A Technology Analysis of Repositories and Services CNI
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The concept of the institutional repository has gained traction within the digital library community. While this idea provides a useful description that may facilitate institutional adoption, it may also oversimplify the complete picture associated with digital library architecture. Institutions may now be finding that there will be multiple repositories and applications in the same environment. Developing individual interfaces for each application/repository pair presents scaling difficulties as the numbers of applications and repositories rise. At Johns Hopkins, we are promoting the idea that applications should access repositories through an abstract, repository agnostic layer, rather than through custom application to repository integrations. With funding from the Mellon Foundation, Johns Hopkins University will evaluate repository software and a range of services. The result of this evaluation will be a set of best practices, recommendations, and functional requirements for repositories and applications. This project reflects our belief that content should reside in multiple repositories external to applications, so that the same content can be used by several systems and support multiple services. This concept will be tested with content that is moved through repositories into applications as defined against a set of use cases that reflect various services. While our project will evaluate uses for digital preservation (e.g., LC Archive Ingest Handling Test), e-learning (e.g., Sakai), and epublishing (e.g., Project Muse), this briefing will focus primarily on application to learning management systems.