Installing DSpace from a command-line on CentOS 6

Having evaluated possible data management solutions and selected DSpace as our solution, we need to allow some users to examine DSpace and consider how it will fit in with their workflow. The initial evaluation took place on a desktop PC with the data management server running as a virtual machine. In order to allow further evaluation we have now set up a “proper" server environment to test DSpace – this server has a command-line interface and no GUI, requiring a more “managed" approach to setting up the system.

Warning: this is a technical post, which is offered in the hope that it may be of assistance to anyone else installing DSpace.

On writing Data Management Plans and policies

An essential objective of our project is to produce a Data Management Plan (DMP) for C4DM. This goal is described in "Deliverable 4.1: Data management plan":

"A data management plan for C4DM will be developed, detailing issues such as the responsibilities of researchers and managers, conventions for specifying ownership and access rights, means of protection of personal data, version control and quality control".

Having worked on a draft document for a few days, it seems now the right time to make some considerations and perhaps receive feedback from more experienced people in the field.

Online survey

In our quest to better understand how our colleagues manage their research data, and how to best customise our Data Management System (based on DSpace) to suit their needs, we started out by organising face to face interviews (see here, here, and here). Unfortunately, interviews are a very time-consuming activity, and because of conferences, lectures, holidays etc., it is very difficult to find suitable times for everyone to meet. For this reason, we decided to use an online survey, created on We kept the survey short (it takes around 10 minutes to complete) to encourage people to respond.

And the winning platform is...

This is a follow up to one of the first blog posts about pros and cons of several Data Management systems. Before Christmas, Steve worked hard to complete the installation of the few software packages we wanted to test: Fedora Commons with the Islandora Drupal module, DataVerse, and DSpace. We were also hoping to obtain a demo version of DataFlow to test along with the other packages: we met the DataFlow team in Nottingham and they were planning to release some Debian packages by the end of the year, but that revealed to be more difficult than expected. Currently, the guys in Oxford are planning to send us a virtual machine image by the end of January.

Poster at DMRN+6 Workshop (20 Dec 2011, Queen Mary, University of London)

Next Tuesday (20 December) we will present a poster describing our project at the DMRN+6 Workshop, organised by C4DM at Queen Mary University. See our poster by clicking here. The Digital Music Researh Network (DMRN) aims to promote research in the area of Digital Music, by bringing together researchers from UK universities and industry in electronic engineering, computer science, and music. This one-day workshop is an ideal opportunity for networking with other people working in the area.

Blog policies

Following Brian Kelly's suggestion during the tutorial "Blogging Practices To Support Project Work" at the Managing Research Data programme launch event (see this post), we added a page with our blog's policies.

JISC Managing Research Data programme launch - Day 2

I summarised the most interesting points raised on the first day of the JISC Managing Research Data programme launch event in a previous post. I will continue here with the second day. First, we tried to identify the benefits our project is likely going to produce in a group exercise. Then, we had a chance to split up into smaller groups for more specific discussions about different areas of interest.

JISC Managing Research Data programme launch - Day 1

On December 1-2, 2011 the launch workshop for the JISC Managing Research Data programme 2011-2013 took place at the National College for School Leadership, in the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus. All projects were invited to the event with two delegates. Chris Cannam and myself participated to the event, which has been a good opportunity to meet people from other projects (mainly DataFlow) with longer experience in data management.

Summary of the first block of interviews - part 2

Our third interview was with Dan Stowell, a postdoc researcher who completed his PhD at C4DM last year. Dan's interests are very wide, ranging from bird songs to automatic music analysis and generation. He is also the main contributor to the C4DM internal datasets server, and appears to be the only one creating readme.txt files that describe the datasets.

Summary of the first block of interviews - part 1

Last week, following our plans to survey the data assets of C4DM, we started interviewing our colleagues. Before meeting them in person, we sent them the pre-interview questionnaire. Someone sent us back his answers, which we then discussed during the interview. From the interviews, we found out that there are public datasets published in locations we didn't know about. We also got valuable suggestions regarding the features people would like to have in the data management system we will try to build, and how it would be included in their workflow. Two interviews are summarised here, more will follow.

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