The Catmandu / LibreCat Project: A Development Strategy for Repositories
Institutional repositories have traditionally been thought of as integrated systems with cataloging workflows, file management, user management and a powerful search engine front-end for end-users.
This integration provides one common look and feel, but system implementers often ended up with monolithic systems capable only of very specialized tasks. Libraries often find themselves creating and installing separate cataloging projects with some of the same workflows as institutional repositories, but with different end results.
As an example: Lund University has a publication-publishing platform providing an open access repository to researchers. Within the same environment, they need to manage students' papers with different data input concerns. Each of these systems has its own notion of cataloging of publication metadata, providing a search interface and providing record import and export. They differ in user base, metadata storage, indexing and editing rules.
At Ghent University, the management of scanned books, images and data sets require the same metadata and file upload concerns as for the institutional repository, but the databases differ in preservation workflows, access and user management.
In 2010 Bielefeld, Lund and Ghent University made the decision to step into a joint development project to provide common toolsets for building next generation repository applications. Our goal is to provide a class of library-centric services that go beyond low-level services such as: importing for several sources, data transformation, indexes, lookup lists, interlinking, open data and long term preservation.
Bielefeld University Library - last update: 21/02/2012