Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Making IR deposits easier

Dorothea Salo, Repository middleware, Caveat Lector, April 24, 2007.  Excerpt:

I did a lot of IR marketing this week, despite my perfect awareness that IR marketing doesnít work. For a tactic that doesnít work, I did manage to come away with some contacts, and it appears that the IR made its way into some heads, and thatís all good.

But if marketing doesnít work, what does?

Hereís the problem Iíve got: thereís a ton of material thatís IR-ready floating around, but I canít get at it. My nose is mashed up to the window of other peopleís hard drives, web servers, workflow silos, and collaboration tools. I want the stuff that comes out of those arenas. I just have no way to grab it.

Hereís the problem everybody else has got: they need the curation, preservation, and ďput this important content somewhere safe (but otherwise out of my hair)Ē tools that an IR theoretically provides, but they donít need the hassle of extra deposit steps. They need an ďArchive It!Ē button....

I need middleware, and I need it badly....

[F]aculty want and need these tools, and IT is finally listening....

What DSpace and EPrints developers should be considering is how to hook IRs up to the firehose of research products those other tools are producing....[T]hat means an ingest API (no, not a command-line batch import tool, an API!) that is configurable enough to authorize certain tools for unmediated deposit and then prepopulate metadata fields with what those tools ďknowĒ about their content and the people who use them.

Itís a tall order, but I dearly hope itís not impossible, because I want to get my IRís ingest pipe connected to that firehose.