SWORD (Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit) Project

Led by UKOLN, The JISC SWORD (Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit) Project is developing "a prototype ‘smart deposit’ tool" to "facilitate easier and more effective population of repositories."

Here’s an excerpt from the project plan:

The effective and efficient population of repositories is a key concern for the repositories community. Deposit is a crucial step in the repository workflow; without it a repository has no content and can fulfill no further function. Currently most repositories exist in a fairly linear context, accepting deposits from a single interface and putting them into a single repository. Further deployment of repositories, encouraged by JISC and other funders, means that this situation is changing and we are beginning to see an increasingly complex and dynamic ecology of interactions between repositories and other services and systems. By and large developers are not creating repository systems and software from scratch, rather they are considering how repositories interface with other applications within institutions and the wider information landscape. A single repository, or multiple repositories, might interact with other components, such as VLEs, authoring tools, packaging tools, name authority services, classification services and research systems. In terms of content, resources may be deposited in a repository by both human and software agents, e.g. packaging tools that push content into repositories or a drag-and-drop desktop tool. The type of resource being deposited will also influence the choice of deposit mechanism. If the resources are complex packaged objects then a web service will need to support the ingest of multiple packaging standards.

There is currently no standard mechanism for accepting content into repositories, yet there already exists a stable and widely implemented service for harvesting metadata from repositories (OAI-PMH—Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). This project will implement a similarly open protocol or specification for deposit. By taking a similar approach, the project and the resulting protocol and implementations will gain easier acceptance by a community already familiar with the OAI-PMH.

This project aims to develop a Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit (SWORD)—a lightweight deposit protocol that will be implemented as a simple web service within EPrints, DSpace, Fedora and IntraLibrary and tested against a prototype ‘smart deposit’ tool. The project plans to take forward the lightweight protocol originally formulated by a small group working within the Digital Repositories Programme (the ‘Deposit API’ work) . The project is aligned with the Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) Mellon-funded two-year project by the Open Archives Initiative, which commenced in October 2006. Members of the SWORD project team are represented on its Technical and Liaison Committees. . . . . The SWORD project is not attempting to duplicate work being done being done by ORE, but seeks to build on existing work to support UK-specific requirements whilst feeding into the ongoing ORE project.

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