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Open Repository: Work, Plus Hack Day Fun

From James Evans, Open Repository, BioMed Central

In tandem with the summer conference season, it’s been a busy couple of months within the Open Repository team, with lots of smaller but significant pieces of platform development and new client builds taking up the bulk of our time. Work continues on repository implementations of significant sizes for our new clients Practical Action and the Laureate Network.  We’ve implemented our own implementation of the ORCID API and the Request A Copy feature. As we operate a shared multi-instance repository platform, we’ve adapted or rewritten some of the community-contributed developments to fit our own requirements.  It highlights the value of the contributed work undertaken in communities like DSpace and ORCID, enabling our own developers to easily pick up this work and run with it.

Following a reorganisation of all things IT within our parent company, our newly expanded developer team have some time free for experimentation, thanks to the company-wide ‘Hack Days.’ Out of this, our developer team built a prototype Neo4j  Graph DB visualisation module using metadata from our DSpace installs. We then built new faceted-search functionality for Elasticsearch, which leverages BioMed Central’s powerful search infrastructure. We also attended a joint offsite hack day in London along with developers from our sister platform, the Papers3 reference management software, to develop a means by which DSpace instances can be searched from within the Papers platform. Next up is a project we are calling Repository Microservices, which aims to build on the success the main publishing arm of our company has had with a microservices-based approach to platform development.  Beyond offering our team a distraction from day-to-day DSpace work, plus an opportunity to work with the latest technologies and frameworks, we hope that some fruits from these and other projects can find a wider use with the repository community over the coming year.

Open Repository builds hosts and customises enhanced, DSpace repositories for institutions worldwide, enabling the institution to focus on managing and developing content within their repository. Through Open Repository and Open Repository Lite, clients can choose a package to suit their needs. Open Repository is a DuraSpace Registered Service Provider.