SPARC 2012: DSpace User Group

Valorie Hollister

Last week's DSpace User Group Meeting took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kansas City (MO). 25 enthusiastic participants were welcomed by Valorie Hollister, the Duraspace Director of Community Programs.

Under the motto "Collaboration as the new competition", Duraspace is taking a big step forward in terms of their business model and technologies. Both the Registered Service Provider Program and the Sponsorship Program have been successful in attracting funds to sustain the organization. By 2014, 32% of the required funds should be generated by the provision of novel services.

Recently launched Duraspace initiatives include the Knowledgebase: an accessible source for tutorials, videos and other educational materials on Duraspace technologies, the hot topic webinar series and Duracloud for Research.

Batch Loading Workflows Tutorial

With over 7 years experience in batch importing 97000 content files in a DSpace repository with 67 communities, Maureen Walsh from the Ohio State University library provided valuable insights in ways to enhance and automate batch import procedures.

First, two different workflows to successfully re-purpose MARC metadata were addressed. The first XSLT based workflow, entailed that MARC records were exported from a library OPAC and than transformed into MARC XML with MARCEdit. The Library of Congress also provide default transformations from MARC XML to Dublin Core, but need to be customized to be fully compatible with the DSpace default Dublin Core metadata registry.
The second workflow for re-purposing MARC metadata takes the MARC records into a CSV spreadsheet from which you can combine and rename columns (fields) in a more visual way. Then you can use the Dspace CSV Batch Import routine to import the data.

In the second part of her talk, Maureen showed a valuable trick to extract metadata embedded in images, into spreadsheets. To accomplish this, she used ExifTool. Because the metadata ends up in spreadsheets it's easy to correct before it gets uploaded into DSpace. Some results of this approach can be found in the John H. Glenn photography collection.

Community Involvement and DSpace Innovation

Mark Diggory kicked off the @mire talk, trying to clear up popular misconceptions about contributing to the DSpace open source development. Contrary to popular belief, contributing code is not reserved for large institutions, nor does customizing your code have to add additional cost to maintain your repository, if you decide to share your customizations. In fact, contributing your customizations to the core of DSpace will even reduce your maintenance and upgrades costs.

Recent development, originating from collaborations between @mire, the Dryad project and the University of Michigan, were highlighted to illustrate this approach. Item versioning and external identifier systems coming out of Dryad development are two examples that can be adopted by DSpace in future releases. In the collaboration with the University of Michigan, contributing back to DSpace was a key consideration right at the start of a project to extend and innovate the support for embargo in DSpace.

Bram Luyten then focussed on one of @mire's contributions to DSpace that has gotten a substantial uptake over the past year: Discovery, faceted searching in Dspace. When you enable this feature, it replaces the existing search feature and adds "Discover" boxes to the repository homepage, collection and community pages. Among several tips and tricks, Bram shared that you can use the parameter "index.ignore" to ensure that certain metadata fields don't get indexed by Discovery at all, rendering them invisible in Discovery search. If you would like to know more about the Discovery feature and how to enable it there is an video available that provides an introduction.

Contact us if you're interested in receiving the slides of our talk.

Inspiring DSpace Stories Galore

Finally, participants were invited to present their own DSpace story, learnings and current challenges. Hilde Colenbrander from the University of British Columbia (UBC), an @mire client shared the story of how they started their cIRcle repository with only 0.5 FTE for coordination and 0.10 FTE in programming back in 2007. Two advocacy approaches that worked very well for cIRcle to gain traction were a "What's in it for you?" video and serving all the content online in the repository for conference right before the event started. Remember John Wilbanks said that people want their content now, UBC used their cIRcle repository to make that happen.

"You! are your repository, every last crazy one of you!" is the idea behind the campus based approach to organize the community around the MOspace repository at the University of Missouri, presented by Amy Lana. She also presented very preliminary results of an ongoing repository cost survey. The survey is still accepting entries here.

Gabriela Mircea with the University of Toronto Libraries explained how they are tying together Bibapp for researcher profiles and their institutional repository. The BibApp implementation called "Focus on Research" enables them to go back to the faculty with a new story and recruit more repository content.

After recently joining the repository team at the University of Indiana Bloomington Libraries, Stacy Konkiel indicated that they aim to address author disambiguation and use Blacklight to create federated search across different DSpace repositories.

Colleen Lyon gave good hands examples on how they are promoting the repository at the University of Texas at Austin. The monthly newsletter yields good results. Almost every time she sends one out, people respond with suggestions for new repository content.

As a last presentation before the meeting went into a structured networking session about repository challenges and ambitions in 2012, Maureen Walsh shared two more novel initiatives at Ohio State University: exposing repository content through iTunesU, thanks one of their own RSS feed contributions in DSpace 1.8 and the use of proxy licenses.

Sneak peek screening of the new DSpace Community video

Attendees of the DSpace User Group Meeting were officially the first audience that got to see a brand new DSpace community video. In fact, the project and final editing is still in progress. If you are a DSpace user and want to know more and possibly showcase your own repository in the video, let us know.


Upcoming DSpace User Group Meetings

Make sure not to miss the next DSpace User Group Meeting Open Repositories 2012.