Why Dspace can
(and should) work for all
SUNY institutions

Or, we made it work, and you can too!

Jenica P. Rogers
Collection Development Coordinator and Technical Services Librarian
College Libraries, SUNY Potsdam
Presentation available at: http://www2.potsdam.edu/rogersjp/SUNYLA06

June 16, 2006

About Institutional Repositories

About IRs: Links

An introduction to IRs:

About DSpace

DSpace is an open-source software package that provides insitutional repository capability.

Links to all the information you could ever want to know:

So, why an IR?

The main conversation regarding IRs has focused on what many consider to be the realm of large institutions:

IRs at large institutions:

Examples to inspire us all, from near and far:

So, why an IR?

Smaller Institutions often don't have a mandate for preservation or a drive to raise their institutional profile. We do share the following, however, with our larger brethren:

What might you put in an IR?

Smaller Institutions don't, perhaps, have a huge corpus of published faculty research. What we do have is:

Projects we have in the works:

How do you set up an IR?

Many sources will tell you the first step to any technology project is to choose the software and necessary hardware, but...

OLIS has removed that hurdle by providing DSpace access to all SUNY campuses.

DSpace at SUNY

They are currently providing hardware, software, implementation, and staff support to campuses who want to move forward with an IR on DSpace. While you are not obligated to use DSpace, OLIS is providing a valuable resource not only in hardware and software, but in staff time for implementation and management.

Getting started: Our approach

DSpace has a checklist and supporting documents on Building an Institutional Repository. We used them to tailor our own approach.

Getting started: Staffing

IRs are, for most small institutions, add-on projects. Involve those people up front; their input and enthusiasm can be invaluable!

Getting started: Mission

Why do you want an IR? What do you hope to accomplish for your library? For your campus? For the greater community?

We decided that:
The mission of the SUNY Potsdam Institutional Repository (SPIR) is to provide a secure and searchable digital archive to showcase and preserve the intellectual accomplishments of our campus. This project takes advantage of the SUNY Digital Repository using the open source system DSpace, and is operating in this pilot phase under the leadership of the College Libraries. The SUNY Potsdam Institutional Repository will provide opportunities for faculty and campus offices to make their research and creative endeavors available to a broader audience, and will expand the campus awareness of digital access and preservation initiatives.

Getting started: Copyright

Librarians love (or hate) copyright, and institutional repositories are a copyright dream (or nightmare). You will need to consider:

** SPARC's Copyright for Authors page provides one perspective on the issue, as does Cornell's Copyright Management resource page.

Getting started: Communities

DSpace organizes content in a hierarchy of Communities and Sub-Communities. What's the ideal information architecture for your project?

Practical example:
We considered the possibility of organizing faculty research into three sub-communities around our three Schools. The idea was rejected once we discussed the fact that Music Education would fall inside the Crane School of Music, but publications by Music Education faculty should be easily access at the same time as School of Education publications.

Then, work with OLIS to set up what you decide upon. Post your mission statement, your copyright policy, and your logo on the DSpace at SUNY site. Set up your collections, and...

Getting started: Load your first collection

We chose to begin with our Masters Thesis collection, for several reasons:

Getting started: Process

Dspace allows authors to submit and load their own content, or can be set up so that a single (or multiple) defined individual can add or accept content to the repository.

Getting started: Metadata

No matter who loads your content, it all needs metadata.
Once you've figured out the metadata, load your first collection.

Getting started: Outreach

Now that you have content loaded, you can go show it off. (You can always do what I did, which is show off other people's repositories, but isn't it more impressive if you can show your own work?)

In the realm of outreach, you will have to go to your faculty and colleagues. You will have to sell the repository concept, and demonstrate its worth in terms that your campus colleagues can relate to.

And then you have to not give up.

See Marketing an IR, posted by Dorothea Salo, the Digital Repository Services Librarian at George Mason University, for a practitioner's take on IR outreach.
Don't bother with long involved planning sessions. Don't bother with marketing committees at first (though later on, it may well help to share information). Brainstorm a page of ideas, pick some to try, and try them. When some don't pan out, pick others. Embrace serendipity. Listen to and act on what people tell you about the IR, and about faculty beliefs and practices.

Getting started: Evaluate!

Once you've begun loading content, navigating your architecture, and accessing your metadata, ask:


Jenica P. Rogers is the Collection Development Coordinator and Technical Services Librarian at the SUNY Potsdam College Libraries. In addition to the daily work of managing the College Libraries' collections and leading in technical services, her current projects include setting up a DSpace repository for the campus, cataloging electronic resources, collaborating with the School of Education and Professional Studies' Sheard Literacy Center to set up a branch library, and writing articles about all those experiences.

She got her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin--Madison in 2001, and a BA in English from Trinity College in Hartford, CT in 1998.

CV and more info available online, here

This presentation was created in HTML using CSS. There was no PowerPoint involved in this presentation except as a nagging bad example. The layout and stylesheet are available to borrow via a share and share alike creative commons license, and were created and made available for download by Jessamyn West.
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