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Stargate will explore the use of static repositories as a means of exposing publisher for OAI-based disclosure, discovery and alerting services within the JISC IE and beyond.

Stargate: Static Repository Gateway and Toolkit

Background

The Stargate project, based at the Centre for Digital Library Research at the University of Strathclyde, will explore the use of static repositories as a means of exposing publisher metadata to OAI-based disclosure, discovery and alerting services within the JISC IE and beyond. Static repositories were developed as an alternative to fully fledged OAI-compliant repositories and have been implemented successfully within the Open Language Archives Community as a means of widening participation in OAI-based systems and services. The project builds on the successful use of static repositories by HaIRST project in JISC’s FAIR programme. It also builds on the technical architecture developed by Heriot Watt University in their PALS I project OAI-compliant metadata repository for a specialist publisher of e-journals.

Aims & Objectives

The project’s primary aim will be to lower the technical barriers to the implementation of OAI-compliant repositories, thereby enabling small publishers of electronic resources to participate more readily in OAI-based disclosure and delivery services within the JISC IE and beyond. Specifically, it will implement a series of static repositories of publisher metadata, demonstrate the interoperability of the exposed metadata through harvesting and cross-searching via a static repository gateway, and conduct a critical evaluation of the static repository approach with publishers and service providers. The project has two key objectives to:

  • build an interoperability demonstrator based around the static repository gateway developed in the HaIRST project and dovetailing with the OAI-based architecture developed in PALS I
  • develop tools and guidelines that will facilitate the implementation of static repositories by small publishers that wish to expose their metadata to OAI-based services

Overall Approach

The initial phase of the project will receive or capture metadata from publishers, process it and set up static repositories for each of the journals. It is likely that this will involve processing the data through a simple database and may involve data manipulation. These static repositories will then be registered with a gateway and exposed to the wider Information Environment. They will then also be harvested by the HaiRST harvester and made available for cross-searching by EEVL Xtra

Towards the end of this period an initial meeting with project partners will take place to review and reflect on the process of setting up the repositories. Subsequent to their set-up some initial dissemination and interim reporting will take place. 

This will be followed by a period of desk-based research, which alongside the experiences of project partners using other methods of exposing OAI metadata will form the basis of the comparative elements of the study. 

Following this a second seminar will take place discussing the suitability of the SR approach for the publishing community and further dissemination and final reporting will take place.

Key standards

  • OAI PMH 2.0
  • OAI SR 2.0
  • OAI SR Gateway 2.0
  • DC Metadata Element Set 1.1

Project Extension on Gateways

For the static repositories approach to be used on a wide scale, a permanent gateway for publishers will be needed.  As no such gateway exists, JISC granted the project a short extension to document what would be involved to set up and run a gateway for publishers.  The project set up an experimental static repository gateway for publishers and documented the process for installing and configuring the gateway software.  They also conducted a survey of existing gateways to estimate setup and running costs.

Project Outputs

There are links to all the project outputs from the STARGATE project web site.  These include:

1. An interoperability demonstrator, based on persistent URIs and OAI-PMH, to include:

  • A series of static repositories containing publisher metadata
  • A gateway in which static repositories are registered
  • Harvesting of publisher metadata using HaIRST’s ARC harvester
  • Cross-searching of publisher metadata using the EEVL Xtra service.

2. Tools and guidelines, to include:

  • A series of case studies documenting the setting up of the static repositories
  • An initial suite of tools that could form the basis of a static repositories toolkit for publishers
  • A critical analysis of the static repositories approach to exposing publisher metadata.

3. Static repository gateways:

  • Overview of practice at existing gateways
  • Installation guide for gateway software
  • Branding and customisation guide
  • Experimental static repository gateway for publishers.

Project Outcomes

Benefits to UK HE and FE

The primary benefit to the JISC community will be the improved visibility of and access to the publications of smaller publishers. A second key benefit will be the lowering of barriers to participation in JISC IE disclosure and discovery systems for the many small publishers based within HE and FE institutions. Although the project will initially focus on e-journals, the approach also lends itself to other types of publishing, including e-books, e-learning materials and other digital resources, and consequently its investigation will unlock an even broader range of benefits for the JISC community. 

Contribution to JISC development programmes

The project will make a valuable contribution both to the aim of this call for proposals and to other JISC development programmes. In particular, it will build on the work of the PALS I programme to highlight and explore some of the issues facing smaller publishers and demonstrate one approach which might enable them to contribute to interoperable metadata-based services. Also, it will build on work done in the FAIR and Portals programmes and complement the development work currently underway in the Digital repositories programme, in particular the  PerX and  IRI Scotland projects. 

Other benefits

In addition to delivering benefits for UK HE and FE institutions and for the JISC as outlined above, the project deliverables will also be of value to the wider publishing community, and particularly to smaller publishers and those who are reluctant to invest in metadata interoperability. The demonstrator will be useful for advocacy purposes and as an aid to implementation, whilst the toolkit and guidelines will assist publishers who wish to expose their metadata via OAI to select and implement a suitable approach.

Project Partners

Project Staff

Contact

John Robertson - Project Officer
Centre for Digital Library Research (CDLR)
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow G1 1XH
Tel: 0141-548-5854
Email: robert.robertson@cis.strath.ac.uk

Documents & Multimedia

Summary
Start date
1 October 2005
End date
31 May 2006
Funding programme
PALS Metadata and Interoperability programme (phase 2)
Project website
Topic