Fedora 6: Application-independent Storage to Ensure the Persistence of Digital Data Through Time

The Fedora community has long been at the forefront of developing an open source repository framework that supports digital preservation efforts. Fedora 6 aims to integrate a standardized structure for persisting and delivering the essential characteristics of digital objects in Fedora with the emerging Oxford Common File Layout (OCFL) specification.  The OCFL defines a shared approach to file hierarchy for long-term preservation which describes an application-independent approach to the storage of digital information in a structured, transparent, and predictable manner. It is designed to promote long-term object management best practices within digital repositories.

Overview of Fedora 6 planned features:

  • Replace current Modeshape back-end
  • Implement the OCFL for persistence
  • Add a native, synchronous query interface
  • Improve performance and scale

Fedora 6 digital preservation enhancements are of interest to institutions because digital content stored with Fedora 6 will be transparently readable by both humans and machines, thereby making it accessible with or without Fedora. This application-agnostic approach to preservation is an essential characteristic of ensuring the persistence of digital data through time.

Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and Penn State have joined community efforts to support the development of Fedora 6 by increasing their Fedora membership contributions in 2019.  JHU is now a platinum member of DuraSpace in support of Fedora and Platinum member Penn State has contributed an additional $22,000 in support of Fedora for 2019.

Sayeed Choudhury, Associate Dean for Research Data Management; Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center, Johns Hopkins University, explains, “We are developing open infrastructure at Johns Hopkins including the Public Access Submission System or PASS (http://pass.jhu.edu/) and an updated data archive specifically designed for health sciences data. Additionally, we plan to migrate our digital collections from DSpace to Islandora 8. Our increased commitment to Fedora in terms of financial resources, software developers, and user feedback reflects its importance for each of these components of our evolving open infrastructure. Fedora 6’s increased support for preservation and migration are ideal next steps in terms of capabilities.”