NewSpace A monthly publication for the DSpace Community
|dspace.org stats:15,311 visitors, 132 countries, 68% new visitors - between 11/1/2007 - 12/30/2007|
In this issue:
Afghanistan Digital Library
DSpace Awarded Grant
DSpace Foundation Survey
DSpace User Group Meeting
Conferences / Events
Market Share and Other Stats
|Michele Kimpton - Executive Director|
Happy New Year and welcome to the first edition of the DSpace Foundation Newsletter! Through this monthly newsletter, we will keep our community informed about current news and events in the DSpace digital archive world. In each issue we will highlight DSpace installations and contributors. We will also provide updates on DSpace software development and projects sponsored by the Foundation and others in the community. The newsletter will link to relevant conference and event information.
If you have not been to the re-designed DSpace website, check it out at www.dspace.org. The new website has all the latest news and information about what is going on in the community. You will also find a wealth of information to help you with your DSpace installation (training, service providers, documentation and publications). If you register as a user on the site, you will have access to post messages on discussion forums, submit news items and make updates to the calendar.
The Foundation will be sending out a survey to the members of the community in the next few weeks. We hope to get input from all of you on how the foundation can improve your experience using DSpace and ultimately increase the adoption of DSpace to preserve and provide access to all scholarly works. We will be sending a link to the survey to all members on the DSpace list servs and will post a link on the DSpace website.
Lastly, I would like to welcome two new members to the DSpace Foundation who have already made a difference. Our webmaster, Lauren L?Esperance (
) and the new community outreach manager, Valorie Hollister (
) . If there is additional content that would be helpful, please feel free to email us <
> with your suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you!
|Preserving and Collecting Endangered Materials|
The earliest publications from Afghanistan are extremely rare and found almost exclusively in private collections, where public access is limited or non-existent. Decades of war in Afghanistan have further dispersed and destroyed holdings of books within the country itself. The (ADL), currently in pilot phase, will retrieve and restore materials published in Afghanistan that are in clear danger of disappearing. The objective is to collect, catalogue, digitize and provide access to as many publications as possible in an effort to reconstruct an essential part of Afghanistan's published cultural heritage from the first sixty years (1871-1930). The DSpace Foundation recently spoke with Dr. Michael Stoller, Director of Collection and Research Services at New York University and the project manager for the ADL.
What was the inspiration for the Afghanistan Digital Library? ?NYU is a leader in the field of Central Asian Studies. One of our professors, Dr. Robert McChesney, is an expert on Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, presented the idea to us. Dr. McChesney has a large personal collection of Afghan publications and was concerned that there was very little printed material available publicly. He suggested using a digital library would make such items widely available. Dr. McChesney set up the scholarly connections inside and outside Afghanistan to get the project started and he now serves as the ADL?s director.?
Why did you chose the timeframe of 1871-1930? ?We knew that there was a finite range of material available, so it made it a manageable project. Also, since there are no copyright issues prior to 1930 and we knew we would not have issues that would be further complicated or hang on treaties between the USA and Afghanistan.?
Although the ADL is still in pilot phase, is the project a success so far? ?It has been a very successful project in terms of developing the content. We?ve learned a great deal about DSpace, Afghanistan and the materials available. And the scholars in Afghanistan are enormously excited as this represents material they don?t otherwise have access to.?
What are the next steps? ?The project is on-going. Printed materials in Afghanistan as well as in private collections are currently being digitized in tandem. We still need to resolve some bibliographic language control issues of which Persian pronunciations to use.?
You met recently with leaders from some of the Afghan universities. What did they have to say? ?The Afghan scholars were deeply moved to see their national literature made accessible and greatly excited by [the ADL demonstration]. Although they have little ability to actually use the ADL at this point, since there is practically no internet access in Afghanistan, they are hopeful for the future.?
For more information on the project summary, scope and sponsors, refer to the ?About? section on the Afgahanistan Digital Library website. For short historical perspective on the rare and endangered Afghanistan publications, refer to ?The Afghanistan Digital Library Project? from Connect: Information Technology at NYU, Spring 2003 Edition.
Scott Phillips on Manakin
Manakin is a new modular, customizable, user-friendly interface for DSpace. Each community and collection within DSpace has the ability to establish a unique look-and-feel, brand content, visualize metadata, and share newly implemented features with others. The DSpace Foundation recently spoke with the lead Manakin developer, Scott Phillips, who is the Research & Development Coordinator at the Texas Digital Library.
Why did you develop Manakin? ?With a growing trend towards online scholarly communications, digital repositories have become increasingly more important for the sharing and management of our knowledge. However, JSP, the existing DSpace user interface at the time, did not meet Texas A&M Libraries repository?s needs. Mainly, we did not have the adoption rate we wanted and some communities? needs were simply not being met. Modifying the JSP-based interface is not only expensive and time consuming, but it also limits repositories to one type of interface. Therefore, our goal of creating a more usable interface was born. Manakin was designed to adapt the user interface to suit many specific types of needs, users, and collections. Along with the other Manakin use cases, Texas A&M University Libraries drove the need for an improved user interface. These needs were specifically based on the collection requirements to show branded content, as well as an extended integration with the web. We are now able to integrate with the rest of Texas A&M?s web presence and other electronic information initiatives within the library.?
How did Manakin improve the repository at the Texas Digital Library? ?Since TDL is a consortium of academic libraries in the state of Texas, it was important to recognize the individual institutions and have the appropriate branding. This is so each institution would not feel like they have lost ownership of their content. With a customizable Manakin user interface, TDL does not appear to be taking credit for their material. Instead, the owner of the material has the appropriate credit. In addition to meeting the collection requirements to show branded content, Manakin offers the user the opportunity to change the look and feel of their specific repository. In this case, the repository may even be branded along the lines of the institution's structure: colleges, departments, centers, labs, etc. Manakin also offers developers several new tools that allow creation of modular extensions to the repository. This extension framework allows existing features to be modified cleanly, or entirely new features to be created. These features can range from new workflow and ingestion capabilities to minor modifications regarding the display of content."
How did the other Manakin pilot projects impact the final version of Manakin? ?Manakin was built with a constant awareness of several projects at TDL, Instituto Antonio Carlos Jobim and A&M Library's Geologic Atlas of the United States. Their development was serendipitous in that the needs of the repositories and Manakin affected the development of each other. In creating the final version of Manakin, we were able to consider the cases of these pilot projects to determine additional user needs and what we could improve."
How does Manakin relate to future innovations in DSpace 2.0? ?The goal of DSpace 2.0 is to take the diverse functions currently available and split them up so as to produce separate modules. This is so users will be able to make changes to each module individually without it having an effect on the other features. Manakin is a large piece of the modularity story at the interface level, and we plan to bring that flexibility to other parts of DSpace with 2.0.?
What is the timeframe for future development? ?The current phase is to integrate Manakin with DSpace 1.5. Downloads of 1.5 will include Manakin with an on/off switch so one can opt to use it or use the standard JSP user interface. A more long term goal is to allow the content curator ? a non-technical person ? to do some limited customization for things like color scheme, logo, metadata field definitions, etc., all through a web-based interface. This project is called Feathers and will be discussed further at the Open Repositories Conference 2008 in April.?
What does Manakin need from the DSpace user community? ?As DSpace moves closer to adopting Manakin as the default user interface, we expect to see a community formed around the tradition of sharing themes and aspects. As new features are modularly developed, they can be easily shared, thus improving the user experience for everyone by allowing repositories to incorporate the latest developments from around the world. We need users to realize that the ability for further customization requires sharing. Making user interface customizations available to the community can serve as use cases for other similar repositories. If institutions come up with new aspects, themes or workflows, they should share them with the community so others can use them. ?
Where did the name ?Manakin? come from? ?We saw a nature video on the Manakin, which is a South American songbird that does a moonwalk dance. We greatly enjoyed the video and thought it sounded like a great name for our project.? To see a Manakin in action, click on image to left.
Several repositories outside of Texas have also adopted Manakin to address various challenges. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is using Manakin for their internal image collection: Rotch Visual Collections Online. In Europe, the Doria repository is using Manakin for the dissemination of electronic thesis and dissertations from Finnish universities and has adapted Manakin to the multi-lingual needs of its users.
To view a demo, tutorial or to download Manakin, please click here.
Learn more about Manakin:
Scott Phillips, Cody Green, Alexey Maslov, Adam Mikeal, and John Leggett. "Manakin: A New Face for DSpace". D-Lib Magazine, Volume 13 Number 11/12 ISSN 1082-9873, November/December 2007.
Scott Phillips, Cody Green, Alexey Maslov, Adam Mikeal, and John Leggett. "Introducing Manakin: Overview and Architecture". Open Repositories, San Antonio, Texas, January 23 - 26, 2007.
|Foundation receives grant from JISC for 2.0 work
|The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has awarded the DSpace Foundation a small grant to support two developers in the UK, over a six month timeframe to work on developing DSpace 2.0 platform. JISC was particularly interested in funding this work to ensure DSpace works seamlessly with SWAP(Scholarly Works Application Profile) and SWORD. The foundation plans on hiring a Technical Director in the near future to lead the 2.0 development, with work commencing in the spring.|
|DSpace User Group Meeting October 2007
|DSpace Foundation will conduct a survey of the DSpace community starting next week, January 14 - 28th. This is your opportunity to provide the Foundation your feedback and opinions to help shape the activities and priorities going forward. In addition to your voice being heard, all completed survey participants will be entered in a drawing for $100 gift certificate from Amazon.com. (The gift certificate applies to general survey only)
||? 117 attendees representing 60 institutions and 19 countries|
? Highlights were the Manakin presentation and networking with other DSpace users/developers
? Click here to view copies of all the presentations
? 78% of attendees who responded to the user group meeting survey rated the conference good to excellent
|Development Update - DSpace 1.5
|The DSpace developer community is working hard toward getting version 1.5 ready for beta release. Version 1.5 is much larger in scope than any previous release. Most significant is the platform migration to Maven. Maven is a build platform that is the first step towards making the platform more modular, and ultimately allowing developers to contribute to the code base more easily.. Moving the current code base onto Maven has required significant debugging, and new documentation.|
Another major advancement of version 1.5 is the user interface. DSpace 1.5 will include Manakin - a new user interface package that allows complete customization of DSpace, integration of SWORD, a customizable submission step process,and the ability to configure the browser interface. To find out the latest status on the 1.5 release please check the wiki.