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Receding Repository Software?


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I’m leading a brief session at the CAIRSS community days today (CAIRSS is the national repository support service for Australasia). The title is “Emerging Repository Software”, but I thought I’d turn that around and propose that the future of institutional repositories is to fade into the background.

Here are my notes for the session.

Take this screenshot of the Griffith University repository. See here’s the default browse-screen for publications.

The Griffith Publications repository

Hold on! That’s not the repository

This is the Research Hub which ties together data from a number of different sources to provide a joined-up view of publications in the context of other research information.


The repository has faded into the background

Much like this invisible dog.

Just in case these Griffith people get big heads, I do have to point out that while I think this service points to the future of the Institutional Repository as an embedded part of the research information systems of the university, the work’s not all done yet.

But, this is not perfect

The ‘find it yourself’ button is sub-optimal:

And check out this URL:


That really should be something like: http://research-hub.griffith.edu.au/collections

This stuff is hard to get right. The hardest bit is getting good quality metadata so things *do* join up.

There are two new kinds of repository we’re seeing in Australia, thanks to investment from the Australian National Data Service.

  1. There are many “Data Capture” systems for researchers to manage data early in its lifecycle.

  2. These feed into Data Catalogues or Data Repositories – there’s a lot of terminological confusion here because of the way the funding streams have been structured.

    ## Data capture Systems

    See the ANDS list of DC projects. Here’s one I selected at random:

    It’s difficult to get useful information about many of these projects.

There are many data capture projects, and all of them will presumably need to be hooked up to systems like the Griffith Research Hub at some stage.

It’s a jungle out there, mount an expedition!

Data is are the new black

A few notable projects:

See JISC’s Managing Research Data programme for more.

(I wanted to mention the Hydra Fedora-commons toolkit as well lots of work on archives and digital libraries).

The current opportunity for libraries

Use your metadata skills to help with “the great joining up”.

  • Get the governance right (see the ANDS view of this).

    Research systems are for the researchers.

    (So projects should report to the Deputy Vice Chancellor Research).

  • Start working with Research Data – not just on repositories, but on useful applications.

  • Get involved in tag-and-release programs for the feral data capture projects roaming Australia’s universities.

  • Do more work on ‘Digital library’ projects beyond the institutional publications repository.