Repository deposit from the desktop

Thinking about repository workflows for staff – put a deposit client where their resources live, on their desktop…

What I have:

A (slightly unwieldy) set of files comprising:

Quick drop file set

How it works:

The VB script was written by Boyd Duffy at Keele University and, as a non-developer, I know only that I need to edit  sword_deposit.vbs with my SWORD DEPOSIT_TARGET. It’s then simply* a matter of dragging and dropping a file (or multiple files) onto the VBS icon for them to be uploaded into the repository (workflow can obviously be configured in the repository itself, to be published immediately**, for example, or, more likely, go into a workflow where metadata can be added according to a particular Application Profile).

** I think Keele use it as a quick and dirty method for image files to be transferred from desktop to repository from where they can be immediately accessed via a VLE PowerLink.

Here is a screen capture that I did a while ago:

* Re simple – I can, in fact, only make it work from a Leeds Met IP!  Perhaps something to do with PROXY_HOST / wireless?

What I need:

METADATA of course!

The current tool is of limited use as it just pushes a file into the repository. In fact, it will quite happily push a Content Package – a Zip comprising a file and some metadata as XML – either an IMSMANIFEST (which I would need for intraLibrary) or METS for DSpace (i.e. Jorum.)

Though I don’t have the skills myself, I’m hoping someone can tell me how we might develop a desktop app to integrate a way of capturing the metadata associated with a resource, converting it into an IMSMANIFEST and/or METS, zipping the whole lot up and pushing it to a repository (or multiple repositories) via SWORD …

If we were to use our current ukoer AP we would need to capture:

  • Title
  • Description
  • (Uncontrolled) Keyword(s)
  • Author / owner / contributor
  • Date
  • Type of resource
  • Technical format
  • Licence information
  • Subject classification (HEA and JACS)

Click link below for an example IMSCP:

Or link below for METS (with cut-down metadata); this package has been successfully deposited in Jorum (dev) via SWORD:

N.B. A practical issue with this approach might be including such an application on an institutional staff build and I have heard rumours that it might be possible to achieve similar drag and drop functionality with a web-based app using HTML5 – browser support still inconsistent though I think.


A showcase of student work

Last week I was contacted by a colleague from my own faculty, Innovation North, about using the repository to develop an online “showcase” of student work. We are “the faculty of information and technology” and courses include Multimedia and Entertainment Technology, Computer Animation & Special Effects and Games Design. In addition, student work needs to be securely archived, searchable and easily retrievable.

To employ a dreadful management cliche, I have often found one of the biggest challenges in HE is “joined up thinking”. If such a thing even exists, an integrated information environment will surely be instrumental in achieving it; another crucial, and related, element is appropriate communication between the right people; to avoid the need to continually reinvent the wheel. Easier said than done (and other cliches).

So to the problem.

Final submissions in the faculty are made on DVD in a format that will auto-boot from a PC (also presumably a DVD player); I was given an example and asked if they could be archived in intraLibrary.

No they can’t. Not in a particularly useful manner anyway. These are big files (50 -100MB) which is not a problem in itself but intraLibrary is not designed to stream this kind of content and the only way the actual files themselves could be archived would be as .zip files that could presumably be downloaded and burned back on to a DVD. If we got hold of content in it’s original file format we may be able to do something with it but I’ve no idea how these things are produced; some of the content looks Flash based but could well be something more exotic. Can the finished product perhaps be exported in alternative formats, that can be viewed using client-side technologies for example?

I’ve also been told of some mysterious “Digital Asset Management system” that Innovation North has recently implemented but haven’t yet been able to track down any more information. Is it a server of some description? Is it capable of streaming files? Is there any metadata associated with resources? Is it networked?

In any case, what sort of metadata needs to be associated with this material? Even modest amounts of cataloguing information can add signicantly to the workflow and as a minimum we might need course, student, tutor, level, (degree) class, year…where is this information currently recorded/what administration systems are already in place?

Who needs access to the material? This depends very much on context – a “showcase” would presumably be openly accessible and would really need to stream whereas another potential use case is external examiners/moderators in which case a catalogued archive of .zip files might be adequate – I’m not certain if the current process is any more sophisticated than a cardboard box full of plastic DVD cases.

It would be nice to join some of this together – if not with intraLibrary then with other appropriate technology – and move ever close towards the utopia of an integrated information environment!

Using intraLibrary for research administration: Towards an integrated workflow

We’ve had positive feedback from the research administrators about inputting data directly into intraLibrary rather than EndNote which is their current workflow and I’m meeting with them next week to demonstrate how it might work and get some feedback.  We didn’t want to ask them to input more data than they are used to (though we will be asking them to source the published URL); the current template incorporates several fields that are specific to the broader OA remit – copyright for example – so I’ve developed a two stage workflow whereby administrators enter Title; DOI; Source Title; Journal Volume; Journal Issue; Source publication date;  Start page; End page; Journal ISSN; Abstract; Author(s); Publisher; Type of resource.  They can then send it to the next stage of the workflow for a designated repository administrator/librarian (me!) to complete – as well as adding keywords and classification against LCC, this will involve SHERPA RoMEO to establish copyright permissions and whether we can pursue full text.

The other important function is reports for faculty information – for example, lists of the academic year’s outputs for Faculty Research Committee meetings. Intralibrary does permit an administrator to generate metadata reports by collection and I’ve been able to select the relevant metadata fields and generate an Excel spreadsheet of results by faculty. However, it’s not terrible user friendly and, unlike EndNote, results aren’t in a nice Harvard style reference so it remains to be seen if this will be acceptable to the research administrators.

(N.B. Might it be possible to intercept the data so we could programmatically transform it into Harvard style references; pass it to a MySQL database for example and access / transform it from there? This would provide information as closely as possible to the way it is already generated by EndNote.)