Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, May 22, 2008

JISC tackles the problem of version control

JISC has published the recommendations at the core of its Version Identification Framework (VIF).  From yesterday's announcement:

Poor version identification hinders users’ trust in the research outputs they find in digital repositories. The JISC funded VIF (Version Identification Framework) project has completed a Framework of recommendations and solutions for all those with a role in repository use and implementation to address this problem.

A serious growing pain for digital repositories has been the issue of how to identify versions of open access (OA) works deposited in them. Draft versions, working papers, different formats, supporting material and so on are all accepted by repositories, but their version status is often poorly described and items are often not linked together appropriately.

The Framework promotes better practice for repository staff, offering solutions that enable clearer understanding of version relationships as well as better version identification of digital objects, no matter how an end user accesses the object held in a repository....

The primary recommendation of the VIF project is that the 5 essential pieces of version information identified by the Framework are made transparent to the end users of repositories: defined dates, identifiers, version numbering, version labels or taxonomies and a text description. VIF suggests embedding such information into objects themselves, for example using coversheets or watermarks, as well as storing detailed version information in the repository metadata itself....