Feasibility Study into Approaches to Improve the Consistency with Which Repositories Share Material

JISC has released Feasibility Study into Approaches to Improve the Consistency with Which Repositories Share Material: Final Report for JISC.

Here's an excerpt:

In view of resource constraints which were often mentioned by our respondents, priority should be given to:

  • populating the repository with sufficient high quality material that your target audience will consider it a 'critical mass';
  • creating and exposing robust policies;
  • creating and maintaining machine interfaces to metadata, indexes and the full text of items held in repositories, particularly scholarly works;
  • creating minimal metadata for all items, with richer metadata for those items which cannot be efficiently crawled and indexed; automation should be used wherever possible to aid and supplement human intervention.

Sufficient consistency for worthwhile collaborative work using standards-based technologies and rich human-created metadata may be achieved only where sufficient staff/human resources exist to create, share and maintain appropriate metadata and policies. In addition, such consistency may only be found where a federation is able to mandate standards, practices and policies or where participants feel they have a strong common interest in the success of shared objectives.

Taking account of the feedback we received, in order to promote more productive sharing between repositories we also make recommendations to:

  • increase the use of automated tools to help, and in some cases replace, human metadata creation;
  • create and maintain stronger relationships between repository owners/sponsors and also between them and other metadata holders such as publishers;
  • move towards embracing Web standards—as opposed to 'digital library' standards—in the production and maintenance of repositories and the sharing of their content.

Read more about it at "Repository Interoperability."