Interoperability in repositories: AgriOcean DSpace enhancements.

Open repositories are established for different reasons; one common objective is to make an institution’s research output visible online. This is often achieved through interoperability - the ability of systems to work together (inter-operate) to allow for information exchange.(IEEE,1990). In most cases, the visibility of a repository contents is measured by the number of external links they receive and whether their resources are discoverable.

The following interventions have been employed by repository managers to achieve interoperability ; (i) adhering to widely used international standards for metadata ( i.e AGRIS AP, or Qualified Dublin Core, etc) and information exchange (OAI-PMH ) (ii) stable Urls for the repository (iii) use rich files (iv) use of semantic friendly ontologies and vocabularies (v) use of persistent identifiers for resources (URIs documents and Ids authors)  (vi) interlinking repository resources (vii) ensuring that repositories are harvestable by other service providers and search engines (viii) exposes their records in OAI PMH or other accepted protocol,the list is not exhaustive.

This brief shows the interventions made to AgriOcean DSpace software in making it more interoperable than simple DSpace installation, and also suitable for exposing and sharing agricultural information.

AgriOcean DSpace enhancements

  • Metadata Standards – AOD accommodates MARC, MARC XML, MODS, and MARC 21, (for example click here) AOD also accommodates AGRIS AP and VOA3R. In this way, AOD attempts to solve the problem of granularity of metadata.
  • Authority Control – AOD achieves this control in a number of ways, through use of ontologies, AGRIS journal titles control, and unique identifiers. (1)Use of Ontologies -  an ontology is a structural representation of knowledge as a set of concept in a domain, and shows the relationships between concepts. In AOD, each application comes with ability to index with AGROVOC and ASFA thesaurus. Ontologies  expressed in SKOS and published as Linked Open Data provide a Url for each concepts making them desirable in indexing documents online. (2) The Ontology plug-in tool allow also for the inclusion of other ontologies and controlled vocabularies outside the agricultural domain in AgriOcean DSpace, kindly listen to this recording.

  • Exchange standards – In repositories the following standards are normally used i)Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), ii) Open Archives Initiatives Object Reuse and Exchange  (OAI-ORE), iii) Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit (SWORD) for alternative submission to multiple repositories. AgriOcean DSpace is OAI-PMH compliant and exposes its metadata in rich formats. Each installation can be harvested by OceanDocs, AGRIS repository and VOA3R, further more OceanDocs repository is harvested by OAIster and previously by Avano.

To test the AgriOcean DSpace application go to test environment

To learn more about AgriOcean DSpace visit