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Telling DSpace Stories at University of Manitoba with Carell Jackimiek


“Telling DSpace Stories” is a community-led initiative aimed at introducing project leaders and their ideas to one another while providing details about DSpace implementations for the community and beyond. The following interview includes personal observations that may not represent the opinions and views of the University of Manitoba or the DSpace Project."

Carol Minton Morris from DuraSpace interviewed Carell Jackimiek via email to learn about the University of Manitoba DSpace Repository.

What’s your role with DSpace at your organization or institution?

I am the Digital Initiatives Coordinator, responsible for the Libraries’ digital systems which include DSpace as well as Islandora/Fedora, ICA AtoM, Dataverse and some older legacy systems.

Digital Initiatives has 3 senior developers, one of them, Mullai Manickavalli, maintains and develops MSpace, our version of DSpace.

Tell me a little about your organization or institution.

The University of Manitoba is western Canada’s first university, and was founded in 1877.  It has many modern and historic buildings rooted in a prairie terrain of natural and landscaped features. It accommodates 28,000+ students and 8,000+ faculty and staff. There are 19 libraries that support the university’s  academic programs which are as diverse as agricultural and food sciences, music, engineering and medicine.

Why did you decide on DSpace?

In 2002 or 2003, at CNI, I attended a presentation by Ann Wolpert, then Director of MIT Libraries, when she introduced DSpace.  It was exciting, because it was the first time I had heard about the concept of an Institutional Repository and she was outlining a technology to achieve it. When I returned to the University of Manitoba I reported the DSpace story to our Director of Libraries, Carolynne Presser, and she assigned me to work with our Head of Collections, Jan Horner, who was on the university E-theses Committee, which had members from the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), Information Services & Technology (IST), and the Libraries.

The E-theses Committee was trying to find a local way to present University of Manitoba theses in electronic format. The Head of Collections and myself presented the E-theses Committee a Libraries’ solution to the e-theses problem, using DSpace software. The E-theses Committee thought it would be good for the Libraries to do a pilot project with DSpace.

What were your requirements going in?

To tell you the truth, I don’t recall the original FGS requirements, but since those early days our requirements have been evolving and the DSpace software has been evolving in tandem.  

  • We increased the theses collection by adding all of the university’s theses since 1899, almost 22,000 theses in total, and this opened the Theses Collection to the internet.

  • DSpace is optimized for Google Scholar and so the UM theses are indexed there.

  • UM theses are being harvested through DSpace OAI-PMH to Libraries and Archives Canada, NDLTD and other national and international institutions.

  • The hardware and software has been upgraded several times over the years and the CNRI Handle permanent links ensure there are never broken links to a University of Manitoba thesis.  

  • LDAP authentication allows the university community to login using their university userids, so there is no need for yet another userid and password.

  • We have also implemented the SWORD protocol so articles authored by University of Manitoba researchers can be automatically added to the DSpace repository.

  • Third party vendors develop applications for DSpace. Plum Analytics has recently been implemented and offers our researchers that have content in DSpace information gathered from the internet about their work, e.g. how often it is cited, downloaded and mentioned on social media.

  • DuraCloud has designed a back-up system in the cloud for DSpace and we employ it to meet some of our long term preservation requirements.  

What strategic organizational or institutional goals did DSpace help you meet?

DSpace has helped increase the online presence of University of Manitoba research. Achieving this goal has successfully demonstrated the Libraries’ ability to implement, develop and manage digital systems and preserve digital data for the university’s research community.

What are your plans for your DSpace repository in the future?

We have just recently completed an upgrade to DSpace 4 but are already planning an upgrade to DSpace 5 and implementing ORCID functionality.

What is at the top of your DSpace "wish list"?

We are always looking to assist our researchers and improve our service to them. Once we have caught up on DSpace versions we would have a better idea of what is still needed.

What advice would you give to other organizations that are planning to establish a DSpace repository?

We began with DSpace, eleven plus years ago and have not looked back. There were a few bumpy patches along the way but we have always been able to offer our research community a consistently reliable service that integrates well with other environments and keeps pace with current best practices. I believe it is best to start small. Work with one client or department who wants a repository and develop the service together.