Right—thanks Pamela. So, the topic for this afternoon’s webinar is selecting a platform for your institutional repository. I’ll spend about 25 minutes running through a PowerPoint presentation and then spend some time on Q&A. The last slide includes a link to a copy of the presentation, so don’t worry about writing down anything that’s on the slides that you want to refer to later.In general I’d prefer to answer questions at the end, but certainly feel free to ask a question at any point if you feel you need to, especially if I’ve said something that is not clear.
This is the basic agenda for today. I’ll talk a little bit about the need to define a clear rationale for and scope of your IR and about defining the functional and technical requirements for your IR. I’ll talk generally about some of the IR platform options available, but I want to be clear that I won’t be going into a lot of specific detail about any of the platforms, and I won’t be doing any detailed comparison of the different platforms. A key point I want to make up front is that from my perspective, IRs are not hugely interesting or complex from a technology standpoint—they’re much more interesting in terms of offering new ways for academic libraries to develop value-added services for their constituents. Understanding your local context and selecting a platform that best fits that context is the key to selecting the “right” IR.
For the purpose of this discussion, I did want to spend a minute on definitions and draw some distinction between IRs and Digital Repositories. When talking about an institutional repository, I think we generally mean a web-based repository in which scholarly or research material is collected, described, and exposed for discovery. The repository is typically focused on the scholarly/research output of a particular college or university. IRs grew out of the open-access movement and therefore typically require or strongly encourage deposits of material that can be shared with minimal restrictions. I would categorize Institutional Repositories as a subset of digital repositories, which are more general-purpose systems to facilitate the collection, description, management, preservation, and discovery of digital material, ranging from digitized library special collections to repositories of “learning objects”. In terms of today’s platform discussion, the focus will mainly be on purpose-built IR platforms, but I will also touch on Digital Repository platforms that are also being used to host IRs.
Taking a visual approach to describe attributes of different types of digital repositories, here’s a “cosmic” view of repositories from Kerry Blinco and Neil McLean. Moving from the outward to inward circles, we have attributes covering scope or affiliation, type of content, lifecycle of content, need for curation, access restrictions, and information architecture. If we choose the attributes of the typical institutional repository, we end up with something like this [next slide]
…where the scope of the repository is institutional, the type of content is scholarly information, the content is persistent and archival, the content is curated and openly accessible, and so on. If we were to map technology platforms to this space, which I’m not going to attempt to do here,we’d see lots of overlap– systems that potentially accommodate fairly broad slices of the repository “pie”.
As I mentioned before, IRs are not mainly about technology. Before you can determine what the right platform is for your institution, you really need a clear, shared understanding of why you want an IR in the first place. What is it that you’re trying to achieve? Are you trying to increase the profile of the library? Replace or improve an existing system or service? Respond to faculty demand for a place to deposit their work? Is there a campus mandate for such a system? The answers to questions like this will help you create the context for selecting the best IR platform.
Assuming that one of the primary goals of your IR is to highlight and make widely accessible the output of your faculty, I think it’s critical to approach the issue of selecting an appropriate platform with an understanding of what faculty want. I’d highly recommend as background reading on this question a piece that Susan Gibbons and Nancy Foster from Rochester published in DLIB a few years ago. Their study of faculty work practices at Rochester revealed some interesting disconnects between the value and role of the IR from the library’s perspective vs. a system that faculty would actually find useful in supporting their research and publications
So here is part of what they found at Rochester. Substitute any IR platform for Dspace here—Dspace happens to be the IR platform that was in place at the time at Rochester, but the attributes mentioned are common to most or all IR platforms (with the exception of open source). The green represents a high level of fit between faculty desires and system features; the red indicates gaps. So, for example, the term “Institutional Repository” does not seem to resonate with faculty, nor do they care about metadata or about whether the IR is open source or not.
So what did faculty want? Here’s a list of the key elements found in the Rochester study. Take note of the last one in particular: “not be any busier.” A key component of a successful IR is that it doesn’t impose any significant time burden on faculty to participate.
An extension of the “why” question is to determine, if you haven’t already, what the scope of the repository will be in terms of content and contributors. Beyond textual material (article preprints/postprints, working papers, conference proceedings, ETDs, etc.), what other types of material need to be accommodated in your repository? Data sets? Streamed media? And who will be allowed to contribute or deposit? Everyone affiliated with the institution, or only those in certain roles? Will the library define this, or will policies be determined by communities within the repository?
So keeping in mind that what you’re looking for in an IR platform should take into account the needs of the audience(s) you’re serving, let’s look at the typical key functional areas of most IR platforms.Broadly speaking, IRs typically include the following: a self-service, web-based submission or deposit module for IR contributors; a module for content owners/administrators to review submissions, edit metadata, and approve content for publication; there’s the public IR site with search options and the ability to navigate to content by logical hierarchies; and the back-end administrative module, with tools for creating communities, collections, and publication series, reporting, data import and export, etc. We’ll look at each of these individually. The approach I’m taking here is to try and outline the key questions you’ll want answers to as you evaluate options for your IR platform. As I said earlier, the “right” platform depends on your local priorities.
Submission/deposit—Some key questions to ask in evaluating systems. First, can the system interface in a secure manner with your campus identity management system. Apart from identifying your campus users, is there a need to get additional attributes from the campus system, such as the user’s status, address, e-mail, department affiliation, etc.? Second, and probably most important, is the submission workflow simple and easy for end users? Does the system support different workflows for different categories of depositors and/or different types of submission?Third, related to ease of submission, does the system offer conversion utilities for contributors, to facilitate a common publishing format within the IR, or will users need to do their own conversion?
Last slide on functional requirements. On the administrative end, what types of reporting does the system offer, both for staff and for end users? Does the system support flexible export and import procedures? Does the system provide the ability for administrators to do global edits of metadata? What APIs are available for the system, to support building connections with other campus systems or to support local add-ons? Does the system support the OAI-PMH protocol? Is it easy to add your local branding to the IR? What “extra” features are available, such as the ability to generate individualized pages for faculty?So—lots of questions to ask as you look at different options.
From a technical standpoint, the options for IR platforms are fairly straightforward. I think the most important first step in defining technical requirements is to first determine what local constraints exist that may limit your choices, for better or worse. For example, are there any local polices or standards in place that mandate a particular hardware platform or operating system or database platform for your IR? For example, here at BC, our campus ITS prefers IBM servers running Linux, and for database applications strongly prefers Oracle as the DB platform of choice. If we’re adding a system that they will be hosting, we need to follow their recommendations or make a strong case for a need to do something different. They’re also extremely concerned about security and for any system we want that needs to connect to BC’s identity management system or other local database, we need to go through an auditing process to make sure that the system we’re proposing and the connection to their systems has appropriate security controls and mechanisms in place.Are there rules suggesting or requiring that a repository of institutionally produced intellectual output be hosted locally? Or that open-source is preferred over commercial software?
I’m somewhat agnostic when it comes to the open-source vs. commercial debate. I think this slide, from Mark Sutherland and Peta Hopkins at Bond University, provides a nice snapshot of the key differences between OS and commercial or “off-the-shelf” software.
I think the more important technical requirements relate to how much localization or customization you want for your IR, and to what degree the IR platform supports relevant standards and protocols. If you’re expecting to do significant customization of your IR, then you’ll want to make sure that that platform allows that, either because the platform is “open” through documented APIs that local developers can hook into, or because the vendor, if it’s a commercial system, offers customization options. Key standards and protocols for IRs are those that ensure that it’s easy to put data into your IR (e.g. SWORD protocol), and that once there, the data can be made available to other systems for harvesting and discovery (OAI-PMH), and that material in your IR can be assigned “permanent” locations on the net, which will work even if the actual content moves (Handle) --localization --interoperability--standards compliance
All of the commonly-used platforms have online demos available—a great way to begin assessing the suitability of a given platform for your environment is to run through the demos and begin imagining how well it would work in your environmemtn
Ir platform tuesday
Selecting an IR Platform: Approaches, Options, and Implications<br />Bob Gerrity <br />AUL for Library Systems & Information Technology <br />Boston College<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Session Outline<br />Why an IR?<br />Functional requirements<br />Technical requirements<br />Options<br />Making a choice<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Definitions<br />Institutional Repository<br />Focus on scholarly/research output of college/university<br />Usually open access<br />Typically organized by academic department/research unit<br />Digital Repository<br />Broader in scope than IR<br />Library digital collections<br />Learning objects<br />Often includes preservation component<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Why do you want an IR?<br />This is a really important question to answer<br />increase profile of library?<br />replace/improve an existing system/service?<br />meet faculty demand?<br />direction from some higher institutional authority?<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
What do faculty want?<br />recommended reading:<br />Understanding Faculty to Improve Content Recruitment for Institutional Repositories <br />From D-Lib Magazine Vol. 11 No. 1 (January 2005) <http://hdl.handle.net/1802/1292><br />Nancy Fried Foster, Lead Anthropologist <br />Susan Gibbons, Assistant Dean, Public Services <br /> & Collection Development <br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br />April 7, 2010<br />
What do faculty want?<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
What do faculty want?<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Scope (What and Who) <br />Content<br />Faculty research output<br />preprints<br />postprints<br />working papers<br />data<br />Student research<br />Dissertations<br />Theses<br />Contributors<br />Faculty (full-time, part-time, adjunct, retired?)<br />Researchers <br />Students<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Defining Functional Requirements <br />submission/deposit<br />review/publication<br />search interface and content organization options<br />administration<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Defining Functional Requirements <br />Submission/deposit<br />Can system interface (securely) with campus identity management system?<br />Is the submission workflow simple and easy for end users?<br />Does system provide format conversion tools for contributors (e.g., Word to PDF, LaTeX to PDF), or will contributors be required to do their own conversion?<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br />April 7 , 2010<br />
Defining Functional Requirements <br />Review/publication <br />Are reviewer/approver accounts easy to set up and administer?<br />Do available permissions on such accounts meet local requirements?<br />Does the system provide notifications/alerts of new content awaiting approval?<br />Does the system support embargo periods for publication, that are easy to control and administer? <br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Defining Functional Requirements <br />Metadata <br />what metadata formats are supported?<br />what metadata is required and what level of controls do you have over required vs. optional metadata?<br />is authority control available (e.g., for authors, publishers)?<br />is the use of controlled vocabularies supported?<br />can selection lists be set up (e.g., departmental affiliation, topical keywords)?<br />does the system provide any auto correction or other quality control mechanisms?<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Defining Functional Requirements <br />search interface and content organization options<br />What indexing and search options are available?<br />Full-text indexing and keyword search<br />Browse indexing (author, title, subject)<br />Can IR content be exposed to external search engines (e.g., Google, OAI harvester, local discovery platform)?<br />Can content be organized and reorganized easily?<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Defining Functional Requirements <br />Administrative<br />Reporting<br />Export/import <br />Batch edit metadata<br />“Other”<br />APIs // integration with other campus systems<br />harvest/ingest from other sources (e.g., disciplinary repository) via OAI-PMH<br />faculty research pages<br />local branding <br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br />April 7, 2010<br />
Defining Technical Requirements <br />hardware/os/database<br />security<br />constraints imposed by campus ITS, library ITS, someone else<br />hosted vs. local<br />open source vs. commercial<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
From Open Source or Off-the-Shelf? Establishing an institutional repository for a small institution. Mark Sutherland and Peta Hopkins [Bond University, 2006]<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Defining Technical Requirements <br />how much customization/local development are you planning?<br />standards compliance<br />OAI-PMH<br />Handles or persistent URLs<br />SWORD<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Identifying and Evaluating Options<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> Feb. 10, 2010<br />
Identifying and Evaluating Options<br />Dspace (www.dspace.org)<br />Eprints (www.eprints.org)<br />Digital Commons (http://www.bepress.com/ir/)<br />IR+ (http://code.google.com/p/irplus/)<br />Fedora Commons (http://www.fedora-commons.org/)<br />Duraspace<br />http://duraspace.org<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Identifying and Evaluating Options<br />Resources<br />Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)<br />Institutional Repository Bibliography (C. Bailey), includes section on IR platforms<br />Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR)<br />Directory of Open Access Repositories (DOAR)<br />http://www.opendoar.org/<br />Repository66.org<br />RUBRIC<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br />April 7, 2010<br />
Making a choice <br />What technical resources are required to support your preferred platform?<br />If you’re choosing an open-source platform, do you have the necessary resources?<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> April 7, 2010<br />
Questions?<br />copy of presentation available at: http://tinyurl.com/yg7nqsz<br />contact info:email@example.com<br />ALCTS Webinar on Institutional Repositories<br /> March 3, 2010<br />