Customer surveys and what happens next; a post in two parts – part 2


So here’s part 2 of this post I began on Wednesday. This round I wanted to take a look at what we
have planned next for Open Repository.  We’ve taken all the feedback regarding potential new features gathered through the
user surveys and combined it with a list of all the requests and suggestions that
have come through from the customers. Without adding any weighting to each suggestion, the combined list (randomly ordered) looks something like this:

  • re-arrange the hierarchy (e.g. move content between
    collections or collections between communities).
  • add date limiters to advanced search.
  • export metadata into citation management software such as EndNote, RefMan etc.
  • import citation management software files (EndNote, RefMan etc) into repository, pre-filling metadata fields on import.
  • display links to local sites or resources on home page.
  • display most downloaded articles on homepage.
  • display most recent additions on home page.
  • improved action validation and messaging on admin site.
  • import content from local databases.
  • display list of communities and collections in any desired order.
  • display random or chosen highlighted article of the month.
  • add MeSH terms to submission form fields and to the PubMed pre-fill and OA datafeeds.
  • switch between different language displays of the interface.
  • distinguish internal authors from others.
  • add thesauri or controlled vocabulary for keywords on submission form.
  • add RAE API for UK repositories
  • allow users to create submission rights at registration.
  • create ‘dark archives’ or hidden collections.
  • add Journal to submission form fields and to the PubMed pre-fill and OA datafeeds.
  • choose which columns are displayed for search / browse results
  • item embargo periods
  • create links between metadata fields (e.g. all author names would link to the author browse results).
  • restrict registration to internal members.
  • integrate the SHERPA Romeo API to the submission form.
  • improve messaging on the submission form.
  • allow local blog feeds to be displayed on the home page.
  • allow submission to multiple collections at same time.
  • more defined statistics reporting, especially at community and collection levels.
  • edit items in the same style as the submission form.
  • allow authors and / or submitters to edit their own items.
  • order items within the workspace by date submitted.
  • automatically populate researcher pages when new content is added.
  • enable auto-login.
  • allow browser back buttons to be used in the admin system.
  • allow collection editors to edit items.
  • check for duplicated content during submission.
  • allow admins to add content to researcher pages.
  • enable browsing of researcher pages
  • make the fields displayed in researcher pages customizable.
  • make the submission form fields customizable.
  • create customized page layouts.
  • allow choice of  browse menus to be displayed.
  • allow choice of metadata fields searched on.
  • enable lists of institutional users to be uploaded directly into the
  • create additional pre-fill options (e.g. PubMed Central or arXiv).
  • automatically extract metadata from uploaded documents to pre-fill
    submission form.
  • enable handling of E-theses.
  • display download statistics against each item.
  • add additional email alert / RSS options (subject, author, journal
  • add a ‘request a researcher page’ button
  • render (display) XML files as HTML
  • version control for content
  • LDAP authentication

That’s a tough list by any standards, especially with so many good ideas up there. The good news is that those items in blue will be included in the 1.4.1 release.

In order to choose which items would go on to the development list for the remainder of 2007 and into the early stages of 2008 we took a number of factors into consideration.  We took the most requested features from the surveys and the most requested features from the feature requests that have been sent in to form a list of the 9 most desirable things to work on:

  • exporting metadata to and importing metadata from citation management software (EndNote, RefMan etc)
  • item download statistics
  • item embargoes
  • limit advanced search by date
  • link metadata to browse menus
  • LDAP authentication
  • moving the hierarchy
  • customizable interface
  • saved searches

That list was then whittled down to 4 items that could be completed within the next three to four months. In editing this list further we looked at: what work is being done in DSpace (so as not to duplicate effort), what could usefully be contributed back to the DSpace code, what features other repository software solutions have but we don’t, and what features could be completed without tying up all our development resources for months on end as well as what best fitted the service overall benefiting as many customers as possible.

And the winners are:

  • exporting metadata to and importing metadata from citation management software (EndNote, RefMan etc)
  • LDAP authentication
  • item embargoes
  • item download statistics

I hope there won’t be too much dissension with our decision. Once we’re clear of 1.4.1 and gathered the feedback from the release we’ll resend this list and ask for further comment so we can plan a more comprehensive roadmap for 2008 to fit around the release of DSpace’s customizable interface project, Manakin.


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