#Arkies User Group - themes, ideas and upgrades! - Arkivum

Event / 05 Aug, 2019

#Arkies User Group – themes, ideas and upgrades!

We recently held the latest #Arkies User Group, this time in London for our European customers. The University of Westminster once again did a fantastic job of hosting us and despite the typical English summer weather – yes torrential rain – we all arrived ready for an exciting day of updates and idea creation.


We kicked off the day with an interesting and informative talk from Carly Lightfoot, Scholarly Communications Manager at the University of East London. UEL have decided to upgrade their Arkivum environment to the latest and greatest version, meaning that they have moved away from an on-premise solution to a fully cloud-enabled workflow, with a shiny new and feature rich user interface. The folks at UEL love the improvement, which made our VP of Product very happy too!



Carly’s discussions on where the UEL want to go next with their data management was a great example of the modular approach people are taking with the solution.


Sinéad McKeown, Arkivum’s VP of Product then spent some time before lunch talking with the group about the new Arkivum version 5 solution (see a webinar recording of the latest release here) and about the role of automation and the extra features we’ve built into V5 including:


  • Approval workflows – submitted data can be approved before being ingested
  • Automated preservation – it’s no longer necessary to use Archivematica natively
  • More reports – including deletion, preservation and legal holds
  • Secure sharing – the ability to share data with the appropriate audit trail to other researchers, third parties, auditors, funders and more
  • Records Management – unique from other preservation solutions, Arkivum has the ability to apply records management policies and retentions to your data


After a well-earned sandwich break, Laurian Williamson, Head of Research Services, talked about the University of Leicester’s journey.



Interestingly, her experiences echoed Carly’s at the UEL, in that she extolled the value of involving wider departments in the digital preservation processes and planning in order to make a strong case internally and to gather the disparate requirements needed. Laurian lamented the long (and only rarely tortuous) route to where the University is now – something reflected and confirmed by many other attendees in the room, that it can sometimes be a slow process to get the right systems in place.


What I loved about this talk, is that Leicester used this time to their advantage and worked a few parallel tracks. While various internal changes took place which meant they couldn’t move on with implementing the technology (not least a new Institutional Repository), the RDM team, the Library and the Records Management teams all undertook some invaluable preservation training, enabling them to know what they needed and (vitally) how to articulate that to wider university stakeholders. That means that now, they’re perfectly placed to know exactly what they need and to make fewer missteps in getting their preservation plans up and running.


To round off the day, we looked at the Arkivum roadmap to see what features are planned and to ask the attendees what features they would like us to consider for future releases.



Time to break open a fresh packet of post-it notes (arguably a favourite part of any user group for me…😄).


We talked about adding even more reports and more workflows to aid ease and speed of use – no problem, we already have a few of these planned for the next release. We discussed how additions to the search function in the staff view would make it even more useful by including visualisation and automatically exposing more of the underlying data model.


We covered some tangential, but equally important things, like help with business cases and academic submissions to funders, and we also discussed a raft of upcoming integrations.


We were having so much fun we overran by half an hour and no one noticed!


Another great day garnering feedback and generating fresh ideas. A big thank you to our speakers, Carly Lightfoot and Laurian Williamson and to everyone who participated. Here’s to the next one!

Paula Keogh

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