Repository Fringe 2010

Man sitting on the edge of a pool cooling his feetI’ve just returned to the office following a few days at the successful Repository Fringe 2010 event held in the very interesting e-Science institute building in Edinburgh.

For the RSP team this began with our RoMEO API workshop pre-event organised in conjunction with the SHERPA team.  This gave the attendees an opportunity to find out about the planned changes to the RoMEO service and how they might affect the API.  The workshop also invited feedback from participants on how they want to make use of the API and how they would like to see it change. Given the scale of the upcoming changes this was a great opportunity to influence the development and make the API an even better resource for the community in future. The invitation was taken up with great enthusiasm and provided a wealth of useful feedback for the SHERPA team to consider.

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RSP Software Survey

In March 2009 RSP ran a successful Software Day at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. To accompany this event we ran a survey of the major repository applications, the results of which can be seen on the RSP site. The survey was very well received and remains one of the most popular pages on the site.

We’re planning another Software Day next year (watch the RSP site for details) but think that the survey itself is overdue for an update given how the repository landscape has developed over the last 18 months.

The survey targets repository software (realistically we’re talking about OAI-PMH compliant applications) capable of storing digital objects, e.g. article full text. If you would like to be included in the survey drop us a line.

RoMEO API Workshop, Edinburgh, 1st September

A row of men typing at mail processing machinery

I’m sure that most readers are already very familiar with the SHERPA RoMEO service that is maintained by the CRC to provide details of publisher copyright and self-archiving policies. The service is in the middle of a major improvement programme as described in the RoMEO team’s poster at Open Repositories 2010.

RoMEO also provides an API for machine-to-machine access to the service and SHERPA and RSP are teaming up to provide a workshop on the interface as a pre-event to Repository Fringe 2010. The workshop will introduce the API and the experiences of some of its users before moving on to a discussion of how the improvements to the service may affect the API. This will be an opportunity for interested parties to influence the development of the API and so is essential for anyone who is currently or is considering programatically accessing the service.

The workshop takes place on 1st September at the e-Science Institute, Edinburgh and places can be booked via the RSP web site.

Installing DSpace on CentOS 5

Section of an image of a display of scientific photography by Thomas Smillie

Installing DSpace is a reatively long and involved process due to the requirement to build the software using Maven and Ant. The installation is additionally complicated if you want to proxy DSpace through Apache, which will be probably the case if you wish to run any other web software on the server and don’t want to have to enter port numbers to access DSpace. This article will step through the installation process on CentOS 5.5 although some elements with be relevant to other linux distributions and Unix-like OSes.

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Google Doodle for Open Access Week 2010?

Open Access Week 2010 will run from 18th to 24th October and in the Centre for Research Communications we’ve been thinking of ways that we can help to promote the event. One suggestion has been to encourage the OA community to lobby Google to create a Doodle for the event. If you’re interested in helping why not join in the campaign by droping an email to

Technical themes from OR2010

Chemical aparatus on a bench

Open Repositories 2010 wrapped up on 9th July. This post summarises some of the main technical themes from the conference.

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OR2010 Developer Challenge

With just a few days left to Open Repositories 2010 in Madrid many people’s thoughts will be turning to the developer challenge. For those of you who are not aware the challeng this year is:

Create a functioning repository user-interface, presenting a single metadata record which includes as many automatically created, useful links to related external content as possible.

While it is fine to work on the challenge beforehand the organisers are providing a ‘developer lounge‘ at the conference venue too. Entries will be presented/demonstrated on Wednesday 7th between 17:30 and 19:00.

One of the aims is to get teams together who are a mix of developers and non-developers so everybody should be able to contribute something useful to the entries.

Paul Walk explains more and provides useful links in his blog.

Installing MePrints on Windows

Image of a face peeping over washing drying in front of a window

MePrints is an extension to the EPrints repository software that adds functionality for personal home pages for users with profile information and details of uploaded documents, most popular eprints etc.

The MePrints documentation is quite *nix centric but I have found that it is not impossible to get the extension running under Windows. Doing so requires installing a tool to process patch files and a small tweak to the MePrints code. You should also be comfortable with running programs and scripts using the Windows command prompt.
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Regretfully, I am not able to attend the CETIS event on OER that is taking place in Glasgow on 22nd June. While the event is focussed on OER and learning object systems it will touch on many elements that will be familiar to developers and administrators of repositories in general. In particular there looks to be a focus on finding an using objects from repositories, drawing on the work of the ICoper project. Interoperability tools such as Atom/RSS feeds and OAI-PMH will form a major part of the event.

The day will be hands on with developers showing and sharing code and working together to sets the interoperbility of their platforms live. The organisers will record the event via their wiki and twitter (#cetisgath).

At RSP we’d be interested to know if this type of event would be of interest to the repository community, or do we tend to rely on the big vendors to provide this functionality for us?

Installing EPrints on Windows

Atmospheric photograph of a bearded man with his hand raised in front of a bookshelf

EPrints provide a Windows installer for their product. However, because it is a Perl based web application it cannot be installed by running this installer file alone. There is a set of required software that is somewhat outside what might be considered the ‘normal’ range for Windows. Part of this includes running the Apache web server. If the machine on which you are intending to run EPrints has other applications that depend on the IIS web server then we would recommend choosing a different server for EPrints and, preferably, a Linux platform. If Linux is not an option and the server you are using does not run IIS (or you are comfortable with running Apache alongside IIS on different ports) then this article, in conjunction with the official EPrints documentation may prove useful.
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