Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Repositories for OERs vs. OA research

Nick Sheppard, Which repository: Learning Objects vs Open Access research, Repository News, April 9, 2008.

... [I]t has become apparent that the requirements of a Learning Object repository are potentially very different from those of a repository dedicated to Open Access to research (primarily due to the way in which the respective types of repository are searched) and that the software that has been reviewed (both Open Source and proprietary) tends to be specialised to one specific type of content (although the respective software developers themselves may disagree).

... [T]he majority of the software we have looked at does not make adequate use of metadata (often painstakingly entered) using it only as a filter to refine a search after a brute-force Google type trawl through repository content and perhaps the metadata side of repositories dedicated to OA has been neglected as (as noted in a previous post) traffic tends to come in via the mighty Google (or similar) anyway; this is obviously not conducive to an LO repository that will be searched in a very different way - often from within an individual institution or small subset of institutions. ...

I am a very long way from being a metadata expert but I believe there are those who think that metadata as we traditionally understand it has had its day and that Web 2.0 technologies (social bookmarking, tagging et al) coupled with Google’s bulldozer approach will usher in a brave new world of resource discovery - there may indeed be some truth in that though the librarian in me, and a little historical perspective, suggest that they will rather complement the existing models. ...