Fedora Commons and the DSpace Foundation, two of the largest providers of open source software for managing and providing access to digital content, have announced today that they will join their organizations to pursue a common mission. Jointly, they will provide leadership and innovation in open source technologies for global communities who manage, preserve, and provide access to digital content.
The joined organization, named "DuraSpace," will sustain and grow its flagship repository platforms - Fedora and DSpace. DuraSpace will also expand its portfolio by offering new technologies and services that respond to the dynamic environment of the Web and to new requirements from existing and future users. DuraSpace will focus on supporting existing communities and will also engage a larger and more diverse group of stakeholders in support of its not-for-profit mission....
"This is a great development," said Clifford Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). "It will focus resources and talent in a way that should really accelerate progress in areas critical to the research, education, and cultural memory communities. The new emphasis on distributed reliable storage infrastructure services and their integration with repositories is particularly timely." ...
"The joining of DSpace and Fedora Commons is a watershed event for libraries, specifically, and higher education, more generally," said James Hilton, CIO of the University of Virginia. "Separately, these two organizations operated with similar missions and a shared commitment to developing and supporting open technologies. By bringing together the technical, financial, and community-based resources of the two organizations, their communities gain a robust organization focused on solving the many challenges involved in storing, curating, and preserving digital data and scholarship," he said.
DuraSpace will continue to support its existing software platforms, DSpace and Fedora, as well as expand its offerings to support the needs of global information communities. The first new technology to emerge will be a Web-based service named "DuraCloud." DuraCloud is a hosted service that takes advantage of the cost efficiencies of cloud storage and cloud computing, while adding value to help ensure longevity and re-use of digital content. The DuraSpace organization is developing partnerships with commercial cloud providers who offer both storage and computing capabilities.
The DuraCloud service will be run by the DuraSpace organization. Its target audiences are organizations responsible for digital preservation and groups creating shared spaces for access and re-use of digital content. DuraCloud will be accessible directly as a Web service and also via plug-ins to digital repositories including Fedora and DSpace. The software developed to support the DuraCloud service will be made available as open source. An early release of DuraCloud will be available for selected pilot partners in Fall 2009.
Key Benefits of the DuraSpace Organization
DuraSpace will support both DSpace and Fedora by working closely with both communities and when possible, develop synergistic technologies, services, and programs that increase interoperability of the two platforms. DuraSpace will also support other open source software projects including the Mulgara semantic store, a scalable RDF database.
3. What is the mission of the DuraSpace organization? The DuraSpace organization inherits the shared aspects of missions of both Fedora Commons and the DSpace Foundation. The purpose of DuraSpace is to provide sustainable open technologies and services to help individuals and organizations create, manage, publish, share, and preserve digital resources upon which we form our intellectual, scientific, and cultural heritage.
4. How will the Fedora and DSpace open source software be affected? Both the Fedora and DSpace repository platforms will have their home in the DuraSpace organization. The DuraSpace organization will support both platforms by providing leadership in the areas of technology, community outreach, communication, and marketing. Each project will continue to innovate and evolve within their existing communities, but with better opportunities for sharing across communities. Over time, we expect synergies to emerge between the projects....
8. When will DSpace and Fedora platforms interoperate? For many years, our communities have been very active in discussions about repository interoperability. Both platforms have moved toward adopting common deposit APIs (e.g., SWORD) and improved fit with emerging Web standards. There is also active discussion about a common storage abstraction layer that would provide APIs to enable back-end storage interoperability. Our communities will continue to set priorities on which forms of interoperability are most desirable for the platforms as they evolve. We predict new opportunities for common components and API's, especially with the emergence of the DSpace 2.0 community of users.
10. When will the DuraSpace organization be effectively operating? DuraSpace will be operating on July 1, 2009....
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.