.0 in Further and Higher Education.
  4. A conference/journal paper, based on our case study.
  5. Expertise in the implementation of an institution-wide infrastructure for AIM.

When is the project taking place?

June 2012 ? May 2013

What is the project cost?

Total project cost: ?82,447. Funds received from JISC: ?49,990.

Where can I find more information?

Website: http://linkey.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk

Orbital

What is this project about?

The Orbital project will build on recent JISC-funded work at the University of Lincoln to develop a university research data management infrastructure, piloted with the first purpose-built School of Engineering in the UK in over 20 years. Working with the challenging requirements of our Engineering research staff and their industry partners, we will apply our experience and understanding of developing university-wide data-driven services to the implementation of a personalised, scalable, resilient and secure research data infrastructure. We intend to meet the requirements of this commercially sensitive research environment as well as to provide the facility to expose datasets through a discovery tool and public APIs made available on our existing http://data.lincoln.ac.uk service.

Why are we undertaking the project?

The Orbital project offers a number of benefits to staff and student at the university as well as the university sector and public. Our researchers will benefit from a state-of-the-art research data management infrastructure with supporting training, documentation and policy. Through the re-use and integration with other services, researchers will enjoy a richer, more integrated research environment that helps foster cross-disciplinary collaboration internal and external to the university. Researchers and their partners will be assured that their data is stored and transported securely, conforming to third-party certification where appropriate. A web-based service will provide tools for accessing, querying and downloading the data where appropriate.

The project is also an opportunity to further learn, develop and embed recently adopted technologies (MongoDB, OAuth, HTML5, etc.) and provide appropriate training to staff outside the immediate project team resulting in broader staff development opportunities. The prestige of this funded project provides us with further leverage to introduce new ideas, technologies and practices in our day-to-day work. We recognise the need for continued innovation in our online services and welcome the opportunity for peer-review that the community engagement and dissemination requirements of externally funded projects bring to our work.

As with our Institutional Repository project, the Orbital project will provide the opportunity to both develop the requisite policy and technical infrastructure for managing research data at the university as well as lead to institutional change in terms of researcher practices and broadening the skills and experience of our ICT staff. Whereas some of our previous JISC-funded projects have focused on ?rapid innovation?, the remit of the Orbital project is much broader and with high-level endorsement will lead to the long-term adoption of new practices, policy and technologies. The Orbital project will also provide the university with a clearer framework for managing research data, making it more straightforward to provide assurances to funders of our research, such as the Research Councils.

Where appropriate, data will be publicly accessible from our http://data.lincoln.ac.uk service, possibly pre-empting the need for FOI requests and ensuring the upmost transparency with regards to our research processes. Consumers of open data will benefit from attractive, well-documented APIs.

What will the project achieve?

Orbital will deliver the following:

  1. A requirements analysis for a pilot research data management infrastructure. This will build on previous work undertaken in the MRD programme, such as ERIM, IDMB and DPM-ESRC projects, paying particular attention to the requirements of ?near-market? research undertaken by our School of Engineering.
  2. Implementation plans for a pilot research data management infrastructure including a technical plan and a clear indication of the involvement of stakeholders including commercial partner users, Library administration staff and university researchers.
  3. Development and implementation of a set of services, which re-use and develop our previous JISC-funded work as well as other initiatives (e.g. SWORD and DataCite DOIs).
  4. Documented open source licensed code will be made available by the end of the project.
  5. Development and implementation of mechanisms for managing and transferring data, including the use of MongoDB, OAuth, read/write RESTful APIs, SWORD2 interoperability, and integration with the administrative functions of EPrints.
  6. Policies and guidance aimed at researchers, commercial partners, administrators and the Institution, covering the use and administration of an OAIS-style data archive. Where appropriate, we will re-use the work of previous MRD programme outputs.
  7. Support: User documentation, monthly and adhoc training workshops. Where appropriate, we will re-use the work of previous MRD programme outputs.
  8. An institutional data management policy. This will be developed by the Project team, overseen by the Steering Group and proposed to the University?s Research Committee.
  9. A Business Plan to sustain the infrastructure, presented to the Executive Board.

When is the project taking place?

October 2011 ? April 2013 (18 months)

What does the project cost?

Total project cost: ?330,090.33. Funding received: ?241,505.83

Where can I find more information?

Project bid

Project website (under construction)

WP for ePortfolios

What is the project about?

Scoping WordPress as an option for e-portfolios for practice learning in health and social care. The objective of the project is to scope the option of using WordPress as the platform for e-portfolios for professional learning. The project aims to

  • Clarify the needs of nursing and social work students and educators in using e-portfolios
  • Identify strengths, weaknesses and risks of WordPress as an e-portfolio platform in meeting pedagogical and professional requirements
  • Determine how to resolve anticipated challenges in transferring to e-portfolios (e.g. requirements of original ink signatures to evidence the achievement of competence)
  • Develop and write-up details of the functionality required to ensure that e-portfolios meet pedagogical, professional and learning needs in social work and nursing
  • Highlight future work required to operationalise e-portfolios as a mode of assessment and ongoing record of achievement/progression for professional programmes.

Who is working on it?

Jake Walsh, BA (Hons) Audio Production student

Jonathon Cresswell, BA (Hons) Journalism student

Shelly Studd, MSc Social Work student

Samantha Murray, BSc (Hons) Nursing student

Karin Crawford (PFT) School of Health and Social Care

Diane Simpson (SL) School of Health and Social Care

Ian Mathews (SL) School of Health and Social Care

John McCavish (SL) School of Health and Social Care

Heather Saunders (Placement co-ordinator) School of Health and Social Care

Trevor Simpson (SL) School of Health and Social Care

John McKinnon (SL) School of Health and Social Care

Rob Goemans (SL) School of Health and Social Care

Sue Watling, CERD

Why are we undertaking it?

Degree programmes that lead to professional qualification have traditionally made use of portfolios because of their ability to promote critically reflexive practice, demonstrate integration of theory and practice and develop a professional identity (Hammond, 2009; McMullan, 2006; Slater, 2007). E-portfolios are a relatively recent phenomenon; there is a paucity of research about their use in professional qualifying programmes such as nursing and social work. However, e-portfolios offer a range of benefits for nascent professionals (Andre, 2010; Murray and Sanders, 2009), including their flexibility and versatility (Garrett and Jackson, 2006) and capacity for storage (Madden, 2007). Successful implementation of e-portfolios is known to have challenges including choice of software and verification of student work by external assessors and mentors (Madden, 2007; Murray and Sandars, 2009).

What will the project achieve?

The main outcome of this project will be a scoping report that evaluates teaching and learning needs across the two programmes against the current and the potential functionality of WordPress. It is intended that this will then support a larger external funding bid to undertake the necessary development work on WordPress.

When is the project taking place?

April 2012 ? end July 2012

What is the project cost?

?1,000