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DepositMO and the future of SWORD

This post explores the relationship between the SWORDv2 project and the DepositMO project, and how they have influenced each other.

SWORDv2 officially began in late 2010, and DepositMO started at around the same time, alongside a number of other JISC deposit related projects including DURA and RePosit. When SWORDv2 set up the Technical Advisory Panel in early 2011, representatives from these projects were invited to join to share their deposit scenarios and technical expertise. Of the 3 projects, DepositMO was by far the most closely aligned to the goals of SWORDv2 and also the most technical project.

The SWORDv2 mission was to support the full range of CRUD (Create, Retrieve (Read), Update, Delete) operations for scholarly systems, and to maintain the use-cases which had driven SWORDv1, including mediated deposit and most importantly of all Packaging. DepositMO, meanwhile, was focussing on desktop-to-repository deposit and two-way synchronisation.

This meant that DepositMO would need to take full advantage of the CRUD protocol operations offered by SWORD, although both mediated deposit and packaging were not so relevant. The project would therefore be a valuable resource for a number of critical aspects of SWORDv2:

  • A sounding board for core profile developments: DepositMO had a vested interest in the CRUD protocol operations and had explicitly no interest in the packaging aspects. This meant that the protocol operations would go through thorough review while the need for every packaging related concept would be questioned as to its necessity. As such, the SWORDv2 profile received extensive and sustained review throughout the project which has hardened it against many counter-arguments.
  • A testing base for software development: DepositMO is being implemented against DSpace and EPrints, as is SWORDv2. Since it was clear from the outset that DepositMO is providing some extensions to SWORDv2, the majority of the codebase for both systems is the same. Extensions to SWORDv2 have been developed for both repositories by the project though. This means that not only has the core software been through some important testing, but its capacity to be extended has also been examined.
  • Representation of a critical use case: the desktop-to-repository use case is one of the most under-developed in our community, so it was very interesting to have a project focussing on it to represent that use case throughout discussions. With services such as Dropbox and Ubuntu-One becoming common, the deposit applications developed by DepositMO will no doubt be an important demonstrator as to the way academics will interact with repositories in the future.

In addition to the base operations provided by SWORDv2, the DepositMO project has also specified the following extensions:

  • That Collections be able to list their content items which belong to the authenticated user.
  • That individual files behave RESTfully and in line with the rest of the SWORDv2 specification. This means that replace and delete operations can be carried out on the individual files in an object.

The SWORDv2 project therefore considers it to be a realistic possibility that a SWORD 2.1 specification may be produced in the future incorporating the DepositMO extensions in addition to any suitable extensions from other projects using the protocol.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. This week at the cottage – 29th September 2011 | cottage labs linked to this post on February 5, 2012

    […] (no link available yet) – and has been publishing information about DepositMO (DepositMO and the future of SWORD). He has also finished the first draft of a generic content negotiation module in Python to be used […]

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