SMDMRD

Sustainable Management Of Digital Music Research Data

Final tutorial

The SMDMRD project officially ended on the 31st of May. Last week, we managed to deploy C4DM's live repository, which can be found at http://c4dm.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/rdr/xmlui. Policies are also being reviewed and will be approved and published shortly. We decided to organise a brief tutorial for staff and students at C4DM to introduce the basics of data management and to walk them through a submission to our DSpace repository.

Connecting DataFlow-DataStage and DSpace

One of the goals we set for our project's two-months extension was to explore the use of DataFlow's DataStage in combination with DSpace (see this post). Now that a beta version of DataStage has been released, and the SWORD2 support has been implemented, we gave it a try and, with some tweaks, we managed to publish a dataset from DataStage on DSpace. This is a short account of the steps and tweaks involved.

DSpace customisation: Item View and Help

The results of our first user testing phase pointed out a number of problems with our DSpace installation. Among them, the way files in datasets are visualised and managed in the repository, and the very little documentation available have been addressed and are described in this blog post.

SWORD submission tools for DSpace

This is a follow-up post to our previous considerations about multi-file submissions to DSpace using the SWORD standard protocol. After getting in touch with the SWORD developers through the sword-app-tech mailing list, we managed to create a command-line tool that allows us to easily submit large numbers of files to DSpace. Furthermore, we added basic support for BagIt packages to the dspace-swordv2 server.

JISCMRD Workshop: "Meeting (Disciplinary) Challenges in Research Data Management Planning"

As our project came officially to an end on 31 March (although we will continue until the end of May on an unfunded extension), we participated, together with the other projects in our strand, to the JISCMRD Workshop: "Meeting (Disciplinary) Challenges in Research Data Management Planning". The workshop was designed to allow projects to share their final findings and experiences with other projects and with JISC. The workshop, which took place on 23 March at Etc Venues Paddington, has been a very good occasion to better understand what similar projects have been working on in the past 6 months. Although projects shared their developments on their respective blogs, listening to a summary presentation of the results has been extremely useful to identify similarities between other projects and ours that we might have previously missed. In fact, I realised that some of the observations I made in a previous post on our approach to RDM also apply to other projects as well.

DSpace access control: public and private data

One of the required features of the data management system for C4DM is the possibility to hide certain datasets from public access (for copyright or other reasons), but leave them accessible to C4DM staff. This was shown in the schematic overview in Figure 1 in the post about the online user survey. In the following post, I will discuss a few possible solutions.

Authenticating DSpace Users

The DSpace documentation lists several options for authenticating users: basic password access; Shibboleth; LDAP; IP Address; and X509. These can be combined in an authentication “stack” in which a set of authentication options are tried until one succeeds.

Our authentication stack allows four levels of access:

  • anonymous – users who don't log in to the system, but can browse the communities and collections and download any publicly available data on the system;
  • eecs – users from the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) users can log in with their EECS credentials for access to a wider range of data;
  • users added by administrators – this allows external users (e.g. research collaborators) additional rights within the repository;
  • administrators – to set up communities and collections and to manage users when required.

In addition, users on the QMUL network are automatically placed in a “QMUL” group in DSpace based on their IP address. This allows “intranet” type material to be controlled in the system.

DSpace test repository: first user feedback

One of the main goals of our project is to test a pilot dataset repository for the Centre for Digital Music (C4DM). After surveying the user requirements and selecting DSpace out of several software options, we installed it, and started customising it. Once we felt the system was ready for some user testing, we selected five "power users" from those who were interviewed or answered the online questionnaire and that have some datasets ready to be published, and asked them to submit their data. Of the five users, three (A, B, and C) gave us detailed feedback until now.

A bottom-up approach to research data management

During the past five and a half months we went from being completely unaware of data management and data curation, to having a draft data management policies document and a test data repository for the Centre for Digital Music. I had the impression, while participating in the programme launch at the beginning of December, that our project was a bit of an outsider, compared to other teams which clearly had a much longer experience in the field. This, I think, allowed us to have a slightly different point of view on the subject.

DSpace: metadata schemas and data submission

During the past month we have been busy customising DSpace to suit the publication needs of the Centre for Digital Music. In this post, I will talk about our approach to dataset descriptive metadata and the online submission process.

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