An innovative application for repositories: DSpace as a conference management repository
Last modified: October 11, 2007
This presentation outlines why and how @MIRE transformed the DSpace platform to create a hosted conference management repository service. It is our intention to present this innovative use of DSpace to the developer and user community in order to gather feedback and to stir up the discussion about architectural issues involved in transforming the DSpace application profile in such a drastic way. And of course it also our intention to increase visibility of the hosted service.
First of all we would like to elaborate on the idea of using a repository as an underlying base for a general web application with a large focus on storing, retrieving, describing, preserving, … various types of content. When we look at the DSpace community members, we mainly see academic or research oriented institutions that use DSpace as an archive for content with long-term "academic" value (research archive, digital museum, …). But the DSpace repository platform can actually be reused as a repository component for many other types of applications such as the conference management repository in question.
@MIRE has chosen DSpace as the starting point for the development of an hosted conference management repository, and would like to elaborate on which requirements for this application profile were already met by DSpace and which it didn't salvage. First of all the DSpace communities and collections hierarchy allows for a means of structuring different conferences and their content. Furthermore the DSpace platform also offers a workflow on a per collection basis for reviewing submitted items, which can be reused to support a more elaborate call-for-papers type workflow. Also DSpace's search & browse functionality can be "scoped" in a very flexible way to suit the requirements for a per conference browse & search. Furthermore the ability to create and manage individual "homepages" for each community and collection allows for conference organizers to easily manage their informational web content. Other core features such as user management, authentication, authorization, metadata, … are also meaningful in a conference management repository context.
For the requirements that an out-of-the-box DSpace didn't already met, we will present how @MIRE has fulfilled them and whether or not they could be useful additions to the DSpace codebase. One of the features that can be of general use is the capability of dynamically adding metadata to any DSpace object such as an EPerson, a Collection, … by defining a metadata schema per DSpace object type. Other features such as conference registration, registration form creation, program scheduling, … are on the other hand specific to a conference management system and therefore don't belong in the DSpace codebase. Of course a demonstration of the "tog@ther" conference management repository interface and a high-level technical explanation will be presented. And to conclude @MIRE will officially launch the hosted "tog@ther" repository, which will by then include hosting for approximately five selected beta conferences.