Open source @ FAO - Rachele Oriente


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  • Open source @ FAO - Rachele Oriente

    1. 1. Online Information Conference November 21, 2012 Open @ Knowledge & Information OfficerManagement Officer, David Lubin Memorial LibrarySteve Katz. (Twitter: @SteveK1958)Chief, Knowledge Management and Library ServicesFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    2. 2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) • FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations • Millennium Goals. Goal 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger • ≥190 Member Countries • HQs in Rome, plus ≥5000 staff in: • 5 Regional Offices • 11 Sub-regional Offices • 82 FAO Representations • 36 country or liaison offices • Increasing decentralization
    3. 3. Open @ FAO : A Bit of History 1996 – First appearance of FAO website and, SGML Repository Proposal; FAOSTAT on-line 1997 – Corporate Document Repository (XML Compatible) 2003 – Document Repository (PDF) 2007 – Open Archive Proposal (Fedora Commons) 2013(?) –
    4. 4. General Advantages of OS Free/low initial  Philosophy of OS- investment champions at FAO Low administration  Stability against costs, No negotiation vendor withdrawing a with vendors, no legal product or support clearances  Vulnerability to Customizable security is diminished Standards by quick and large Enhanced community response interoperability
    5. 5. Potential Risks with OS  Time and money wasted  Threshold of patience for from lack of direction community process expires  Funding insufficient for  Weak governance unforeseen costs  Documentation poor—  Staff capacity insufficient internal & community  Staff time monopolized with  Potential for forking OS, and other work suffers  Potential for vulnerabilities  Trained staff are lost being targeted & attacked  Lack of collaboration leads  Low to narrow system produced credibility/trust, reputational --proprietary systems can risk, legal exposure? be generic but also well-  Development of Koha rounded serials module
    6. 6. Consequence of the risks
    7. 7. Selecting a System:Goals, Objectives & Requirements  Discovery & Access: Technical  Multi-lingual interface  Open Source  Compliant with OAI-PMH & other  Scalable standards (external and internal  Extensible interoperability)  Modular  mobile access & delivery:  Interoperable with other FAO developing countries systems, e.g. &  Accessible across old departmental websites platforms, operating systems and Administrative software versions: developing countries  De-duplication of work (e-pubs & Library catalogue)  Full-text and advanced search with Agrovoc subject headings  Workflow & Content control and metadata field searching Preservation  Advanced & full-text searching  OAIS model  Some native basic preservation actions
    8. 8. Fedora’s Features: Advantages Open source: Fedora Commons & Creative Commons & open standards Modular: flexible & extensible  Ingests, stores, and manages digital content of any type  Metadata in any format can be managed and maintained  Uses a variety of front-and-back ends for user ease Access: full-text search (Gsearch); multilingual interfaces; mobile delivery Disseminator allows specific types of content to express itself as needed, egg zoom in on photos; can create specific semantics for books, images, maps, texts, etc. Can repurpose content for specific context Interoperable: data accessed by Web APIs OAIS & OAI-PMH Scaleable—accomodates millions of objects Some Preservation actions included—Rebuilder Utility, checksums; virus checks; format verification & validation
    9. 9. Disadvantages of Fedora Challenging, difficult & complex to implement.  Requires significantly more staff resources to customize than other OS repository software (e.g.DSpace)  Necessary staff development process is slow Requires significant financial investment to deploy:  Requires significantly more finances to customize than other OS repository software (e.g. DSpace)  Contracting out expensive  Limited pool of contractors with Fedora expertise
    10. 10. Fedora Commons Community Over 300 registered Fedora Repositories Active in development and archiving and information sustainability. Reputable and prestigious partners, allies & sponsors  Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Arrow, Cornell University Information Science, DSpace, eSciDoc, FIZ Karlsruhe, Johns Hopkins University, MediaShelf, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Mulgara, NSDL, OhioLink, PLOS One, Rutgers, Sun Microsystems,DTU Technical University of Denmark, Topaz and VNS Community provides good documentation: DuraSpace provides documentation, wiki, tutorials, brochures, newsletter, repository of users, logos and more (
    11. 11. FAO Open Archive Working System Interface EPM for departmental submissions Customized to reflect FAO departmental- specific workflows—e.g. FI has 3 levels of control; AG 1 level of approval Data producers take & retain responsibility for content Basic metadata at working system level
    12. 12. DLML Cataloguing Module CM: Enriched metadata added by cataloguing module OA will merge the cataloguing functions now in an CDS/isis system (late 1960s)— also OS—but no longer supported and the current CDR
    13. 13. FAO Open Archive UserInterface
    14. 14. FAO’s experienceBenefits Challenges  Staff has moved to another Repository completely tailored department but project to FAO’s particular needs remained—expertise walked Inspiration to begin Digital away, tacit knowledge lost Preservation  Documentation of procedures Developing in-house expertise poor—high-level Contributions to Fedora documentation community  Strong capacity required Low administrative overhead  More expensive than No negotiations with vendors anticipated. Standards for exchange  Working silos counter productive to process  Lengthy development time— 5 years + ?
    15. 15. FAO’s OS Lessons Learned.OS projects require: Adequate staff capacity  Slow & expensive process to develop staff capacity  Document every decision , not only general descriptions of what was done Adequate funding—can be expensive  Hidden costs: staff training, time spent in research, hardware, costs of external maintenance and hosting, and if so consider if there are any costs for repatriating your own data. Clarity of concrete goals and objects  Know the difference between what you need and what you want  Know your limits and tolerances—what can you give up?  Consider what the software can do and not do  Be realistic about the minimum required to launch repository  Articulate goals before you start and stick to them, if possible, to avoid wasting effort and resource
    16. 16. Still More OS Lessons Learned.The Organizational experience OS projects require:  Inter-departmental collaboration to avoid work silos. One skill set focuses only one aspect. If only IT is involved, the access end, user interface, and policies will be neglected Solution: Collaborate.  Cross-fertilize across work units and staff skill sets for development, implementation and administration→ develop whole system uniformly.
    17. 17. A mixed bag: Advantages &Disadvantages & vice-versa Open source free/ hidden costs can be large Independence from vendors/community support may be limited and/or slow Commercial vendors may drop a software / community may be more stable & invested Security—open code means hacking/more solutions to hacking No real marketing by the community; no vested interest / no one really accountable FAO remains a proponent of OS
    18. 18. Thank You! Questions? Comments? Please get in touch with us: and/or
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