NewSpace A monthly publication for the DSpace Community
Volume 1, Issue 3
|dspace.org stats:20,001 visitors, 142 countries, 64% new visitors - for February 2008|
In this issue:
DSpace 1.5 Features
Summary of User Community Survey
Stuart Lewis and Richard Jones
Conferences / Events
Service Providers List
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Michele Kimpton - Executive Director
March has been a busy month for the DSpace community, as we have been preparing for the launch of DSpace 1.5 and getting ready for our next User Group Meeting at OR2008 on April 1-4. I would like to thank everyone who took the time over the last month to participate in the test-a-thon to identify bugs and for those who helped to create the documentation for the new release. As a result of everyone?s hard work we rolled out a stable release of 1.5 yesterday, March 24th. For a brief summary of the new release features and links to download the software and new documentation, click here.
The DSpace Foundation team has reviewed our recent survey results and put together a brief summary of key findings, and has outlined an action plan based on feedback from the community. We will be presenting our plan at the DSpace User Group Meeting at OR2008 and we will also post the plan on the website following the meeting. We welcome your input over the next several months as we develop the implementation plan for the action items identified.
Once again, DSpace Foundation has been accepted as a participating organization for the Google Summer of Code. Currently, we have six mentors signed up to help guide interns working on DSpace projects. We now need to come up with a compelling list of projects for the interns. To post your ideas, please click here.
For those of you that cannot make it to the User Group Meeting at OR2008, please consider the JA-SIG Spring Conference on open source software in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 27-30. The conference will discuss the management, development and deployment of several open source software platforms used in higher education, including DSpace. I will be presenting the key initiatives of DSpace Foundation and the software roadmap at the following conferences over the next several months: DSpace User Group Meeting at OR2008, JASIG Spring Conference, DLF Spring Forum, ARL Membership Meeting. I look forward to meeting with many of you face to face.
As always, if there is additional content that would be helpful to include in NewSpace, please email us at
with your suggestions.
Manakin: Customize your site design using Manakin, now the default user interface for DSpace.
Submissions: Customize your submission steps for your DSpace repository contributors.
Browsing: Customize which fields your users are able to browse.
Maven: A build system that will allow DSpace to be more modular
SWORD: A standard repository deposit protocol
Light Network Interface: Programatic interface for managing content within the repository
Event Mechanism: Provides notification when change occurs to any content in DSpace
For more details on the new 1.5 features and funtionality, click here
|Summary of User Community Survey
|The DSpace Foundation recently completed a user community survey to identify what role the Foundation should play to support the community and promote the DSpace platform. The survey was sent to everyone registered on the DSpace mailing lists. Only persons actively using or evaluating the DSpace platform were allowed to take the survey. Close to twenty percent of the population surveyed responded, an exceptionally high response rate.|
Summary of General Feedback on Users
67% of respondents regard their DSpace repository as successful.
61% measure success by number of items deposited, followed by number of downloads of documents.
32% see end user interest and motivation as the biggest roadblock in developing a successful repository.
74% of all respondents use the Wiki to find information, 69% of all respondents use the website, 53% of all respondents use the ListServ mailing lists.
90% of respondents answered DSpace 2.0 was important to their long term repository plan.
48% of respondents have upgraded their DSpace installation in a production environment.
Top priorities identified by the community for the Foundation
- Develop and manage a strong network of service providers globally that can provide technical support, software development, and training.
- Raise awareness of the work being done on DSpace both within and outside the community through conferences, user group meetings, and other communication venues and tools.
- Build and support an active community of developers and users through increased communication, outreach and coordination, particularly in regard platform changes and software add-ons.
- Ensure DSpace meets and leads in the standards development for open repositories.
- Manage and coordinate the release of DSpace 2.0
To see the full survey results, please click here.
Stuart Lewis and Richard Jones on SWORD
SWORD (Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit) is a JISC-funded project aimed at creating, implementing and testing a lightweight, common deposit mechanism. The first phase of the project was completed in October 2007 and is included in the 1.5 release of the DSpace platform. SWORD is a common repository deposit protocol, built upon open standards that will help facilitate easier and more effective population of repositories and can be used for multiple repositories on various platforms.
DSpace Foundation spoke with two key contributors on the SWORD project, Richard Jones and Stuart Lewis. Richard Jones is a Research Engineer at HPLabs, working on repository and information systems based around DSpace and also serves as a DSpace Committer. Stuart Lewis works for Information Services at Aberystwyth University, is the developer of repository mashup map and also serves as a DSpace Committer.
What are the main benefits of SWORD?
Stuart: ?Whilst there are common standards used by repositories for harvesting, searching and retrieving items, there is no standard for depositing items. SWORD fits in by offering a standard interface for depositing items into any SWORD-compliant repository. An additional benefit of SWORD is that it is an extension to APP (Atom Publishing Protocol), which is itself an established deposit interface. SWORD uses APP and extends it slightly to make it appropriate for repository deposit. By using APP we get to work with an established standard rather than creating a whole new standard. This brings benefits to developers and users as APP tools can often be used to deposit into SWORD-compliant repositories.?
What is the benefit of SWORD to the end user?
Stuart: ?The real merit to the end user will be when the web applications and publishing tools integrate the SWORD protocol that will potentially enable "one click? deposit. Without this client side integration the users will not see the benefit as of yet.?
How does auto depositing work and how does it fit into the current workflow of repository contributors today?
Stuart: ?At present most repository deposits either take place by a user using a web-based submission interface, or by an administrator performing a bulk upload via a back-end command.
SWORD allows new repository scenarios to work, for example: simultaneous deposit into multiple repositories (e.g. an institutional repository and a subject-based repository), deposit via a desktop-application (perhaps a word processor or repository management tool) and migration of items from one repository to another.?
Which platforms or software packages does SWORD allow mass/bulk transfers to be made to/from? Will mass/bulk transfers be possible from other types of less formal repositories?
Stuart: ?SWORD is now supported by DSpace, EPrints, Fedora, and Intralibrary. Three clients are available offering deposit via the command line, a simple desktop application, or a web site. The SWORD standard is open and published, and any other service wishing to develop a SWORD client or server is most welcome and encouraged to do so. Because SWORD is built upon APP, other APP-enabled systems, or systems built upon APP (e.g. GData from Google) may be easily adapted to work with SWORD.?
SWORD comes as part of the core download in 1.5, but can current DSpace instances (1.4.2 or lower) install SWORD?
Stuart: ?Version 1.4 can be patched. Earlier versions are not supported because SWORD relies on packaging tools that are only available in 1.4.?
What are the key reasons users in the community would want to adopt SWORD?
Stuart: ?If anyone needs a deposit interface either because they want to deposit programmatically by a remote system, or if they want to develop a new user deposit tool, then SWORD is worth looking into. As SWORD is cross-platform compatible, any work done could be re-used with other repositories.?
Is there anything else the DSpace community should do to prepare for SWORD or that they should be aware of?
Stuart: ?The SWORD development community is an open and welcoming group, and we'd love for people who are interested in SWORD to join in. We're interested in what uses people have for SWORD, and what tools need to be provided to facilitate this. An email list exists for this purpose: https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/sword-app-tech.?
Richard: ?The most critical thing the user community can do to help is identifying their metadata requirements. Many instances are going to have different metadata in their repositories ? so people will need to know of what sort of metadata they need to transfer and in what format. These needs should be made known to the DSpace developer community so we can write crosswalks to meet those requirements as soon as possible.
On the more technical side, the community can help us support more package formats. For example, the IMS content package isn?t currently supported by SWORD, but there might be some instances would want to use it.?
What further work is planned for SWORD?
Stuart: ?JISC who funded the original SWORD work have now funded the SWORD project team to continue with the work. Future work is likely to be in three areas: 1) supporting the current version of SWORD, 2) create new client libraries to facilitate developers creating new deposit tools that work with SWORD, and 3) developing SWORD version 2; APP supports the updating and deleting of items, and SWORD 2 hopes to add in this functionality.?
Richard: ?SWORD has a good future and there are exciting things in the pipeline. There is a formal relationship with the Open Archives Initiatives (OAI-ORE) and one of the more long-term development possibilities is looking into using the new OAI-ORE standard to describe complex objects in SWORD. This would enable us to do without actually parsing packages at all, but simply parse descriptions of objects of things we want the repository to ingest. There are a few things we can do to make it easier ? like getting rid of packages all together. It would be more like a replacement for the packages itself. So you would still have a reference to the Dublin Core XML, but it would be dealt with in entirely standards based way so that there is no need actually to parse packages.?
For more detail from Richard Jones on SWORD implementation and content packaging, please click here.