New SWORD test repository available to all

Have you ever wanted to try out SWORD, but don’t yet have a repository that supports it? As part of the JISC funded ‘SWORD 2′ project, we have now made available a test DSpace repository at the following URL:

If you’ve not used SWORD before, and want to give it a go, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Sign up for an account on the test server by using the following link: http://dspace.swordapp.org/jspui/register (enter your email address, wait for a validation email to arrive, follow the link in the email, enter your name and a password).
  2. Find a SWORD client to use. There are lists available at http://www.swordapp.org/sword/implementationsand http://www.swordapp.org/sword/demonstrators – I’d recommend trying out the web client: http://sword.aber.ac.uk/sword/client as this runs from within your browser.
  3. You’ll need to know the URL of the service document for the repository. The service document lists the repository collections that you are allowed to deposit into. The URL for the service document for the DSpace demo repository is http://dspace.swordapp.org/sword/servicedocument and the web client should be pre-configured with this URL.
  4. Enter your username and password, and press the ‘Get service document’ button. You should then be presented with a list of collections. Choose one to deposit into by pressing the relevant ‘Deposit’ button. If you’re interested in seeing behind the scenes of the responses that the DSpace server has returned, scroll to the bottom of the page to see the XML.
  5. When you deposit an item into DSpace using SWORD, it needs to know about the metadata and the file. To combine these they must be packaged together. One of the drawbacks of all the clients to date is that you must have pre-created the package – they will not do it for you. An example package can be downloaded here: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/repositories/sword/example.zip. Download this package, and save it to your computer.
  6. Select this package using the button at the bottom of the deposit screen. You can ignore most of the settings on that page, in this case you don’t need to use any of them. Then you can perform the deposit by pressing the ‘Deposit’ button. You will then be returned a URL for your deposited item.
  7. You have now performed your first SWORD deposit!

You’ll have seen from going through this process that a really good client is needed to make SWORD easy to use by all users. The packaging element also needs to be sorted out so that clients can collect the metadata and file(s) and create the package. Clients need to be user friendly, work in the way that users expect them to, and work in the environments that users want them to. The Microsoft Office SWORD deposit tool is a good first example of this.

Watch out for the launch of a new easier to use and more fully featured SWORD deposit client that also deals with the packaging issue in the next 24 hours whilst I’m at the SPARC digital repositories meeting.