Thursday, 18 September 2008

Institutions hate repositories... one simple reason.

Open access is not enough!

People want to give Open Access to some of their materials at their institution however the IR software is seen as a means to manage all Institutional content and not just that which is Open Access and part of the external image of the Institution.
The problem exists in the other direction as well where repository software is trying to solve these problems, thus people are not likely to use this software until it is included.

So what do we end up with...

Lots of Repository Islands which aren't interoperable with each other!

So if we solve the access and copyright issue will people use the software? errrr No. At this point the software is an all in solution and not a service which can be utilised by current institutional practise ... Give up...?


Focus on providing a service, e.g. something which can manage your Digital Resources and enable this to plug to existing institutional services. Some softwares would argue they support this already. OK good, so don't try and solve the problem if it is just an integration issue.

To the repositories: Decouple! Build a set of services, build ways of plugging services together and allow the community to pic 'n' mix.

To the institution: You already have access control systems ask your Information/Computer Systems department. You probably already have a Content Management System for educational resources for students (Blackboard? - Integrates with an LDAP server), these use external services to manage access and authentication! Here's a few services for you... LDAP, Radius, Eduroam, Domain Controller.

Till next time!