Sunday, March 14, 2010

AUC Digital Archive and Research Repository

The AUC DAR Repository is set for campus release at the UACT Technology Fair on Monday, March 15th.

In the summer of 2009 a few very different campus initiatives began to come together. There was an interest in making graduate student theses available online. The RBSCL recognized the need to gain control over their rapidly growing digital collections. And the AUC campus was preparing for their “Year of Research” which placed an emphasis on raising the visibility of AUC’s research efforts.

University Academic Computing Technologies and the RBSCL saw this as an opportunity to improve scholarly communication on campus and with the greater academic community. They realized that an open access institutional repository would help us with all these initiatives and potentially present other opportunities as well.

Working together in this effort along with representatives from the Vice Provost's office, the AUC Digital Archive and Research Repository was established, and is currently undergoing several phases of pilot testing and customized development to make it uniquely AUC’s institutional repository.

The technical platform used to create the DAR Repository is called DSpace, an open source software platform developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Hewlett Packard. How it works...

A “submitter,” such as a graduate student submitting a thesis or faculty member submitting a publication, uploads their work into the repository system and includes some descriptive data about the item (title, author, etc.)

The file is then sent to a “curator,” a librarian or archivist, who proof reads the data submitted, and ensures that the file input is in a preservable digital format.

The item is released to the "end-user," the public or other appropriate audience. It is assigned a permanent url, by which it can be located by Internet search engines, and linked to from external databases or websites. It is also searchable in the Repository catalog itself, and eventually available through the library catalog as well.