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The SWORD course slides now online

As part of the JISC-funded SWORD 3 project, I created ‘The SWORD Course’ and presented it during a two hour workshop at the recent Open Repositories 2010 conference in Madrid. The aim of the course was to empower repository managers and repository developers who knew what SWORD was, but who are not currently using it, to be able to go back to their institutions and start using it.
The course, entitled ‘Adding SWORD To Your Repository Armoury’ is made up of 5 modules:
  1. An Introduction to SWORD: Gives an overview of SWORD, the rationale behind its creation, and details of the first three funded SWORD projects
  2. SWORD Use Cases: Provides an introduction to use cases, and examines some of the use cases that SWORD can be used for
  3. How SWORD Works: A high level overview of the SWORD protocol, lightly touching on a few technical details in order to explain how it works
  4. SWORD Clients: The reasons for needing SWORD clients are shown, followed by a tour of some of the current SWORD clients
  5. Create Your Own SWORD Client: An overview of the EasyDeposit SWORD client creation toolkit, including the chance to try it out

The slides from each presentation have now been uploaded to Slideshare with a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial Sharealike licence. The workshop was video recorded too, and hopefully this will be posted online some soon too.


Deposit to multiple repositories

One of the classic use cases for SWORD is deposit to multiple repositories at once. This could be used if a researcher has to deposit copies of their work to both an institutional repository and a funder’s repository, and also perhaps a subject-based repository. (In ‘real life’ this use case is not so far in widespread use (if at all?) because we’re still in a position where it is hard to convince potential depositors to deposit into one repository, let alone multiple repositories.)

However, I have now added a multiple deposit function to the EasyDeposit SWORD client. For those of you unfamiliar with EasyDeposit, it is an online tool that allows you to configure your own SWORD client. It is intended that you run multiple copies of EasyDeposit and configure each for a specific tailored use, such as thesis deposit, journal deposit, multiple deposit etc. The deposit process is made up of a set of ‘steps’ which you can configure and change into a preferred order to make your chosen client. This makes it easy to change the submission process from asking for files to be uploaded then having the user enter metadata, to the other way around with a couple of clicks in the administration interface.

The new multiple deposit functionality allows the administrator to ‘hard code’ the details of a set of repositories, and upon completion of the deposit process the item is deposited into each of those repositories. EasyDeposit has been designed with extensibility in mind, so if you wish to write your own ‘steps’, for example to allow the depositor to select which repositories from a given list they would like to deposit into, this is easy and straightforward to write in PHP.

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SWORD workshop at OR10

As a member of the JISC funded SWORD project I’ll be giving a 2 hour workshop about SWORD at the Open Repositories 2010 conference (Friday July 9th, 2:!5-4:30 pm). The intention of the workshop is to provide a practical hands-on introduction to SWORD.

An overview of the proposed programme has been posted on the OR10 website:

SWORD hands-on workshop: Adding SWORD to your repository armoury
Have you heard about SWORD but are unsure of why or how you should use it? This hands-on workshop will provide a gentle introduction to SWORD, some examples of how it can be used, and if you have a laptop you can try out some SWORD clients and have a go at making your own using an online SWORD client creation toolkit. This workshop will cover:
  • An overview of SWORD
  • What it does
  • How it works
  • Use cases for SWORD
  • How you could use SWORD
  • Have a go at making some deposits to different repositories using some SWORD clients
  • Deposit to multiple repository platforms
  • Try a few different clients
  • Build your own custom deposit interface using SWORD and the EasyDeposit SWORD client toolkit
  • Customise your own installation of EasyDeposit
  • Explore the possibilities of EasyDeposit by trying different options, and optionally by creating new steps

If you’re going to be attending OR10, and would like to know more about SWORD then please come along. If there is anything in particular that you would like the session to cover, please leave a comment so that we can ensure the workshop meets your requirements. Thanks!

(If you’re not going to be there, we’re hoping to make the materials available online afterwards.)hackagent.ru

EasyDeposit – DOI integration with the CrossRef API

A few weeks ago I wrote about the EasyDeposit system we’ve created at The University of Auckland Library. In a nutshell, it allows you to easily create custom web-based SWORD deposit interfaces to enable the deposit of items into your repository. We’ve used it locally to create custom deposit interfaces for PhD theses, Masters theses, and Computer Science technical reports.

One of the key features of EasyDeposit is how custom interfaces can be built by selecting from a set of ‘steps’. Each step performs a task such as allowing the user to upload files, enter metadata, login, verify the details of the deposit etc. Steps can be easily added by creating two new files – one which contains the business logic (coded in PHP) and one which contains the view (HTML). We maintain some custom steps locally to manage the licensing of theses (to select embargo terms and Creative Commons options).

I recently became aware of the CrossRef API. This web service allows you to look up the metadata of an item that has a DOI. Requests are made using a URL in the form of:


The whole ethos behind EasyDeposit is to enable repository administrators to create custom SWORD deposit interfaces that make it easy for their users to deposit content into their repositories. Therefore it seemed a good idea to write a new EasyDeposit step that allows users to enter a DOI instead of manually entering metadata. A typical deposit interface could now be as simple as:

  • Do you have a DOI for your item? If so:
  • Login
  • Enter a DOI
  • Confirm the metadata is correct
  • Upload a file
  • Verify the deposit detail

I have now uploaded the ‘CrossRefDOILookup’ and ‘CrossRefDOIMetadata’ steps to the EasyDeposit site. You can use these steps (they must be used together) in your EasyDeposit interface. Here are some screenshots:

In order to use the API you must register with CrossRef. You can do this at: http://www.crossref.org/requestaccount/. Your API key will the email address that you used to sign up, and must be entered in the easydeposit.php configuration file:

// CrossRef API DOI lookup configuration
// Register for a key at http://www.crossref.org/requestaccount/
// Your API KEY is the email address that you used to register
$config[‘easydeposit_crossrefdoilookup_apikey’] = ‘API_KEY’;

As always, I’d be pleased to receive feedback about this feature.цена за продвижение сайта

EasyDeposit – SWORD deposit tool creator

The development of the SWORD (Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit) protocol has enabled repositories to start accepting deposits from remote systems and interfaces. If you’re unsure of the basics of SWORD, read one of the following:

However, to date there has not been a great deal of use of SWORD. One of the reasons is a lack of SWORD clients that can deposit items into repositories. Demonstration clients were created by the SWORD project, and a PHP SWORD library was created by the SWORD2 project, but no client that can easily be set up by web developers or repository administrators to be used by depositors has been created.

A bit of background:

Last year as part of my job at the University of Auckland Library, I had to create a SWORD deposit client to allow PhD candidates to submit an electronic copy of their thesis. We wanted to use SWORD to do this as it means the PhD students do not have to create a repository account, and learn how to submit in the repository. The SWORD client was written in PHP and made use of the SWORD PHP library. The client was made up of a very small number of pages: login, enter title of thesis, upload file, select embargo and licencing options, verify, submit.

I then had to create a second similar deposit interface to allow a department to archive a technical report series. This deposit interface was similar, but didn’t have the embargo option, asked for more metadata, and returned the URL of the deposited item in a format that could be inserted into their own web publishing system.

Developing and maintaining two similar but not identical systems seemed to be wasteful, therefore I decided to create a generic SWORD deposit interface toolkit that allowed new deposit systems to be easily created. EasyDeposit was born!

What is EasyDeposit?

EasyDeposit is a toolkit for easily creating SWORD deposit web interfaces using PHP. To start using EasyDeposit, follow the installation instructions.

How does EasyDeposit work?

EasyDeposit allows you to create customised SWORD deposit interfaces by configuring a set of ‘steps’. A typical flow of steps may be: login, select a repository, enter some metadata, upload a file, verify the information is correct, perform the deposit, send a confirmation email. Alternatively a deposit flow may just require a file to be uploaded and a title entered. A configuration file is used to list the steps you require.

EasyDeposit makes use of the CodeIgniter MVC PHP framework. This means each ‘step’ is made up of two files: a ‘controller’ which looks after the validation and processing of any data entered, and a ‘view’ which controls the web page that a user sees. This separation of concerns makes it easy for web programmers to edit the controllers, and web designers to tinker with the look and feel of the interface in the views.

What ‘steps’ come with EasyDeposit?

EasyDeposit comes with 14 different steps, including:

  • ldaplogin: Allows login to take place against an LDAP directory
  • nologin: Allows preset login inforamtino to be provided if you don’t wish users to have to login, then forwards the user on to the next step
  • depositcredentials: Sets credentials to be used for the deposit if you wish to use a generic set of credentials, then forwards the user on to the next step
  • selectrepository: Allows a user to select between multiple repositories
  • servidedocument: Displays a service document to the user to allow them to decide which collection to deposit into
  • title: Requires the user to enter a title for the item they are depositing
  • metadata: Requires the user to enter metadata for the item they are depositing
  • uploadfile: Allows the user to upload files to deposit
  • verify: Allow the user to verify their submission before the deposit
  • deposit: Performs the deposit, then forwards the user on to the next step
  • email: Sends an email confirmation of the deposit, then forwards the user on to the next step
  • thankyou: Displays a confirmation of the deposit to the user

Extra steps can be easily added just by adding a controller and a view for each new step.

Is EasyDeposit open source?

Yes! It is published with a modified BSD licence.

How do I use EasyDeposit?

Follow the installation instructions! If you have any questions, please leave comments on this blog entry, to get in touch with me directly.online rpg mobile

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.pass-cracker