Top Reasons To Use DSpace

DSpace has over 1000 organizations that are currently using the DSpace software in a production or project environment. The most common use is by research libraries as an institutional repository, however there are many organizations using the software to host and manage subject based repositories, dataset repositories or media based repositories. See a complete list of registered users here. For a map of all registered users visit here

The DSpace open source platform is available for free to anyone and can be downloaded from the sourceforge open source software repository. The code is currently licensed under the BSD open source license. This means that any organization can use, modify, and even integrate the code into their commercial application without paying any licensing fees. Of course, we hope if you improve upon the software, you will contribute that code back to the community for everyone's benefit. Today there are more than 100 contributors around the world contributing code, bug fixes, etc.  DSpace software is managed by a smaller group of volunteer developers (called committers) that work together to plan releases and integrate new features and bug fixes submitted by the community.  See our DSpace Contributor Listing for a full list of all known contributors to the platform.

Compare DSpace software to other open source solutions to see if it best fits your needs. Here is a comparison of DSpace software to other open source repository platforms done by the Repositories Support Project, a JISC-funded initiative from the United Kingdom.

DSpace can be customized in the following key ways to suit your needs:

Customize or theme the user interface - You can fully customize the look and feel of your DSpace website so it will integrate seamlessly with your own institution's website and can be more intuitive for your users. DSpace provides two main user interface options: the traditional (JSP-based) interface, and Manakin (XML-based) which provides various "themes" out of the box.

Customize the metadata - Dublin Core is the default metadata format within the DSpace application. However you can add or change any field to customize it for you application. DSpace currently supports any non hierarchical, flat name space, although it is possible to ingest other hierarchical metadata schemas into DSpace such as MARC and MODS. This requires using tools such as crosswalk and having some technical capability to map the transfer of data.

Configure Browse and Search - You can decide what fields you would like to display for browsing, such as author, title, date etc. on your DSpace website. You can also select any metadata fields you would like included in the search interface. All of the text within a given item and metadata associated with the item, are indexed for full text search if desired.

Local authentication mechanisms - DSpace comes with plugins for most university authentication methods, including: LDAP (and hierarchical LDAP), Shibboleth, X.509, IP-based.  In addition, DSpace comes with its own internal authentication method, or can be configured to use multiple authentication methods at once. You can also build your own authentication plugin if you use a custom authentication mechanism.

Standards compatiblility - DSpace complies with many standard protocols for access, ingest, and export.  The standards DSpace supports include: OAI-PMH, OAI-ORE, SWORD, WebDAV, OpenSearch, OpenURL, RSS, ATOM.

Configurable database -You can choose either PostgreSQL or Oracle for the database where DSpace manages its metadata.

Default language -The DSpace web application is available in over twenty languages. So if English is not your local language, you can customize the language which DSpace uses.  You can also configure DSpace to support multiple languages, so that the language your user sees is the 'preferred language' set in their web browser.

The DSpace platform is used by higher education institutions for whom the platform was initially developed, while also showing a much broader appeal. The software has been used by museums, state archives, museums, state and National Libraries, journal repositories, consortiums, and commercial companies to manage their digital assets. For a complete list of all registered users please visit here.

DSpace comes with an easily configurable web based interface, which any system administrator can install on a single Linux, Mac OSX or Windows box to get started. If you'd like to try out DSpace before installing, visit our DSpace Demostration Site (which is a fully functional demo install of DSpace).  A full list of software prerequsities can be found in our Documentation.

The DSpace application can recognize and manage a large number of file format and mime types. Some of the most common formats currently managed within the DSpace environment are PDF, Word, JPEG, MPEG, TIFF files.  Although out-of-the-box DSpace only auto-recognizes common file formats, files of any format can be managed by DSpace.  DSpace also provides a simple file format registry where you can register any unrecognized format, so that it can be identified in the future.

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