CRIG: Change Repositories Immediatley or Goodbye

Andy Powell and Paul Walk have issued a warning for repositories: “Wouldn’t it be great if…repositories were just wrong?” Are they right, should all the Capital Funding be given back to the Gov’t: “my most sincere apologies but the 80million you have just spent on repositories was a waste of time”. Well it wouldn’t be the first time… no one say eUniversity.

I think all of us in the repository world must ask if the death toll has not already rung? We must not let ourselves think that repositories are actually a success! I really believe that repositories must change (or to give Paul’s quote a movie trailer appeal): “Repositories must evolve or die”. I’m putting this forward as a war-cry for CRIG. It should be said that if repositories are not participating with one another programmatically within the web at large (as well with one another -and not just between the DEF Holy Trinity) by the end of the CRIG project then let me be the first to say I will be buying a home server from Microsoft (or rather an Amazon S3 instance) and helping all I know to set up their own personal repository (woops too late)!

But it is not all doom and gloom, there is hope.

How do we progress? What I think: First, we must adopt the method of critquing (Andy does this brilliantly): that is to say, it is essential that we identify both the good and bad in our progress (“paradoxically, the best way for a group to be smart is for each person in it to think and act as independently as possible.”), but after you’ve had a good chin-wag then turn around and make a suggestion for how we can go forward. Second, admit mistakes. We’ve all made them and our repository architectures are not perfect. They need to be torn down partially and rebuilt so they can progress. Watch this space, the unconference has just begun.


~ by dfflanders on December 10, 2007.

5 Responses to “CRIG: Change Repositories Immediatley or Goodbye”

  1. For the record… as I tried to indicate in my blog entry (possibly a little too cryptically!), Paul’s comment about it “being good if repositories were just wrong” was meant as a joke and was part of the ongoing banter of the unconference.

    It was only me that took it seriously.

    Many apologies to Paul if people interpreted what I wrote as indicating that he thought repositories are somehow wrong.

    Having got that out of the way, I strongly agree with the rest of your post.


  2. Actually Andy, on day two Paul and I had a chat about this quote (without your post as prompt) <- it was the one that was haunting me the most as well. I thing there is more than a few here who agree as well, demonstrated by the quotes from the pub-unconference: . Of course rather than speak on Paul’s behalf I’ll look forward to him weighing in on the infamous quote!

  3. […] to talk about) was “Are repositories an evolutionary dead end?”, a theme picked up by David Flanders. Well, I personally don’t think so, but then I’ve probably got a more malleable […]

  4. […] was that repositories were just wrong?” at At the CRIG Unconference last week. (here and here). I did, in fact, utter these words…. but in a sarcastic response to someone who had […]

  5. […] a tough week for (especially institutional) repositories: – with some of the criticism specific (David Flanders, Dorothea Salo) and some a little more general (“centralization is a bug”). But […]

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