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#OAWeek2023: Infrastructure for Openness

Open infrastructure for Open Access

The University Library (TUB) has been committed to the ideals of Open Access for years. Since 2003, the TUB has provided a repository for Open Access publications for the TUHH. Dissertations and reports from the TUHH are published here, but so are journal articles in Green Access (manuscript version), which are otherwise behind a pay barrier. The sustainable operation of this service is part of the challenge to provide a sustainable infrastructure to support Open Science.

An important step for the TUHH on the way to more openness was the Hamburg Open Science (HOS) project, which ran from 2018 to 2020. Here, on the one hand, a repository for research data was established and, on the other hand, a software solution for research information was evaluated: Can a further developed open source product be an alternative to the well-known commercial software of Pure from Elsevier? The answer from TUHH’s perspective was a resounding yes. At the beginning of 2019, the existing open access repository ‘tub.dok’ was renamed “TUHH Open Research (TORE)” and expanded to include a repository for research data and functionalities of a research information system.

TUHH Open Research Logo

The open source software DSpace is used in more than 2,000 repositories worldwide and can also be used as a research information system through a CRIS extension. The integration of the service offerings in a technical system based on DSpace-CRIS is the responsibility of the University Library in cooperation with the TUHH Computer Center in terms of development and operation. The long-term storage of the University of Hamburg is used for the storage of the files.

DSpace Logo
DSpace-CRIS

Sustainability

An important decision criterion was: Is DSpace or DSpace-CRIS sustainable and future-proof?
While the use of open source software is free of charge, the further development usually is not. Just as with commercial software, programming and software coordination must be ensured. Only with the decisive difference that there is no manufacturer who takes over the following tasks and finances them with purchase or license contracts.

  • Coordination of software development and release management by a technical lead
  • Documentation
  • Provide technical infrastructure for globally distributed collaboration: including servers for test and demo installations, video conferencing and chat systems, a ticketing system for software development, and a wiki for DSpace documentation
  • Community building: support and coordination of committees and interest groups
  • Marketing: website,promotional materials, conference presentations

The community should therefore be supported with a good structure for further development and financing. This is given for us at DSpace.

The Governance

The organization of the DSpace community is defined by a governance structure and is supported by paying Program Members. It is also anchored in a foundation (Lyrasis), which can act legally, e.g. to conclude contracts.

Darstellung der DSpace-Governance

The DSpace Konsortium Germany

The governance was very much focused on North America by the members.German DSpace users therefore wanted to make it more international. TU-Berlin therefore initiated a consortium in Germany in 2018, which collects membership fees for DSpace and thereby receives guaranteed voting rights in the Leadership Group. Meanwhile, 40 research institutions from Germany are members of the consortium. And the consortium has become a successful model for the further development of DSpace.

The University Library is a founding member of the DSpace Consortium Germany. As spokesperson for the consortium, the library director currently represents the consortium in the international DSpace Leadership Group. This ensures that the interests of German users are represented within the developer community, which also builds on the concrete development experience of the TUHH. Germany-wide coordination takes place, among other things, within the framework of “practice meetings”.

For further reading::
Rajski, Beate, und Pascal-Nicolas Becker. DSpace-Konsortium Deutschland — konsortial die Nachhaltigkeit sichern. LIBREAS. Library Ideas, 36 (2019), https://doi.org/10.15480/882.2643

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