Daily Archives: October 13, 2009

If SWORD is the answer, what is the question?

I’ve just had a new collaborative paper published: ‘If SWORD is the answer, what is the question?’ (DOI: 10.1108/00330330910998057). It covers the most recent iteration of the SWORD repository deposit standard, looks briefly at some issues around the present lack of adoption of SWORD, and most usefully presents seven use cases of SWORD written by their developers:

Lewis, S., Hayes, L., Newton-Wade, V., Corfield, A., Davis, R., Donohue, T., Wilson, S., If SWORD is the answer, what is the question?: Use of the Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit protocol, Program: electronic library and information systems, 2009,  Vol 43, Issue 4, pp: 407 – 418, 10.1108/00330330910998057, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Of course a copy is available open access in our repository: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/5315


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the repository deposit protocol, Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit (SWORD), its development iteration, and some of its potential use cases. In addition, seven case studies of institutional use of SWORD are provided.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper describes the recent development cycle of the SWORD standard, with issues being identified and overcome with a subsequent version. Use cases and case studies of the new standard in action are included to demonstrate the wide range of practical uses of the SWORD standard.

Findings – SWORD has many potential use cases and has quickly become the de facto standard for depositing items into repositories. By making use of a widely-supported interoperable standard, tools can be created that start to overcome some of the problems of gathering content for deposit into institutional repositories. They can do this by changing the submission process from a “one-size-fits-all” solution, as provided by the repository’s own user interface, to customised solutions for different users.

Originality/value – Many of the case studies described in this paper are new and unpublished, and describe methods of creating novel interoperable tools for depositing items into repositories. The description of SWORD version 1.3 and its development give an insight into the processes involved with the development of a new standard.

The seven case studies include a thesis submission system, a SWORD plugin for moodle, an automated laboratory data repository deposit tool, a desktop deposit tool, the BibApp repository integration module, a custom deposit tool for a technical report series, and the Facebook SWORD deposit tool.