Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Repositories Exchange of Experience - Universities of York and Leeds

An interesting meeting took place on Friday between various library staff who work on "repositories" at the Universities of York and Leeds. University of York is developing a digital library - using Fedora with a Muradora front end - to manage a variety of digital content - including, for example, a collection of images from the History of Art Department (some already digitised, others which will need to be scanned). Leeds has a multimedia repository running on the Digitool platform - originally created as part of the MIDESS project and now continuing as LUDOS (Leeds University Digital Objects) . LUDOS collections include Medieval Manuscripts and images of Physics Instruments. It will also house longitudinal qualitative data from the ESRC funded Timescapes project.

There is significant overlap between the target content for the York Digital Library and LUDOS.

Both the LUDOS and York Digital Library act as a complement to Leeds' and York's VLE systems and to the shared (Leeds, Sheffield, York) repository for research outputs - White Rose Research Online (EPrints software).

Repository development can be a lonely business sometimes! It's good to get in touch with other people who are working through very similar issues. Some of the common ground identified at the meeting:
  • access control : for legal reasons - but also may wish to restrict access to the metadata of non OA items in some cases.
  • metadata - York is investigating VRA Core for images; Leeds decided against this standard, preferring MODS because it enables nested relationships. Potentially, much fruitful sharing of exerience to be had here.
  • data input - repository workflows need to be able to cater for expert and non-expert inputters
  • authentication - we need it!
  • relationships between digital objects
  • to customise or not to customise? - software may be flexible enough to allow lots of tailoring - but future migration should always be considered
  • ingestion of really big files! Should large files be referenced elsewhere e.g. vidoes might live on a streaming server.
  • multiple copies of files - if usage data is important, how to we aggregate statistics?
  • trust and creditials between repository systems - for sharing data
  • metasearch tools from OPAC - various tools were discussed. York and Leeds have similar interests - it would be very useful to share data on this.
  • how comprehensive should metasearching be?
  • embedded (human!) behaviour - how to change it?
  • desktop deposit - what will it look like and is mediation always necessary?
We also had a couple of brief presentations on SWORD - Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit- by Julie and John. We're looking at SWORD as a potential deposit mechanism for to populate both WRRO and ESRC's Social Sciences repository. See the IncReASe project. It would also be interesting to look into desktop deposit using SWORD e.g. as used in the experimental Microsoft eJournal Service.

York: Julie Allinson, Peri Stracchino, Ellizabeth Harbord, Yankui Feng, Matthew Herring, Lucy Jaques
Leeds: Jonathan Ainsworth, Michael Emly, John Salter
White Rose: Rachel Proudfoot, Beccy Shipman, John Salter, Lucy Jaques

This was a useful meeting - and raised lots of issues which there was not time to address in great detail on the day. It was agreed to have another exchange meeting in about 6 months' time.

1 comment:

york said...

Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u...