Dspace 7 is Released

Dspace 7 is Released at 2 Aug

Fatih Güneş

Dspace 7 is Released 

What is DSpace?

Dspace is an Institutional Repository (IR) software designed for primarily universities for storing and managing digital contents. Dspace software developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and HP back in 2002. It is released as an Open Source Software. 


Why is Dspace Important

Researchers working at Universities create scientific and academic content. They send it to publishers both local and global. These works are accessed by paid memberships to these publishers’ journals. A new momentum of Open Science is being popular for the last years. This initiative aims access of scientific outputs of universities. Dspace makes it possible to collect all digital content of the university, and provide search, discovery and accession to these contents. 


Why is New Version 7 Important 

Since the beginning of the project in 2002, 6 major versions of Dspace is released. The newest major version 7 released on August 2021. This last version is the most comprehensive among all the previous ones. Version 7 has been developed for 5 years. It has more code revisions that all the total of all previous versions. It is a leap on both functional and technical perspective. Let’s have a look at 3 major new concepts in the last version.  


Configurable Entities

A content in Dspace is composed of 2 major data types. First the original electronic document/documents itself. Second is the metadata describing various information about the content. Each metadata is unique and until the last version, it was not possible to define a relation between metadata. For example, think that metatada1 keeps the university information and metadata2 keeps the faculty information that the content belongs to. Because the relation between the university and the faculty was not definable, both two information must be defined on all contents. When you have a thousand content, than that means two metadata for all of them is needed to be defined. 

Version 7 has Configurable Entities structure. Now we are able to define the relationship between University and Faculties. This way, there is no need to define university metadata to any content. If you set faculty metadata for a content, then the system knows which university it belongs to. This makes management and maintenance of metadata in an efficient way.


What Practical Problems will be solved by Configurable Entities

Scientific contents have a lot of relational metadata. For example, the journal that the content is published is a group of metadata set. It includes the publisher name, journal title, journal volume, journal issue, etc. Prior to version 7, all of these metadata were independent and unaware of each other. 

Another main problem was about the authors. Prior to version 7, all authors names were defined as metadata. But the authors have a lot more information. Their identification numbers, organizational roles, and even their names were subject to change. If you were defining all this information as independent metadata, that was really hard to unify, maintain and modify.

Dspace 7’s Configurable Entity system is presented to solve all this kind of problems. You can even have an author page (because it is an entity) and show all related info on that page. It will be just as easy to create a link or a relationship between any content with an author. 


Interface Improvements

Dspace has two different UI facets (JSP and XML) until version 7. They had different functionalities and it was hard to maintain and develop both. Dspace 7 has a new Angular based UI. It combines previous UIs and it is having the advantages of a modern interface. 


REST Services

Older versions of Dspace have a limited API functionality. You cannot access all functions that are being used in the system. Dspace 7 is built upon a new web services architecture. It serves its functions to its own UI with a server software. And any other software can access the system using this API. What does it mean to end users? Anything that is possible on Dspace can be done using external software. This gives the Dspace community a flourishing ground. 

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Who is Selensoft and What We Do

Selensoft is founded at 2012. Our main focus is supporting successful Open Source Projects. We provide projects and professional services. We are providing Dspace services since 2015