Make it so…

Earlier this morning we turned off the web servers and began the process of releasing the latest version of Open Repository to our production and pilot sites. The initial version number of this release was 1.4.1 since it was originally based upon DSpace 1.4.1. However, we have also installed all the key components of DSpace 1.4.2 and many of the key components of the forthcoming DSpace 1.5, and so to more accurately represent what is now offered this release will be OR version 1.4.9. But enough of the numbers.

This release rounds off a year in which we have made a number of significant changes to the service. From migrating to a new database, allowing us to display any language in both the metadata and interface, to upgrading our web servers to open source Debian Linux boxes, we have focused on successfully improving the stability and robustness of the service.

So it’s extremely satisfying to have released the most ambitious and advanced version of Open Repository yet.  Not just for the list of features now available but also ‘under the hood’ where we have made many significant changes to boost efficiency and performance and to allow us to continue to work closely with DSpace for the benefit of all.

But let’s face it, it’s the features on offer that everyone is most interested in. So here’s a fairly exhaustive list of what’s new:

For users:

  • Improved interface throughout, with particular attention to the My Repository page, researcher pages and the community and collection home pages.
  • Registered users now greeted by name rather than e-mail.
  • Top-level communities are now listed in the left hand menu bar rather than the homepage and so are available throughout the interface.
  • The five most recent additions to the repository are now displayed on the homepage.
  • RSS feeds at repository, community or collection level.
  • Improved browse functionality with additional ordering and sorting options.
  • Browse menus will omit indefinite articles, in any language, from the ordering, based upon a language value set during submission.
  • Researcher pages are now viewed through a unique browse menu making them easier to find.
  • Additional document conversion options available, with Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents able to be converted to PDF or text files.
  • Recommend an item to a friend option.
  • Subject keywords in the item view now link to the browse subjects page.
  • Journal name and MeSH terms are now automatically added by the PubMed pre-fill.
  • Author names and subject terms on the item view page now link to the respective browse menus.

For administrators:

  • Choice of options for the listed browse menus and for the columns used for the browse results display.
  • Choice of options for which fields are used in the submission form.
  • A configurable submission form itself so that existing pages can be re-ordered or new pages developed.
  • Administrators can browse a list of withdrawn items, from which they can be deleted or re-instated.
  • Links to local resources can be added to the home page by an administrator.
  • Administrators can now edit their own default submission licence.
  • Groups can be added to groups for easier maintenance.
  • Google Analytics accounts for in-depth analysis of repository usage and traffic.
  • Journal name and MeSh terms are new fields available for the submission form, as well as search and browse options.
  • Journal name and MeSH terms are now automatically added by OA Datafeeds.
  • Item names now appear in the browser title.
  • Branded previews of images (from the item view page) can be enabled on request.
  • Creative Commons licences for items can be edited by administrators.
  • Language toggle for the interface, with language setting option defined by registered users.
  • Support for alternative metadata schemas.
  • Controlled vocabulary subject pick lists.

Please note that some of these features will only be available to silver edition customers. 

For the technically minded amongst you, Open Repository runs on open source Debian Linux 4 servers running Apache 2.2 on Tomcat 5.5. The database is Unicode enabled Oracle 10Gr2. 

My thanks go out to all those who have toiled, all those who have supported and all those who have waited so patiently for this day to come.

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