“Telling DSpace Stories” introduces people, ideas and innovation. This community-led initiative introduces project leaders and their ideas to one another while providing details about DSpace open access repository implementations. Open Access Week offers examples of best practices and Open Access benefits. We want to do just that by sharing what others have observed as a result of establishing DSpace repositories.
DSpace community members were asked the following questions, “What strategic organizational or institutional goals did DSpace help you meet?” and “What advice would you give to other organizations that are planning to establish a DSpace repository?” May their answers educate and inspire you!
Note: Each interview includes personal observations that may not represent the opinions and views of the institution.
What strategic organizational or institutional goals did DSpace help you meet?
“DSpace has helped increase the online presence of University of Manitoba research. Achieving this goal has successfully demonstrated the Libraries’ ability to implement, develop and manage digital systems and preserve digital data for the university’s research community.” – Carell Jackimiek , University of Manitoba
“Our eclectic approach to archiving University content has been met with a lot of enthusiasm. University Relations, for example, has begun to archive its commencement bulletins; Library search requests and result files are archived; academic journal pdf’s are archived in DSpace and then backed up to DuraCloud for preservation. We don’t put many preconditions on the kinds of collections we will add to repository. The justification has to make sense in that it serves the University in some way. We have to have the legal right to include them, and it must be in a format that makes sense for DSpace.” – Richard Jizba, Creighton University
“Instead of waiting for specialized features being developed by a partner or the community, we are now able to just implement enhancements very specific to our organizational context. The very regular DSpace release policy makes it easy for us to just follow the product development cycles, making features available to our users with quite low latency. We are able to just define interfaces as they are needed, be it for other repositories, for our users or for our in-house customers. Furthermore, DSpace made it easy to us to start quite small and make the improvements as part of an ongoing process.” – Stefan Hohenadel , University of Konstanz
What advice would you give to other organizations that are planning to establish a DSpace repository?
“We began with DSpace, eleven plus years ago and have not looked back. There were a few bumpy patches along the way but we have always been able to offer our research community a consistently reliable service that integrates well with other environments and keeps pace with current best practices. I believe it is best to start small. Work with one client or department who wants a repository and develop the service together.” – Carell Jackimiek , University of Manitoba
“Think through policies clearly and carefully before bringing up the repository. It was very helpful to me, coming in after the repository had been established, to have many of those policies in place. It helps keep you from agonizing over every decision related to collecting, retaining, and preserving items on a case by case basis.” – Colleen Lyon, University of Texas Libraries
“Just get moving on it! It just works. You don’t have to be afraid to do customizations and make it your own. But be aware of limiting your upgrade burden if you do so.” – Richard Jizba, Creighton University
“The decision for using DSpace as your IR requires adjusting DSpace to your organizational needs. DSpace is a very convenient, usable piece of software, but it ships in a “generic” state. So your organization may find itself on the way of transitioning from just running and configuring a software to a real software development process. Better not incommode your admins with the requirements of implementing features in DSpace, just hire developers. Have a rock-solid Java competence level in your organization. Know your software engineering best practices. Make the repository manager and the development team work together as reliable partners in mutual respect and faith. Respect the wishes of your users. Respect the requirements coming from the librarians who are forced to work with what you provide. Respect the requirement of having a professionally developed IR: our experiences suggest, that a single person is not sufficient to perform your DSpace integration and launch in a sensible amount of time. But when investing some resources, DSpace will make a sound, robust, performant, elegant and individual repository.” – Stefan Hohenadel , University of Konstanz
Read the follwing “Telling DSpace Stories” to learn more about how others have implemented DSpace at several types of institutions in different parts of the world:
Do you have a story to share? We invite you to consider joining DSpace storytellers. Join us in sharing the energy, enthusiasm and good ideas of the DSpace community. Contact Carol Minton Morris.