Five Flavors of Open Access from DuraSpace: RESEARCH DATA

Winchester, MA  Advancing knowledge in all fields of research now requires curation, collection, management, access and long-term preservation of digital data sets. Providing permanent open access to the results of publicly funded research is a challenge for many institutions faced with with mandates for including data with published results.

These four web seminar recordings provide contrasting strategies along with practical solutions and tools about how several institutions are tackling the research data challenge and making their findings freely available.

Fundamental questions, assumptions and challenges
Research Data Curation at UC San Diego: An Overview


David Minor, Head of Research Data Curation Program and Declan Fleming, Chief Technology Strategist, at UC San Diego Library provide details about a new curation program at the University of California San Diego Library in this presentation. For more than two years, librarians and computing professionals worked with researchers from diverse disciplines to conduct a pilot program to pinpoint research data curation practices that could be used across campus.

Practical solutions
Metadata and Repository Services for Research Data Curation


Declan Fleming, Chief Technology Strategist, Arwen Hutt, Metadata Librarian and Matt Critchlow, Manager of Development and Web Services from UC, San Diego Library offer core curation services in this presentation. Beginning with a view of the wide variety of discussions held with researchers focused on commonalities and differences in needs and expectations, the resulting data model is presented along with information about how the Library’s linked data asset management system was updated to express complex research data objects.

And even more practical solutions
Research Data Management Support: DataONE-Tools and Approaches for Supporting the Data Life Cycle


William Michener, Professor and Director of e-Science Initiatives at the University of New Mexico presents tools and strategies to help researchers address the key data life cycle challenges. This webinar was also part of the DuraSpace/ARL/DLF E-Science Institute. Tools and collaborations are in process around the world for building data management plans to collect, preserve, analyze and document data. DataONE, a federated data network built to improve access to Earth science data is highlighted.

Reaping results of good planning
E-Research Support at Johns Hopkins University and Purdue University


Sayeed Choudhury, Associate Dean for Research Data Management, Johns Hopkins University and James L. Mullins, dean of libraries and professor of library science, Purdue University  presented “E-Research Support at Johns Hopkins University and Purdue University” to participants in the DuraSpace/ARL/DLF E-Science Institute. In this web seminar presenters discuss progress towards developing a data management plan and service at their institutions.

Five Flavors of Open Access from DuraSpace: FLEXIBLE

Winchester, MA  Delivering open access repository content to diverse and growing communities of information consumers around the world requires the use of flexible technologies that can be customized for use by local research, scientific, intellectual and cultural heritage institutions.

The Fedora open source repository framework is a robust, modular repository system for the management and dissemination of digital content. Fedora’s flexibility enables it to integrate with many types of enterprise and web-based systems, offering scalability–millions of objects, and durability–all of the information is maintained in files with no software dependency–from which the complete repository can be rebuilt at any time. Fedora also provides the ability to express rich sets of relationships among digital resources.

The following resources provide a look at Fedora through Hydra and Islandora. Hydra is a multi-purpose application framework featuring individual repository user interfaces and durable asset management features. Islandora is a Drupal-based digital asset management platform. 

Get a head on your repository
Introduction to Hydra


Tom Cramer, Chief Technology Strategist, Stanford University Libraries introduces the capabilities of the Hydra application framework–a multi-purpose solution with individual repository user interfaces and durable asset management features built on Fedora, and provides an overview of both the technical and community efforts underpinning the project.

Drupal on Fedora for research
Stewarding Research Data with Fedora and Islandora


Mark Leggott, University Librarian, University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), President of Discovery Garden Inc. and founder of the open source Islandora project explaining how an open standards-based system facilitates integration in the ecosystem of research in the data lifecycle.

Overview of Hydra solutions
A Case Study on General Repository Applications


Rick Johnson, Co-Director, Digital Library Initiatives and Scholarship Program at the University of Notre Dame along with Richard Green, Consultant to Library and Learning Innovation at the University of Hull provide overviews and demonstrations of production IRs that showcase the wide range of Hydra’s utility–applications for IR, Digital Exhibits, audio and video management, ETD’s, datasets, image libraries, and workflow management.

Five Flavors of Open Access from DuraSpace: PERMANENT

Winchester, MA  Open access to institutional assets such as special collections, the published results of research, theses and dissertations and data sets are at the heart of defining an institution’s long-term impact on scholarship. Digital resources that have been made “preservation ready” will remain durable so that they can be accessed by students, scholars and the public far into the future. Digital preservation requires planning to ensure that meeting institutional strategic goals are part of the process. The following resources will be of interest to those who are planning for preservation of key digital assets.

Tools and strategies for planning

Assessing Preservation Readiness


Liz Bishoff and Tom Clareson, Senior Consultant, Digital and Preservation Services, LYRASIS, presented a web seminar entitled “Assessing Preservation Readiness,” on February 7, 2012. Bishoff explained,  “Planning for preservation of digital collections using a collection assessment framework is crucial to achieving institutional success. We will review best practices and tools for achieving a good plan during this web seminar.”

Digital preservation use cases
Preservation Planning Success Stories


Learn how strategic planning facilitated the implementation of institutional digital preservation programs in this web seminar. Presenters from the University of North Carolina, the University of Oregon and Orbis Cascade Alliance share their preservation strategies and practices and experiences in developing a digital preservation plan and outline the steps involved in implementation.

Soup to nuts on managing digital assets for long-term access
Understanding Digital Curation: The Digital Curation Resource Guide from Digital Scholarship


The Digital Curation Resource Guide offers a comprehensive set of resources for understanding processes and best practices around digital resource curation. Over 200 selected English-language websites and documents are highlighted that are useful in understanding and practicing digital curation. It covers academic programs, discussion lists and groups, glossaries, file formats and guidelines, metadata standards and vocabularies, models, organizations, policies, research data management, serials and blogs, services and vendor software, software and tools, and training. It is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 3.0 Unported License.

Five Flavors of Open Access from DuraSpace: AFFORDABLE

Winchester, MA  Balancing digital collection development costs with strategies to ensure that digital assets remain openly accessible comes down to evaluating affordable solutions. Sustainability planning leads to weighing the advantages of high-cost proprietary online solutions that can result in long-term data lock-up against freely available open source technology solutions that give institutions control of their digital assets.

DuraSpace open source technology projects–DSpace and Fedora offer users two ways to create open access repositories. DSpace is an out-of-the-box repository application that has made it possible for more than 1,000+ institutions worldwide to make their institutional resources widely available. 

The Fedora open source repository platform is an unqualified success in the digital preservation and repository arena. Since its inception more than 12 years ago the project has seen three major releases, has hundreds of institutional adopters worldwide, and is the centerpiece of countless institutional systems where preservation is a primary function. The principles, best practices and community contributions to ongoing open source software development have made the DSpace and Fedora projects successful.

The following resources are offered to explain the open source development process, provide DSpace and Fedora project background and information and introduce DSpaceDirect as a fast and easy way to launch an open access DSpace repository.

Unpacking the meaning behind “Open Source”

Open Source: What is it? Practices, Processes, Advantages and Risks


This recording and slides offered by DuraSpace Chief Strategy Officer Jonathan Markow provide an overview of issues around developing software that is truly “open source”. By giving users direct access to the code used to produce software adopters–or third parties with whom they contract–may audit, rebuild, extend, and support open source software without depending on the original authors, or on any specific organization. In most cases open source development results in a dynamic community ecosystem which in turn creates a robust and sustainable solution.

Open Source Projects in Action

COAR (Coalition of Open Access Repositories) Interview with DuraSpace CEO Michele Kimpton


Earlier this year COAR executive Director Alicia Lopez Medina conducted a video interview with DuraSpace CEO Michele Kimpton to learn more about DuraSpace plans for open source DSpace and Fedora project development over the next three years. She also asked Kimpton for her views on driving forces behind Open Access repository development and more.

How to Get an Open Source-Open Access DSpace Repository Up and Running Fast

Getting Started with DSpaceDirect


DSpaceDirect (beta) is a quick and cost effective hosted service from DuraSpace that allows users to store, organize, and manage open source DSpace repository content in the cloud. In this recording Tim Donohue, technical lead for the DSpace project, explains how to use DSpaceDirect to preserve and provide open access to academic faculty and student papers, projects, and research making content searchable by end users and easily managed by content curators. More information:

Open Access Week 2013: "Five Flavors" of Open Access Resources from DuraSpace

Winchester, MA  Open Access to all types of information–research data, cultural heritage resources, public records or theses and dissertations–forms the basis for the future of global scholarship and civic engagement. To celebrate Open Access Week 2013 DuraSpace has gathered recordings and articles from our Professional Development resources ( that will be of interest to libraries and cultural memory institutions working towards developing institutional capacity for curation, collection, management, access and long-term preservation of digital assets.

Each day of Open Access Week DuraSpace will publish a different set of resources with descriptions that correspond to open access “flavors”.  Each day’s Open Access “flavor” will focus on an related open access issue, type of resource or technology solution.

Oct 21: Affordable Open Access

Oct 22: Permanent Open Access

Oct 23: Flexible Open Access

Oct 24: Research Data Open Access

Oct 25: Rich Media Open Access

Stay tuned!

ALWAYS MORE Splendid Stuff: postcards, football, Muppets frm Digital Repository at U Maryland

To celebrate Open Access Week 2012 Oct. 21-28 DuraSpace will post a new “For Your Repository Viewing Pleasure” each day (and beyond) to highlight the “splendid stuff in YOUR repository”.

The University of Maryland Libraries, a DuraSpace Silver Sponsor and long-time user of Fedora and DSpace, are continuing to add to digitize and add valuable collection material to their repository daily.

DRUM (Digital Repository at the University of Maryland) <>, currently holds close to 13,000 digital objects, including all of the theses and dissertations produced by students at the University of Maryland since 2003.

Digital Collections <> is home to the University’s digitized special collections, and includes a rich array of content, appealing to students, alumni, and scholars. 

Even when it’s not football season, take some time to view one of the over 700 University of Maryland football films dating from 1946-1989, recently digitized and made freely available via the University AlbUM digital collection <>.  Or, if planning a road trip this summer, pick a state and browse the National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collection’s over-4,000 historic postcards for attraction ideas <>. In the past year, we have digitized several hundred manuscripts to assist in research relating to the history of the Civil War and slavery in Maryland  <>. Into espionage? Digital Collections is also an excellent place to read other people’s diaries, whether you’re interested in heartfelt confessions from a young Maryland widow in 1859 <> or  a war diary detailing aspects of the attack on Pearl Harbor <>.

If tempted to visit campus, the University of Maryland Libraries’ Digital Collections contain a number of resources that are restricted to campus use due to licensing restrictions.  The collections include over 70 digital videos documenting the work of Jim Henson <>, over 800 digital educational films <>;, and a growing collection of digitized Japanese children’s books from the post-WWII years, 1946-1949 <>.

The University of Maryland Libraries have been actively adding content to their Fedora repository since 2007, and will continue to do so.  The treasures located there are used for fun, for research, and for educational purposes, and we hope, for reasons that we have not even imagined.

Thanks to Jennie Levine Knies, Manager, Digital Stewardship, McKeldin Library, University of Maryland, for submitting this information.

Please continue to send descriptions of the “Splendid Stuff” that can be found in YOUR Open Access repository. DuraSpace will highlight availability throughout year. Please contact Carol Minton Morris for more information.

"Splendid Stuff" for Open Access Week: Letters from the Smithsonian Digital Repository

To celebrate Open Access Week 2012 Oct. 21-28 DuraSpace will post a new “For Your Repository Viewing Pleasure” each day (and beyond) to highlight the “splendid stuff in YOUR repository”.

Most of the items collected in the Smithsonian Digital Repository, a component of Smithsonian Research Online managed by the SI Libraries, are written by and for scholars. These publications can be quite technical, dense and specific to a particular field and its experts. However there is one collection of digital material that is both scholarly in nature but also easily read and understood by non-experts. The monthly, Letter from the Desk of David Challinor was produced between 1989 and 2008 and includes over 200 well-written, interesting pieces on a variety of topics such as forestry, evolution, animal behavior, anthropology and the history of natural science. What’s best is that these 2-3 page essays, although authoritative, are written at a level which can be understood by most high school students.

Dr. David Challinor was a former assistant secretary of the Smithsonian but spent his later years at the National Zoological Park where among other things, he wrote his monthly Letter. It was distributed in print to a variety of people, mostly friends and associates of the Institution. Later in his life he distributed the Letter electronically via email to the same group. It is interesting to note that he continued to write until just before he passed away in March 2008.

You can search the full text of Dr. Challinor’s letters here:

This information was contributed by Alvin Hutchinson, Scholarly Communication and IT Services Librarian at Smithsonian Libraries, from a blog post he wrote in 2009.

Please continue to send descriptions of the “Splendid Stuff” that can be found in YOUR Open Access repository. DuraSpace will highlight availability in the “For Your Repository Viewing Pleasure” series this week and throughout year. Please contact Carol Minton Morris for more information.

EVEN MORE Splendid Repository Stuff" for Open Access Week: Columbia U. Academic Commons Makes Research Widely Available

To celebrate Open Access Week 2012 Oct. 21-28 DuraSpace will post a new “For Your Repository Viewing Pleasure” each day (and beyond) to highlight the “splendid stuff in YOUR repository”.

Like many great academic research libraries Columbia University Libraries feature remarkable resources–and lots of them: “The library’s collection would stretch 174 miles end-to-end, and is growing at a pace of 140,000 items per annum.”[1].

The Academic Commons ( is Columbia University’s Open Access digital repository developed using the Fedora repository platform to help make research results and resources widely available.

Visitors will find literature series including the Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports and the Columbia University Economics Discussion Papers.

Robert Hilliker, Digital Repository Manager, points out that there are also, “Individual items that stand out from the pack, like a whitepaper related to the “Whole Brain Activity Map” project, which aims to merge Nanoscience and Neuroscience to provide a detailed, real-time understanding of human brain function. This item was tweeted by Tim O’Reilly in early August and made the rounds of the Web:”

A technical report about the “Failure of Online Social Network Privacy Settings” on which the new FCC Chief Technology Officer, Professor Steven Bellovin, was a co-author, recently informed a New York Times Magazine article on Facebook privacy:

The Academic Commons also hosts a growing collection of video of lectures and conference presentations filmed at Columbia that include NEH Summer Institutes and TEDx conferences.

A large collection of research on the prevention and treatment of AIDS/HIV includes notable studies by Drs. Salim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim of the Mailman School of Public Health and by members of the Social Intervention Group and the Global Health Research Center for Central Asia in the School of Social Work.

Please continue to send descriptions of the “Splendid Stuff” that can be found in YOUR Open Access repository. DuraSpace will highlight availability in the “For Your Repository Viewing Pleasure” series this week and throughout year. Please contact Carol Minton Morris for more information.

Preservation and Open Access to shared heritage matter: "We need to remember, period."

Digitization of fragile film and video resources is the first step towards making sure they are preserved into the future. Yale University’s department of Manuscripts and Archives published an example of a video from The Fortunoff Video Archive Holocaust Testimonies, a historic collection of over 4,400 videotaped interviews with witnesses and survivors of the Holocaust, to demonstrate how important it is not only to digitize video resources, but to do it as soon as possible.

“Preservation Matters” on YouTube:

In a January 2012 interview with Variety (1) Martin Scorsese said, “We need to remember that the loss of over 75% of silent cinema to deterioration isn’t just a matter of rhetoric or propaganda – that’s for real. We need to remember that films are being lost all the time, and that we only find out that they’re lost after the fact: They don’t explode, they just quietly deteriorate. We need to remember, as I said before, that the work is constant and not at all glamorous. For every success story like the discovery and restoration of the John Ford silent picture “Upstream,” there are thousands of other pictures that need to be located, or properly restored, or preserved, or all of the above. In short, we need to remember, period. And we need to act, without waiting for someone else to do it.

Ensuring that digital objects are preserved after they are digitized is another part of the preservation equation. Because digital film and video objects are big they require large storage facilities on servers or in the cloud. Additionally different types media formats often require access to multiple viewing applications. While digital film and video facsimiles are more stable than film or videotape, they are still fragile. Bit rot and lack of preservation metadata can cause deterioration and loss of access and meaning over time.

Mike Pogorzelski, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) Head of Preservation discussed the balance between preserving film and video by digitizing and active digital maintanance strategies in a 2010 interview (2):  “The first digital intermediaries (for film) were primarily used in Europe in the 90s. Those files, made in the mid 90s, are completely unreadable, because the vendors went out of business, or they were using some sort of proprietary file format.  A custom directory system that informs the operating systems how the files or data are arranged, can’t be used without doing a lot of archeology in a sense to try to figure out what those files mean.  In the meantime, the 35mm recorded negative is now the defacto original because the digital data is, in effect, unusable.”


Preservation technologies such as DuraCloud actively maintain the bit integrity of film and video files (or any type of digital content) stored in the cloud. DuraCloud’s health checking services verify all content stored in DuraCloud, and generate comparative reports. The service verifies the integrity of an entire space by collecting the content checksum values for each item from the underlying storage provider, streaming through each item while recalculating their checksums, and comparing the two listings. The service then generates a report for the space that compares both the stored checksum values from the storage provider as well as the computed checksum values. This report is available through the DuraCloud web interface or as a download providing ongoing graphical reports of the health of content.


The archive is currently being digitized to preserve the testimonies. This short film by Alexander Dominitz contributes to our understanding why preserving these tapes is so critically important. More information about the archive may be found at:

1. Grosz, C. Scorsese talks preservation: Director still passionate about protecting film history. Variety, Jan. 1, 2012.

2. Galas, M. Part One: Film Preservation In The Advent of Digital Media. 411 News, Issue #78.

"Splendid Repository Stuff" for Open Access Week from DuraSpace: CDC Stacks Provide History of Public Health, Awareness, Statistics

To celebrate Open Access Week 2012 Oct. 21-28 DuraSpace will post a new “For Your Repository Viewing Pleasure” each day (and beyond) to highlight the “splendid stuff in YOUR repository”.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed an open access repository “CDC Stacks” at using the Fedora repository platform hosted in the cloud.

Issues from the first 30 years of the weekly MMWR (CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) are available to the public online as one of the collections in CDC Stacks. As with other documents in CDC Stacks, MMWR issues are in portable document format (PDF), and the text can be searched electronically. This rich MMWR collection available at provides a history of public health issues, awareness and statistical analyses over three decades.

In addition to the first 30 years of MMWR, CDC Stacks contains documents spanning the history of the agency, including CDC Open Access, Influenza Surveillance Reports, and CDC Guidelines and Recommendations. CDC Stacks allows users to browse journal articles by public health subjects and explore collections of documents on relevant topics. New documents are added each week.

Browse collections in CDC Stacks here: A visit to the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) collection ( provides access to Office Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR) historical documents from the early 1940s.

Please continue to send descriptions of the “Splendid Stuff” that can be found in YOUR Open Access repository. DuraSpace will highlight availability in the “For Your Repository Viewing Pleasure” series in the coming year. Please contact Carol Minton Morris <> for more information.