16 April 2008
Ben O’Steen, ORA Software Developer, together with two developers from Southampton University has won the $5000 CRiG (Common Repository Interfaces Group) developers' challenge. The competition took place at the recent international Open Repositories conference held this year in Southampton. The aim was to create a ‘prototype of a service that utilizes repositories to enhance the reuse of content.’ The only rule was that the prototype utilised two different 'repository' platforms. The winning team was selected by a vote by the almost 500 delegates who attended the conference. Competition was tough and the short-list of finalists included teams from the US and Australia.
Ben’s team produced a prototype called ‘Data Mining with ORE.’ They demonstrated moving data from one repository platform to another using the new standard framework for moving and sharing digital objects between services, OAI-ORE (Object Reuse and Exchange). In other words, they took data held in an EPrints repository (the platform developed and used by Southampton University) and moved it in its entirety to a Fedora repository (the underlying repository platform used by Oxford). They then performed the reverse procedure and deposited an entire Fedora repository into the EPrints platform. Not only is the metadata (similar to catalogue records for each item) moved, but the complete digital objects including all the files and other content. This use of the new OAI-ORE framework pre-empted the European release of OAI-ORE which was launched the following day.
Ben had already implemented OAI-ORE within ORA. Oxford is one of the first real-life system implementations of this new framework. It forms one of the services underlying the new ORA interface, due to be released April 2008. OAI-ORE has important implications for repository data management and preservation.
ORA is the new service for preserving, managing and increasing visibility and access to research materials produced by members of the University of Oxford. ORA can be accessed at http://ora.ouls.ox.ac.uk