Wednesday, 14 April 2010


After a tad stressful journey I am now safely installed in Uppsala with the NGS / UKI Federation stand in full swing at the 5th EGEE User Forum. The conference is being held in Uppsala University which is the oldest university in the Nordic countries. The building we are in is stunning as I’m sure you have seen on some of the photos already posted on the GridCast blog.

Our hosts have looked after us very well so far with excellent organisation and efficiency. There is apparently about 300 people registered for the meeting and it does seem slightly quieter than previous meetings such as those held in Catania last year. However the UKI stand has been busy as always as it becomes a hub for meeting European colleagues and for people wanting to find out what the NGS and GridPP are up to in terms of the EGI.

YEsterday was the first day that I made it to sessions after spending most of Monday setting up the stand and staffing it. I attended the EGI-Inspire session to find out how the EGI is progressing and how the NGS can and will be interacting with this European wide initiative. It did fill in some blanks!

One topic that came up was how to measure success? What is the impact of the EGI on research? Preferably the user community should actively acknowledge the use of the resource but as I know from personal experience at the NGS this is something that we find very difficult to gather information on.

Our funding bodies are constantly asking us to demonstrate our impact and to show the effect that using our resources has on research productivity in the UK. We can only do this by getting information from our users such as the numbers of papers produced, presentations at conferences, posters produced etc. These are all excellent metrics that we are asked for but we find it very difficult to get the information out of our users! Unofrtunately if we can’t prove our impact, we can’t justify more funding. This is a problem that many organisations face and, as yet, no one has come up with a solution yet. Answers on a postcard please!

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