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NOW AVAILABLE: New Release of DSpace CRIS Module

Andrea Bollini, Project Manager, IT Architect and Systems Integrator, CINECA

Rome, Italy  CINECA[1] and the University of Hong Kong (HKU)[2] are pleased to announce the immediate availability for download of a new release of the DSpace CRIS module:

Publications are an important output of the research cycle. They allow communication between scholars, and measurement and decision support of research amongst research administrators. However there are many other equally important entities in research that need description and tracking, such as projects, grants, patents, organization units, researcher profiles (people), etc. Integrating and contextualizing all of these entities along with publications, adds greater value to each individual piece, in terms of visibility, discovery, and understanding of the total research picture. One name used for such integrations is Current Research Information System (CRIS).

This DSpace addon enables the ingestion, storage, display and management of metadata and fulltext on these other research entities. This module produces a smooth integration between native DSpace items (publications) and other CRIS entities. All entities (native DSpace items or new CRIS Entities) can be linked with each other using autocomplete/lookup functions in the submission edit phase and/or the inter-navigation in visualizations.

This new release is a step forward to CERIF compliance

that is scheduled for the next release. The updated DSpace CRIS Roadmap can be found here:

This is the version upon which the HKU Scholar Hub is built. It is tagged as a beta mainly due to poor documentation and the presence of areas of code and database that are still under development.

In this new release some exciting features of the HKU Hub are included, such as:

- PubMed integration
- statistics visualization and alert (via email & RSS)
- network graph visualization & analysis
- management of researcher's preference to make a selected list (or hide) publications, projects, etc, self-made by researcher, or by staff 
- SOAP webservices to access data (read-only)

At the technical level we worked hard to make the installation procedure easier, all the required steps are automatically performed during the standard DSpace installation (mvn package). The database settings are now automatically derived from the dspace.cfg file without need for editing extra hibernate configuration files.

The code has been updated to work with SOLR 4.1, this allows the use of SOLR join to make interesting statistics analysis grouping by authors, content types, etc.

We plan to work with the DSpace community to contribute the upgrade to SOLR 4.1 to the next main release of DSpace, expected to be 4.0.

Some of this code base will make its way into general DSpace releases, such as “Solr Discovery for JSPUI” in DSpace 3. However we envision that most of this work will be an optional addon, which DSpace developers can choose to implement, or not. In the spirit of open source, we hope that this DSpace CRIS module will receive wide adoption in the DSpace community. We hope that many will find it useful and then build further upon this start. To enable this desired multilateral collaboration, we ask that you send any inquires directly to the dspace mailing lists

(mainly dspace-tech at

We invite all the interested parties to get in touch with us. The next Open Repository meeting will be a nice opportunity to talk face-to-face about DSpace-CRIS. There are no scheduled presentations about DSpace-CRIS, so just look around to find me and talk directly with me.

Up to now, this has been a collaboration between CINECA and HKU. The HKU side is supported by funding from the HKU Office of Knowledge Exchange and the University Libraries.

A note on mailing list etiquette:

[1] Please note that starting from September 2012 CINECA, CILEA and CASPUR, the three Italian Interuniversity Consortia, are now merged into a single Consortium which retains the name of CINECA. Before this, CILEA was a long-term member and contributor to the DSpace platform since 2003.