Winchester, MA More than 400 delegates made the trip to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in October to learn about current best practices in research support and to share innovative examples and ideas at the eResearch Australasia Conference. The annual Conference focuses on how information and communications technologies help researchers collect, manage and reuse information.
David Wilcox, Fedora Product Manager, was on hand to offer an all-day Fedora 4 Training Workshop and a Birds of a Feather (BoF) session on managing research data with Fedora 4.
Fedora 4’s new linked data capabilities that make broad and deeply faceted discovery on the open web based on RDF information exchange possible was clearly of interest to BoF attendees. Interoperability and standardization are required in Australia where Fedora often plays an integrated role in mature institutional technology stacks in research data and publication systems that are associated with complex workflows. Older versions of Fedora are commonly in use.
Several institutional VIVO users in attendance expressed interest in a Fedora 4 integration with VIVO, an open source semantic web application that enables collaboration and discovery among researchers.
The need for robust multiple, large and complex file management is shared across many large research institutions. Fedora 4 repositories can manage millions and millions of digital files along with extremely large files of any type running on top of pluggable back-end storage systems. Flexible and improved scalability was noted as a clear Fedora 4 advantage for many large Australian repository implementations that are running into bottlenecks in managing large datasets and indexing millions of RDF triples.
About 20-25 people attended the day-long Fedora 4 Training Workshop which began with a guided tour of Fedora 4 features, improvements and innovations. Discussions were focused on migration considerations and possibilities for data enhancement. Two members of the local Australian repository community, Arif Shaon from the University of New South Wales and Euwe Ermita from the University of Western Sydney, also gave presentations on their Fedora-based repositories, including thinking around opportunities for migrating to Fedora 4.
Wilcox reported, “The hands-on training session engaged participants by getting them up and running quickly with the new one-click Fedora 4 application. Users were able set up an external triplestore and start processing files right away so they could see and experience how linked data works in a repository”.
Long-time and new Fedora users from all over the world have become interested in how Fedora 4 leverages institutional ability to manage and use research assets as a result of outreach efforts including hands-on training, presentations at conferences and webinars. Fedora 4 sessions at the eResearch Australasia Conference concluded with expressions of interest in establishing an ongoing Australasia region Fedora User Group.
Find out More—Fedora 4 Training Videos and Webinar Recordings
You can learn more about Fedora 4 in recently released training videos now available on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1wdF0WS. In addition recordings from a 2-part webinar series featuring representatives from Fedora 4.0 Beta Pilot institutions are available online.
The first webinar  featured Stefano Cossu and Nikhil Trivedi from the Art Institute of Chicago and Esmé Cowles from UCSD. It was attended by 37 people from a variety of institutions. Stefano and Nikhil highlighted Fedora 4’s complex content modelling capabilities, as well as its potential for integration into larger, customized systems. Esmé focused on the native RDF capabilities and the ability to project over external file systems rather than ingesting content directly into Fedora.
The second webinar  featured Adam Wead from Penn State and Tom Cramer from Stanford. It was attended by 44 people. Coincidentally, Adam and Tom’s presentations worked very well together as they both focused on the native linked data/RDF capabilities that really separate Fedora 4 from other repository platforms. Adam’s presentation also highlighted the recent Hydra integration work, while Tom talked about supporting annotations as first-class objects by implementing the linked data-based Open Annotation model.