Digital Object Prototypes Framework Released

Kostas Saidis has released the Digital Object Prototypes Framework. It is available from the DOPs download page.

Here is an excerpt from the fedora-commons-users announcement:

At a glance, DOPs is a framework for the effective management and manipulation of diverse and heterogeneous digital material, providing repository-independent, type-consistent abstractions of stored digital objects. In DOPs, individual objects are treated as instances of their prototype and, hence, conform to its specifications automatically, regardless of the underlying storage format used to store and encode the objects.

The framework also provides inherent support for collections /sub-collections hierarchies and compound objects, while it allows DL-pertinent services to compose type-specific object behavior effectively. A DO Storage module is also available, which allows one to use the framework atop Fedora (thoroughly tested with Fedora version 2.0).

Fez 1.3 Released

Christiaan Kortekaas has announced on the fedora-commons-users list that Fez 1.3 is now available from SourceForge.

Here’s a summary of key changes from his message:

  • Primary XSDs for objects based on MODS instead of DC (can still handle your existing DC objects though)
  • Download statistics using apache logs and GeoIP
  • Object history logging (premis events)
  • Shibboleth support
  • Fulltext indexing (pdf only)
  • Import and Export of workflows and XSDs
  • Sanity checking to help make sure required external dependencies are working
  • OAI provider that respects FezACML authorisation rules

For further information on Fez, see the prior post "Fez+Fedora Repository Software Gains Traction in US."

Fez+Fedora Repository Software Gains Traction in US

The February 2007 issue of Sustaining Repositories reports that more US institutions are using or investigating a combination of Fez and Fedora (see the below quote):

Fez programmers at the University of Queensland (UQ) have been gratified by a surge in international interest in the Fez software. Emory University Libraries are building a Fez repository for electronic theses. Indiana University Libraries are also testing Fez+Fedora to see whether to replace their existing DSpace installation. The Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries ( is using Fez+Fedora for their Alliance Digital Repository. Also in the US, the National Science Digital Library is using Fez+Fedora for their Materials Science Digital Library (

Open Access Repository Software Use By Country

Based on data from the OpenDOAR Charts service, here is snapshot of the open access repository software that is in use in the top five countries that offer such repositories.

The countries are abbreviated in the table header column as follows: US = United States, DK = Germany, UK = United Kingdom, AU = Australia, and NL = Netherlands. The number in parentheses is the reported number of repositories in that country.

Read the country percentages downward in each column (they do not total to 100% across the rows).

Excluding "unknown" or "other" systems, the highest in-country percentage is shown in boldface.

Software/Country US (248) DE (109) UK (93) AU (50) NL (44)
Bepress 17% 0% 2% 6% 0%
Cocoon 0% 0% 1% 0% 0%
CONTENTdm 3% 0% 2% 0% 0%
CWIS 1% 0% 0% 0% 0%
DARE 0% 0% 0% 0% 2%
Digitool 0% 0% 1% 0% 0%
DSpace 18% 4% 22% 14% 14%
eDoc 0% 2% 0% 0% 0%
ETD-db 4% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Fedora 0% 0% 0% 2% 0%
Fez 0% 0% 0% 2% 0%
GNU EPrints 19% 8% 46% 22% 0%
HTML 2% 4% 4% 4% 0%
iTor 0% 0% 0% 0% 5%
Milees 0% 2% 0% 0% 0%
MyCoRe 0% 2% 0% 0% 0%
OAICat 0% 0% 0% 2% 0%
Open Repository 0% 0% 3% 0% 2%
OPUS 0% 43% 2% 0% 0%
Other 6% 7% 2% 2% 0%
PORT 0% 0% 0% 0% 2%
Unknown 31% 28% 18% 46% 23%
Wildfire 0% 0% 0% 0% 52%

Fedora 2.2 Released

The Fedora Project has released version 2.2 of Fedora.

From the announcement:

This is a significant release of Fedora that includes a complete repackaging of the Fedora source and binary distribution so that Fedora can now be installed as a standalone web application (.war) in any web container. This is a first step in positioning Fedora to fit within a standard "enterprise system" environment. A new installer application makes it easy to setup and run Fedora. Fedora now uses Servlet Filters for authentication. To support digital object integrity, the Fedora repository can now be configured to calculate and store checksums for datastream content. This can be done globally, or on selected datastreams. The Fedora API also provides the ability to check content integrity based on checksums. The RDF-based Resource Index has been tuned for better performance. Also, a new high-performing triplestore, backed by Postgres, has been developed that can be plugged into the Resource Index. Fedora contains many other enhancements and bug fixes.

Under the Hood of PLoS ONE: The Open Source TOPAZ E-Publishing System

PLoS is building its innovative PLoS ONE e-journal, which will incorporate both traditional and open peer review, using the open source TOPAZ software. (For a detailed description of the PLoS ONE peer review process, check out "ONE for All: The Next Step for PLoS.")

What is TOPAZ? It’s Web site doesn’t provide specifics, but "PLoS ONE—Technical Background" by Richard Cave does:

The core of TOPAZ is a digital information repository called Fedora (Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture). Fedora is an Open Source content management application that supports the creation and management of digital objects. The digital objects contain metadata to express internal and external relationships in the repository, like articles in a journal or the text, images and video of an article. This relationship metadata can also be search using a semantic web query languages. Fedora is jointly developed by Cornell University’s computer science department and the University of Virginia Libraries.

The metastore Kowari will be used with Fedora to support Resource Description Framework (RDF) metadata within the repository.

The PLoS ONE web interface will be built with AJAX. Client-side APIs will create the community features (e.g. annotations, discussion threads, ratings, etc.) for the website. As more new features are available on the TOPAZ architecture, we will launch them on PLoS ONE.

There was a TOPAZ Wiki at PLoS. It’s gone, but it’s pages are still cached by Google. The Wiki suggests that TOPAZ is likely to support Atom/RSS feeds, full-text search, and OAI-PMH among other possible features.

For information about other open source e-journal publishing systems, see "Open Source Software for Publishing E-Journals."

MIRACLE Project’s Institutional Repository Survey

The MIRACLE (Making Institutional Repositories A Collaborative Learning Environment) project at the University of Michigan’s School of Information presented a paper at JCDL 2006 titled "Nationwide Census of Institutional Repositories: Preliminary Findings."

MIRACLE’s sample population was 2,147 library directors at four-year US colleges and universities. The paper presents preliminary findings from 273 respondents.

Respondents characterized their IR activities as: "(1) implementation of an IR (IMP), (2) planning & pilot testing an IR software package (PPT), (3) planning only (PO), or (4) no planning to date (NP)."

Of the 273 respondents, "28 (10%) have characterized their IR involvement as IMP, 42 (15%) as PPT, 65 (24%) as PO, and 138 (51%) as NP."

The top-ranked benefits of having an IR were: "capturing the intellectual capital of your institution," "better service to contributors," and "longtime preservation of your institution’s digital output." The bottom-ranked benefits were "reducing user dependence on your library’s print collection," "providing maximal access to the results of publicly funded research," and "an increase in citation counts to your institution’s intellectual output."

On the question of IR staffing, the survey found:

Generally, PPT and PO decision-makers envision the library sharing operational responsibility for an IR. Decision-makers from institutions with full-fledged operational IRs choose responses that show library staff bearing the burden of responsibility for the IR.

Of those with operational IRs who identified their IR software, the survey found that they were using: "(1) 9 for Dspace, (2) 5 for bePress, (3) 4 for ProQuest’s Digital Commons, (4) 2 for local solutions, and (5) 1 each for Ex Libris’ DigiTools and Virginia Tech’s ETD." Of those who were pilot testing software: "(1) 17 for DSpace, (2) 9 for OCLC’s ContentDM, (3) 5 for Fedora, (4) 3 each for bePress, DigiTool, ePrints, and Greenstone, (5) 2 each for Innovative Interfaces, Luna, and ETD, and (6) 1 each for Digital Commons, Encompass, a local solution, and Opus."

In terms of number of documents in the IRs, by far the largest percentages were for less than 501 documents (IMP, 41%; and PPT, 67%).

The preliminary results also cover other topics, such as content recruitment, investigative decision-making activities, IR costs, and IR system features.

It is interesting to see how these preliminary results compare to those of the ARL Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit. For example, when asked "What are the top three benefits you feel your IR provides?," the ARL survey respondents said:

  1. Enhance visibility and increase dissemination of institution’s scholarship: 68%
  2. Free, open, timely access to scholarship: 46%
  3. Preservation of and long-term access to institution’s scholarship: 36%
  4. Preservation and stewardship of digital content: 36%
  5. Collecting, organizing assets in a central location: 24%
  6. Educate faculty about copyright, open access, scholarly communication: 8%