I’ve just returned from the latest CRIG (Common Repository Interfaces Group) meeting at Bath University. In typical CRIG fashion the event was held in a bar, where the food and drink flowed freely. The CRIG team ran an excellent event are are now quite used to running useful, informative and thought proving events.

This particular CRIG event was entitled ‘CRIG DRY Workshop’ – DRY = Don’t Repeat Yourself, and today that referred to metadata.

The day started with 5 five minute presentations, one of which was the first public outing for our new project ‘The Deposit Plait‘. This fitted in perfectly with the aims of not repeating ourselves when it comes to depositing items into a repository, and having to typically re-enter metadata.

There are three strands to a plait, and three strands that we hope to weave together in the deposit plait project:

  1. Work out exactly what metadata ideally needs to be provided when depositing a scholarly work into a repository. This can be done by seeing who makes use of repository metadata, and what metadata they need in order to do this effectively.
  2. Investigate what, if any, metadata can be extracted from XML documents in formats such as OOXML and ODF.
  3. See what metadata can be extracted from online or personal bibliographic systems.

So were 1 and 2 to yield useful results, we could investigate the feasibility of writing a web service that take an uploaded document (or a reference to one), extracts some metadata (maybe title, author, abstract) and then uses these to pull in more metadata from other systems. Might be neat, might be a non-starter. That’s what the project will discover.

Anyhow, the event was useful in a number of ways, and there were a number of nice demonstrations. I particularly liked Richard and Rob’s demonstration of depositing OAI-ORE aggregations into DSpace using SWORD. On top of that there was then the resource map encoded in RDFa in the DSpace item page allowing an RDFa reader to use a standard DSpace metadata jumpoff page as an OAI-ORE resource map. The really nice thing about it was that from the DSpace side, it only required a new packager class, and a corresponding entry in the configuration file – I was thinking it might require more tinkering. I also appreciated the ORE talk from Rob. Whilst it only lasted 5 minutes, it was enough to explain the concepts and gave me the dummy’s guide that I’ve been looking out for for some time.

Thanks CRIG!