Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

SVN as repository software and authoring environment

Peter Murray-Rust, What is an Institutional Repository for? A Scientist and the Web, April 24, 2007. 

...In preparing [a recent] presentation I looked around for repository models and suddenly realised I had been using one for years - Sourceforge....SF is a repository for computer code and manages complete version control and also a complete collaborative environment. I make a change to the code - it gets a new version number, but also I can still retrieve all previous versions. Also Any of my collaborators can make changes and I update seamlessly to include all their enhancements. So why not use the same software - SVN - to manage our repositories.

Publishing a scholarly manuscript is a complex workflow....BUT using SVN itís trivial - assuming there is a repository.

So we do not speak of an Institutional Repository, but an authoring support environment....

[Co-authors] all edit the m/s. Everyone sees the latest version. The version sent to the publisher is annotated as such (this is trivial). All subsequent stuff is tracked automatically.

When the paper is published, the institution simply liberates the authorised version - the authors donít even need to be involved.

The attractive point of this - over simple deposition - is that the repository supports the whole authoring process.

If you want to start, set up SVN - itís easy and there are zillions of geeks who know how to do it. Itís free, of course, and also very good....