The Challenge of Customizing
an Institutional Repository:
SALALM Panel, Monday, April 30, 2007
The two major open access strategies
Open access journals:
Usually include peer review as in traditional
journals. Various pricing models possible
including author fees or subsidies.
Institutional Repositories (IR’s):
Often self-archived by author. May include
preprints or postprints. Also disciplinary
repositories like the
. Usually include
metadata elements from Dublin Core or MODS.
What is a Digital Institutional Repository?
A university-based institutional repository is a set of services
that a university offers to the members of its community for the
management and dissemination of digital materials created by
the institution and its community members. It is most essentially
an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital
materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as
well as organization and access or distribution.”
Clifford A. Lynch,
"Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age"
, no. 226 (February 2003):
Two views of the future of IR’s
1. Primarily designed as an alternative to high-
priced publishers. Concentrates on scholarly
publications such as postprints.
2. Designed to provide enhanced access to the
intellectual output of an institution. Policies
allow many kinds of digital objects including
technical reports, working papers, and
DSpace is an open source product designed
by MIT and Hewlett–Packard Labs.
It can handle many kinds of digital items.
It captures, distributes, indexes, and
preserves digital items.
It uses a web browser.
It is organized in communities and
Authors can self submit and add their own
metadata (must hold copyright).
There can be review processes.
DSpaceUNM launched in March 2005.
Our assumption was that it would be easy to recruit
professors to submit scholarly works such as journal
articles. We had limited success.
The reality was that it mostly appealed to groups that
did not have a good archive solution.
We developed very open policies and have had
requests for lots of types of communities and
collections. It has grown organically rather than
Communities, subcommunities, and
Create a community that is either an
organizational unit or a research group. Can
have a community administrator.
Create a collection of like items. Find a
collection administrator who will take care of
Choose a review process. Decide on who
Searching and Retrieval
You can spend a lot of time organizing your
collections and developing metadata fields.
However, most access to repository items comes
from search engines. Documents can have full text
extracted and searched.
Powerful retrieval software is being developed and
Concentrate on capturing the digital objects in a way
that can be preserved.
Customization of metadata fields and displays.
Enhanced user interfaces like Dspace’s Manakin.
Adding social software features to repository like
commenting or tagging.
Add on services that work across repositories like
the University of Minho’s web of communication.
Connecting the repository to other web services.
Some of our Communities and Collections
Examples of Items in DSpaceUNM:
Meetings (UNM Board of Regents)
Whitepapers, opinion pieces, grant preparation work
Local journal or other publication series:
Himalayan Journal of Development and Democracy
Liberal Democracy Nepal Bulletin
Association documents (American Indian Planning Association)
Scanning Electron Microscope Images grant
Current Development Projects
Social software applications (commenting and
Promoting IRs and Harvesting for a Latin
American Portal - LAKH
Experimenting with Electronic Theses and
Separate system for our Manuscript and Archival
Example of a social software application
Identified need to facilitate international scholarly
collaboration in identifying structures found in cave
Organize Scanning Electron Microscopy collection
Determine descriptive metadata needs.
Utilize commenting and marking function in dspace
to provide venue
Explore using community software (drupal) in
conjunction with repository.
Suggested Descriptive Elements
Decided instead to put everything in one description field and let searching and
retrieval techniques help us.
Commenting and Tagging
Date: 28-Apr-2007 17:31:56
I have seen this same formation in caves
in Flatlandia at a depth of 14 meters.
Experimenting with Electronic Theses
Surveyed best practices and software
Chose dspace to leverage our current
Decided on collection structure and
Began pilot project Spring 2007.
Office of Graduate Studies (OGS)
Doctoral Dissertations and Theses
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Master's Theses and Papers
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Customized Descriptive Metadata for
Decided to use these fields because they were well defined by other
Current UNM Challenge
Our Institutional Repository will always be a work
To maximize its value UNM needs:
A project to digitize and post UNM scholarly
and creative work
Policies and incentives
To work with interoperability and preservation