Monthly Archives: August 2008

Launch of ‘The DSpace Course’

This afternoon we (the JISC-funded Repositories Support Project) formally launched ‘The DSpace Course‘ – a creative commons licensed course for new DSpace repository administrators and developers.

There are currently 20 modules, and a Live CD that can be used for the training. The course is designed to be taught by a trainer, and used in a mix-and-match way so that courses can be designed around the attendees and their desired outcomes. Each module has a set of slides and a student workbook.

We’d be glad to receive any feedback on the course in order to improve it!

The press release says:

Today the JISC-funded Repositories Support Project ( have formally launched a modular training course for DSpace – “The DSpace Course“. The course materials have been published with a Creative Commons licence in order to facilitate their re-use.

The course is suitable for DSpace administrators and developers, with the choice of modules being dependent on the people taking the course. The course tutor can mix-and-match the modules to create a custom course. Each module comes with a set of PowerPoint slides, and an associated student workbook. The course has been successfully taught in the UK and Italy.

There are 20 modules in the course, with more modules due to be added soon. The modules include:

 – An Introduction to DSpace

 – How to Get Help

 – Repository Structure

 – Identifiers

 – DSpace Configuration

 – User management and authentication options

 – Metadata Input Customisation

 – Look and Feel Customisation

 – Language Customisation

 – Item Submission Workflows

 – Import and Export

 – Configuring LDAP

 – Upgrading from 1.4. to 1.5

In addition to the course materials the RSP has released a DSpace ‘Live CD’.

The CD allows any PC to be used as training machine with a copy of DSpace pre-installed, along with all of the files required to perform a new installation. 

The CD is inserted into a computer upon boot, and will load a live version of the DSpace software without installation to the hard drive. Upon completion of the training course, remove the CD and the normal operating system will be loaded upon restart of the PC. 

The course materials can be downloaded from:


The Live CD can be downloaded from:


The course has been written by Stuart Lewis (DSpace committer, developer and trainer), Chris Yates (DSpace developer, support provider and trainer) and has benefited from input by Claudia Jürgen (DSpace committer, developer and trainer).

For help and support, please direct all enquiries related to the course to

In addition, the support team may be able to put you in touch with suitable trainers who could teach the course in your area.

The new RSP blog directory

Today we (the JISC-funded Repositories Support Project) launched a new directory of repository related blogs at

The launch statement says:

The JISC funded Repositories Support Project has today launched a new service – The RSP Blog Directory ( It provides a list of recommended and informative blogs regarding the repository scene from around the globe. Listed blogs include personal creations from those with firsthand experience of repository management and/or technical development of repository software; blogs for specific repositories, projects and software developers; as well as blogs for groups and societies with an interest in the open access movement and digital curation.

Each entry in the directory has a brief description of what the blog contains, with links to view either the entire blog or just the RSS feed.

Blogs have been arranged into categories by type, and you are able to download an OPML file to view the RSS feeds within your blog reader of choice for a selected category, or for all the blogs listed in the directory.

We hope the directory is pretty comprehensive but if you think there are any blogs missing from this list, please e-mail your suggestion to the RSP team at

If you know of any blogs we have missed, please do get in touch!сайт

Test LDAP service upgraded – now with branches

A few weeks ago I made a test LDAP service available (read the blog post) in order to allow people without an LDAP service to test their LDAP-related DSpace patches, or to help people configuring their DSpace LDAP settings by showing them an example with the correct configuration settings.

I’ve been working recently to upgrade the LDAP support in DSpace to allow it to support sub-tree searching. At present it can only authenticate users within a single OU, but many institutions separate their users across a large tree of OUs.

So, I have now released a patch that does this, which will either be included in the upcoming DSpace 1.5.1, or will have to wait for 1.5.2 or 1.6 etc.

In order for me to test this I have had to include more users in my test LDAP service which you are welcome to use too! The patch allows you to specify the DN and password of a user who has full read and search rights overs the LDAP tree in order to identify the DN of the user who is trying to log-in. If you have anonymous access enabled on your server you could comment out the user’s details. The patch then uses that DN and the password provided by the user to re-bind to the LDAP server to make sure their credentials are correct. If you want to make use of this service, here are the settings you’ll need:

  • ldap.provider_url = ldap://
  • ldap.id_field = cn
  • ldap.object_context = OU=users,DC=testathon,DC=net
  • ldap.search_context = OU=users,DC=testathon,DC=net
  • ldap.email_field = mail
  • ldap.surname_field = sn
  • ldap.givenname_field = givenName
  • ldap.phone_field = telephoneNumber
  • ldap.search_scope = 2
  • = CN=stuart,OU=users,DC=testathon,DC=net
  • = stuart

There are now nine users, structured as shown below:

As before, all passwords are the same as usernames. 

I hope this is a useful service. Comments welcome! This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , on by .

Google bring Scholar richness into normal search results

Some good news for open access repository advocates: It seems that the normal Google search engine has now started bringing the richness of Google Scholar results into the main Google search results. This extra information includes:

  • The (first) author’s name
  • Links to papers that have cited it
  • Links to related articles
  • Links to other versions

For me this is great news. When we go out selling repositories to academics, one of our arguments is “your paper will appear in Google Scholar, and other specialist search engines such as Intute Repository Search and OAIster“. However, if we are honest, how many people use these, and I’m including Google Scholar in this, as their first point of call? Not many I suspect.

So getting this extra information into Google is a big selling point as we now get the richness of Google Scholar into our default search service.

This example shows a paper written a couple of years ago by Jon Bell and myself about using OAI-PMH and METS to move items between repositories, and you can see the extra metadata from Google Scholar being shown.биржи копирайтеров обзор

Repository mashup map software update

The Repository Mashup Map ( has just undergone a bit of a software upgrade. Here are some details:

  • A JavaScript spring-clean: The JavaScript which powers the maps (not including the Google Maps code!) has evolved over time from a simple map showing repositories in the UK, to repositories worldwide, with data from multiple data sources, and with multiple filters. The code has now been tidied up and rationalised, which will hopefully make it faster and more efficient, and is about 10% smaller than it was before. For example, rather than holding multiple arrays of the same data but keyed differently for different filters, it is now all stored in one multi-dimensional array. No rocket science here, just a tidy-up.
  • Extra filter: You can now filter on the country where the repository is located, as well as the software platform it runs on, and the date it was created.
  • Auto-zooming: When you select a filter (e.g. “Show me all DSpace repositories in the UK”) the map will automatically zoom to show just the area covered by the repositories (in this case, just the UK).
  • Auto-filtering: When you select a filter (e.g. “Show me repositories in Austria”) the maps update on their own, without you having to press the filter button.

To make my life easier, I also now have a development copy of the maps where I can test upgrades. The URL for this is

As always, comments or suggestions on how the maps could be improved are very welcome!online game for mobile

Time-lapse turfing

In a change from my normal subjects of repositories and related systems, now for something completely different… My first YouTube video! I spent this afternoon turfing the back garden, and decided to take a time-lapse video of the process. 3 hours of turf laying compressed into less than a minute and a half of video.

The technical details:

  • Camera: Cheapo Sony DV video camera, connected via firewire to…
  • Computer: MacBook Pro, running…
  • Gawker open source time-lapse software
The software takes a screen shot from the camera every x seconds, and creates a pretty neat video file.

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