Data exchange among disparate repositories

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 09:34:55 -0400

From Peter Suber's Open Access News, Wednesday April 16,2008
Status: O
Message-ID: <>


Data exchange among disparate repositories

ECS developers win $5000 repository challenge, a press release from
the University of Southampton School of Electronics and Computer
Science (ECS), April 15, 2008.  Excerpt:

      Developers from ECS, Southampton, and Oxford University
      won a $5000 challenge competition which took place at
      the OR08 Open Repositories international conference.

      Dave Tarrant, Tim Brody (Southampton) and Ben O'Steen
      (Oxford), beat a large field of contenders, including
      finalists from the USA and Australia, by demonstrating
      that digital data can be moved easily between storage
      sites running different software while remaining
      accessible to users (watch video). This approach has
      important implications for data management and
      preservation on the Web....

      [W]ith the growth of institutional repositories alongside
      subject-based repositories, and in cases where
      multiple-authors of a paper belong to different
      institutions, it is important to be able to share and
      copy content between repositories.

      Meanwhile the repository space has become characterised
      by many types of repository software - DSpace, EPrints
      and Fedora are the most widely used open source
      repository software - containing many different types of
      content, including texts, multimedia and interactive
      teaching materials. So although sharing content and
      making it widely available (interoperability) has always
      been a driver for repository development, actually moving
      content on a large scale between repositories and
      providing access from all sources is not easy.

      The OR08 challenge, set by the Common Repository
      Interfaces Group (CRIG), had just one rule for the
      competition: the prototype created had to utilise two
      different 'repository' platforms....

      This data transfer was achieved using an emerging
      framework known as Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE), a
      topic that attracted one of the highest attendances at

Comment [from Peter Suber].  Congratulations to Tarrant, Brody, and
O'Steen.  I look forward to the day when institutional repositories
can harvest full-texts and metadata from disciplinary repositories
and vice versa.  That will greatly reduce the temperature on the
question where researchers initially deposit their work (and where
universities and funders require them to deposit their work), and
greatly increase the security of deposits (on the LOCKSS principle). 
Thanks to ORE and the tools developed by the Southampton-Oxford team,
this day is not far off. 
Received on Wed Apr 16 2008 - 14:46:34 BST

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