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A Repository-Centered Workplace for Scholars

By Thornton Staples, Director of Community Strategy and Outreach, Fedora Commons  In our ongoing efforts to organize communities around solution areas well suited to Fedora, we have begun working on multiple fronts to encourage what we have been calling “scholars’ repositories.” Dedicated to the idea that born-digital scholarly materials will need to be created in repository-enabled environments in order to be sustained, solutions in this area will need to foster creation, management and even dissemination of content in ways that are completely under the control its owner. Rather than assuming that the repository is a final resting place for content, this approach assumes that content is created in a dynamic repository at the beginning of its lifecycle in such a way that it can be used and controlled by its owner for as long as desired, then handed off to other authorities for sustaining over the long-term at the appropriate time.
This solution area is the fifth such community effort that Fedora Commons has begun that are in very early stages of development, but some information is available on the solutions community wiki area at In each of the areas, we are working with volunteers from the community to organize information-sharing efforts that are intended to lead to the development of one or more complete Fedora-based solutions. In addition to the basic community organization, Fedora Commons is actively working as the catalyst to organize collaborative projects to build these solutions.
Under the scholars’ repository community, we have been working with groups from University of Hull, Stanford University and the University of Virginia to define a project that that will deliver the first version of a simple system, targeted for rollout at all three institutions in the fall of 2009, with plans for a richer more elaborate solution over three years. The first version is aimed at providing basic institutional repository functionality for creation, management and access to digital content, based on a shared set of content models for generic, single-file objects that can support arbitrary content, image-specific objects, and aggregation objects. Information about the project will be available on our wiki in the first quarter of 2009.
Anyone who is interested in participating in the organization any of the solution communities should contact Thornton Staples at