Kit-Catalogue - Loughborough University's Open Source Equipment Database System


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Our presentation on the Kit-Catalogue project for the S-Lab Conference and Awards 2012. Kit-Catalogue won the Equipment and Services Category. S-Lab "recognises excellence in laboratory design, operation and management in all sectors, and in laboratory-based teaching and learning within educational institutions, that creates improved performance whilst enhancing safety and sustainability."

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Kit-Catalogue - Loughborough University's Open Source Equipment Database System

  1. 1. The Effective Laboratory - Safe, Successful and Sustainable June, 2012 KIT ® CATALOGUE Loughborough University’s Open Source Equipment Database System Presented by: Melanie King Head, The Centre for Engineering & Design Education Jonathan Attenborough Kit-Catalogue™ Project, The Centre for Engineering & Design Education
  2. 2. Outline KIT ® CATALOGUE • Background: Materials Research School equipment database • Background: Kit-Catalogue™ JISC project • Software Features • Demonstration • Key Benefits of Kit-Catalogue™ • Future Developments • National Developments • Community of Users • Contact
  3. 3. Materials Research School KIT ® CATALOGUE• January 2008 – Proposal for a Materials Research School Equipment Database made to Loughborough’s Engineering Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (engCETL).• February 2008 – Work begins to develop the database and catalogue the materials research school equipment (MySQL and PHP web based system).• December 2008 – The database is piloted with key stakeholders. The system is improved and expanded in response to academic and technician feedback.• September 2009 – Official launch of the Equipment Database. Over 800 items catalogued, complete with photographs and numerous supporting documents.• March 2011 – JISC fund the Kit-Catalogue™ Project.
  4. 4. Kit-Catalogue™ JISC Project KIT ® CATALOGUEMarch – November 2011 JISC funded project to produce a web-based, open source equipmentcataloguing system. Funded under JISC’s Greening ICT programme with thespecific aims of realising the environmental and financial benefits of:• Reducing the costly duplication and double purchasing of equipment within HE institutions.• Promoting the reuse of research equipment by staff and students.• Supporting the sharing of catalogue information on selected equipment and facilities to third parties, including other HEIs and local industry.
  5. 5. Software Features KIT ® CATALOGUEKit-Catalogue™ is designed to be a flexible and extensible system that can satisfy anumber of different requirements ‘out of the box’. Its features include:• Simply import and export equipment details from CSV spread-sheets.• Add custom fields to satisfy specific institutional requirements (e.g. research schools, servicing dates etc.)• Support for local configuration, styling and institutional logo changes to allow easy customisation of the software.• Includes common authentication mechanisms by default. (Active Directory or Database)• Open source implementation, so adopters are free to adapt and rewrite the code to satisfy any local considerations.
  6. 6. Demonstration KIT ® CATALOGUE Demonstration of the Loughborough Kit-Catalogue™ System
  7. 7. Key Benefits KIT ® CATALOGUE• Maximises potential utilisation of existing assets• Increases efficiency finding the right kit• Promotes environmentally conscious sharing of equipment• Stimulates multi-disciplined collaborative research through sharing• Reduces departmental procurement costs through collaborative research• Prevents costly duplicate-purchasing of equipment• Expedites and manages equipment use requests• Increases potential to share equipment amongst HEI’s, industry and SMEs• Can be used to attract prospective students and researchers• Encourages regular maintenance of equipment• Any institution can download and implement the software free of charge
  8. 8. Future Developments KIT ® CATALOGUEOn-going development and support for the community• Loughborough is continuing to fund new developments to the system, including plans to add a booking system, amongst other features.• The project team are actively supporting a growing community of adopting institutions.• Loughborough is offering your institution a hosted demo version to see whether Kit-Catalogue™ could work for you. Please get in touch for more information.• Install your own version - download the latest system from the project website. You will need a web server and database server (PHP/MySQL).
  9. 9. National Developments KIT ® CATALOGUE‘Uniquip’ Project – working towards a national standard• Collaborative project with Universities of Southampton, Bath, Leeds and Loughborough representing 4 regional consortia comprising of 22 universities.• Propose guidelines and technical standards to harmonise vocabulary and schema to enable the development of solutions to be used in the cataloguing and publishing of research facilities and equipment on a national scale.• This project is due to start in July with a national conference planned 17th September 2012.• Kit-Catalogue™ will be piloting and implementing the national agreed taxonomy and standards for describing and sharing data about equipment and facilities in UK HE.
  10. 10. Community of Users KIT ® CATALOGUEUniversity of Nottingham“The benefits anticipated from this project include greater visibility and utilisation of research assets.The project should help to highlight and address research resource issues, and help to improvestrategic decision making for equipment replacement and maintenance. Hence, this project will be ofparticular importance to research laboratories in the Science, Medical and Engineering sectors.”- - - Dhru Shah, Consultant to the Facilities Priority Group, University of NottinghamUniversity of Bristol"University of Bristol have been looking for a means of promoting sharing of equipment used forresearch purposes within the University. After investigating various options we have decided that theKit Catalogue system developed by Loughborough University offers the best option for us to meet thisoverall objective.”- - - Martin Fey, Business Analyst, Strategic Projects Office, University of Bristol
  11. 11. The Effective Laboratory - Safe, Successful and Sustainable June, 2012 KIT ® CATALOGUE CONTACT DETAILS: Kit-Catalogue™ Project DOWNLOAD THE SYSTEM AND FIND OUT MORE HERE: Project Team For specific help or technical support contact the project team: Uniquip Project