Ideas Challenge winners and runners

The craziest part of organising the Dev track is the Ideas Challenge. It’s a forum in which conference attendees can get together to propose ideas that will move repositories forwards.

This year’s Challenge was to find way to make repositories serve academics better, and the conference rose to the challenge with 10 entries. These ideas were pitched to a panel of judges, some of which were local academics and gave up their time to take part in the session.

In order to streamline the process, we used a standardised scoresheet, designed to minimise ties. Ideas were judged based on a rubric that prioritised practicality, usefulness to academics, the response of the audience and team makeup (networking is a big part of the Ideas Challenge).

The ideas were presented in a session immediately before the closing plenary, where each team had 5 minutes to pitch their idea. The ideas were:

Deposit This, Romeo That!

A minimal deposit tool for low-effort submission.

  • Jane Anders, Jisc
  • Helen Cooper, University of Central Lancashire
  • Alan Stiles, The Open University

Link to slides

The Magic Plan ™

Effortless deposit of publications, as if by magic!

  • Graham Triggs, Duraspace
  • Tom Cramer, Stanford University
  • Justin Simpson, Artefactual
  • Jiri Kuncar, CERN
  • Mike Conlon, Duraspace

Link to slides


A far-future vision of scholarly discourse utilising brain scanning and quantum computing.

  • Dermot Frost, Trinity College Dublin
  • Sarah Molloy, Queen Mary University London
  • Collin Brittle, Virginia Tech

Link to slides


Automatically identify restricted items that had cleared their embargo period and send notifications.

  • Margaret Vail, Dalhousie University
  • Allison Brown, University of Otago Library
  • Marina Muilwijk, Utrecht University

Link to slides

Blowing the Bugle

Notifications to the community of new publications.

  • Grant Denkinson, University of Leicester
  • Roeland Dillen, Atmire
  • Hardy Joseph Pottinger IV, University of Missouri

Link to slides

Team Half Octopus

A way to discover and browse Open Access content

  • Padraic Stack, Maynooth University
  • Petr Knoth, CORE, Knowledge Media institute, The Open University
  • Audrey Drohan, University College Dublin
  • Lutz Biedinger, National Library of Ireland

Link to slides


Automatic creation of dataset readme files

  • Amy Neeser, University of Michigan
  • Richard Palmer, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Steve van Tuyl, Oregon State University

Link to slides

the public domain

A call to action for a political solution.

  • Esmé Cowles, Princeton University
  • Benjamin Armintor, Columbia University
  • Mike Giarlo, Stanford University
  • John Bell
  • Steve van Tuyl, Oregon State University
  • Sarah Shreeves, Exemplas
  • Simone Sacchi, Columbia University

Link to slides

Marketing in a Box

Engage the academic community through mascots.

  • Melissa Anez, Islandora
  • Amy Neeser, University of Michigan
  • Ellen Ramsey, University of Virginia

Link to slides


An academic dating service for discovering future collaborators.

  • Rory McNicholl, ULCC
  • David McElroy, Birkbeck
  • Steve Grace, London South Bank
  • Carly Lightfoot, University of East London

Link to slides

And the winners are …

First prize awarded to The Magic Plan ™.

Second prize awarded to DataSetter.

Third prize awarded to Team Half Octopus

Thanks to judges:

  • Katie Crowther, President of the Graduate Students’ Union, Trinity College Dublin
  • Ashling Hayes, TARA repository content manager, Trinity College Dublin
  • Neil Jefferies, Head of R&D, Bodleian Digital Libraries Systems, University of Oxford
  • Professor Micheál Ó Siochrú, History Department, Trinity College Dublin
  • William Nixon, Digital Library Development Manager, University of Glasgow

We would also like to thank the Digital Preservation Coalition <> for sponsorship of the Ideas Challenge prizes and Dermot Frost for his calm head and crisis management skills.

Adam Field and Claire Knowles
Developer Track and Ideas Challenge Co-chairs