Islandoracon 2019

Islandoracon is coming back! The third iteration of our conference will be held October 7 - 11th, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The main conference will be hosted by Islandora Foundation Partner Simon Fraser University, at their downtown location in Harbour Centre. Stayed tuned to this blog and our listserv for updates about registration, a Call for Proposals, and more.

Photo credit: Magnus Larsson

Islandora Camp in Dübendorf!

The Islandora Foundation is very pelased to announce our first event of 2019: Islandora Camp Switzerland, taking place June 17 - 19 in Dübendorf, Switzlerand. We are partnering with Islandora Foundation member Lib4RI to hold the camp at Eawag. While we won't be anouncing the full schedule until some time next year, we expect to follow the usual camp schedule of:

  • Day One: General and introductory sessions about the software and the community that uses and supports it
  • Day Two: Hand-on workshop training with tracks for Developers and front-end Administrative users, featuring both Islandora 7.x and Islandora CLAW
  • Day Three: Sessions on specific sites, tools, and topics of interest to Islandora users

The camp will kick off on the Monday directly following Open Repositories 2019, taking place in Hamburg, Germany, so if you're heading to OR, why not hang around for a weekend of sightseeing and join us as well?

Looking for Islandora events in North America? Stay tuned for dates and locations for Islandoracon. 

 

 

Open for Revew - Technical Roadmap

At our last Annual General Meeting, a list of strategic goals were approved by our membership. In order to fulfill:

Create a roadmap for the future of the Islandora platform, including tools and strategies for migration

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG for short) has been working on a prioritized list of upcoming features and improvements for Islandora CLAW to help guide its development. We're aiming to release Islandora CLAW (and drop the CLAW codename) after 7.x-1.12 is released. Once that happens, this roadmap will be used to set sprint goals and other development priorities. We're opening up the roadmap to review by the entire community, and are asking for your feedback. You can leave comments either in this google doc or in the individual Github issues. We've also ranked these issues using a Github project.

Priority was agreed upon following the general rule of providing "must-have" features before migration. In other words, features which, if missing, would prevent someone from adopting the software should receive higher priority. Documentation and examples involving migrations ranked first, with multi-site support following up second. Also on the list are features built around the Fedora API specification, UI/UX improvements, new derivatives, and a lot more.

If there's anything you think is missing that's high priority, feel free to leave a suggestion in the google doc, or create an issue on Github and give it the Roadmap label. This is your chance to help shape the development of the project, so if you really need something before migrating in, this is a good opportunity to have your voice heard. After this review, the finalized list of features will be presented to the Board of Directors for approval. Once approved, the roadmap will be prominently displayed on our web site to help give people a sense of the direction of the software.

7.x-1.12: Roll initiative, for the RELEASE has arisen once again!

Hail, Islandorans! Heed the call to adventure!
 
As the brutal heat of the summer begins to fade, you find yourselves in a tavern, surrounded by the chatter of other Islandorans discussing Solr configs, new collections, and boasting about giant bugs bravely squashed. Suddenly, a dark shadow falls across the land. An imposing figure looms over the horizon: the dreaded Release has arisen again! Noble adventurers, are you brave enough to join forces and banish this ancient evil once and for all (or at least until the next release)?
 
Brandon Weigel and Bryan Brown, your trusted RMs (Release Managers), are preparing the ultimate open source campaign to test the mettle of even veteran release volunteers. There are plenty of open seats left at our table, and the party needs YOU to survive! Please choose from one of the following classes (multiclassing strongly encouraged):
  • Component manager
  • Tester
  • Auditor
  • Documentor
Last but not least, take a look at the tavern's jobs board to see what kinds of quests are still available. Remember, completing more quests gets you more experience points, and g̶o̶l̶d̶ kudos from your grateful community, so grab your sword and shield (or mouse and keyboard) and set a course for adventure!
 
With this announcement, the Islandora 7.x-1.12 campaign has officially begun. We plan to paralyze our foe in a Cone of C̶o̶l̶d̶Code Freeze on October 19. From there we battle its evil army of bugs, and finally send it to the shadow realm on November 30 - although experience has taught us that evils such as this are rarely beholden to mortal timetables…
 
So make haste, brave heroes! Step up, fill out your quest log, and join the 7.x-1.12 Release Team!
 
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7.x to CLAW Migration Sprint - Complete!

The Islandora community has just wrapped up a very successful sprint dedicated to migrating from 7.x to Islandora CLAW. We at the Islandora Foundation want to give a big thanks to everyone who put in time during this sprint, as well as the organizations who lent us their talent on the company dime. We also want to give a special shout out to the Metadata Interest Group, who collectively put in a ton of time and tackled some intense questions for those who want to use a migration to Islandora CLAW as a chance to do metadata cleanup. During the course of two weeks, we managed to accomplish a lot. As of right now you can:
  1. Migrate over objects based on content type
  2. Migrate ALL the datastreams (except AUDIT, which is a special case)
  3. Extract metadata from any XML datastream and make it a Drupal field
  4. Model authorities such as people, organizations, and subjects
  5. Convert MODS to CSV using Cara Key's (LSU) XML2CSV tool
There's still some work left to do, though. On the horizon for the near term, be on the look out for:
  1. Migrating the AUDIT datastream
  2. Modeling more/different types of authorities
  3. Examples of extracting authorities from FOXML
  4. A workflow for those who want to use OpenRefine to reconcile linked data authorities during the migration process
Moving forward, this is an excellent chance for people to try out the tools we're developing and point them at their existing repositories. Our migration tool, originally developed by Jared Whiklo (University of Manitoba), is available on Github. And if you want to give modeling authorities a go, check out our new controlled_access_terms module, which was made by Seth Shaw (University of Nevada Las Vegas). If anyone has feedback/issues/questions, please feel free to create an issue or post a message on the mailing list. Here's a full list of all the people and organizations who helped make this once-considered-impossible feat a reality:
  • Benjamin Rosner - Barnard Collge, CU
  • Pat Dunlavey - Born-Digital
  • Andrija Sagic - Library "Milutin Bojic"
  • Ann McShane - Library Company of Philadelphia
  • Cara Key - Louisiana State University
  • Jason Peak - Louisiana State University
  • Jonathan Green - LYRASIS
  • Rachel Leach - Mount Holyoke College
  • Mark Jordan - Simon Fraser University
  • Adam Soroka - Smithsonian Institution
  • Rachel Tillay - Tulane University
  • Pete Clarke - University College Dublin
  • Jared Whiklo - University of Manitoba
  • Mike Bolam - University of Pittsburgh
  • Seth Shaw - University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • Paul Pound - University of Prince Edward Island
  • Rosie Le Faive - University of Prince Edward Island
  • Nat Kanthan - University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Marcus Barnes - University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Carolyn Moritz - Vassar College
Thanks to everyone involved! And if you missed out on this sprint, don't fret. We'll be holding another Islandora CLAW community sprint later this year after Islandora 7.x-1.12 is released.

iCampCA Instructors Announced

Islandora Camp is going to be in San Diego, CA from November 7 to 9th. We'll be holding our standard three day camp, with two days of sessions and one day of hands-on training from experienced Islandora instructors. You can register for the camp and find out more here. Both workshop tracks will contain content exploring Islandora's next major version, which pairs Drupal 8 and Fedora 4, alongside more traditional training in the current release with Drupal 7 and Fedora 3. We are very pleased to announce that the instructors for our training workshop will be:
 

Admin Track

Melissa Anez has been working with Islandora since 2012 and has been the Community and Project Manager of the Islandora Foundation since it was founded in 2013. She has been a frequent instructor in the Admin Track and developed much of the curriculum, refining it with each new Camp. Lately she has been expanding the iCamp workshop to cover new ground with Islandora CLAW.

Katie Romabiles began working with Islandora in 2017 when she took on the new position of Institutional Repository Specialist for San Diego State University. Since then, she has helped with the migration of the university's IR from DSpace to Islandora and has developed new repository collections in collaboration with SDSU faculty and staff. She attended iCampEU in 2018, and is excited to give back to the Islandora community by acting as host and support instructor for iCampCA.

 

Developer Track

Jared Whiklo began working with Islandora in 2012. After stumbling and learning for a year, he began to give back to the community in late 2013. He has since assisted in both Islandora and Fedora releases and (to his own disbelief) has become an Islandora 7.x-1.x, Islandora CLAW, and Fedora committer. His day job is Developer with Digital Initiatives at the University of Manitoba Libraries. His night job is at the Kwik-E-Mart.
 
Mark Jordan has taught at three other Islandora Camps and at the Islandora Conference. He is the developer of numerous custom Islandora modules, including Islandora Context, Islandora Themekey, Islandora Datastream CRUD, and the XML Solution Pack. Mark is also one of the co-developers of the the Move to Islandora Kit. He is also an Islandora committer and is currently serving as Chair of the Islandora Foundation Board of Directors. His day job is as Head of Library Systems at Simon Fraser University.

Islandora 250

The Islandora Installations list has hit 250* known sites! Let's have a look at some of the more interesting examples that brought us to this milestone:

California Revealed

California Revealed is a State Library initiative to help California’s public libraries, in partnership with other local heritage groups, digitize, preserve, and serve online historically significant Californiana (e.g., books, documents, audiovisual recordings).

Colleges Object Repository (CORe)

This eight-instutiton multi-site is a collaborative initiative aimed at creating access to unique digital content by Ontario colleges.

Frederick Douglass Papers

Managed by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), the Frederick Douglass Papers collects, edits, and publishes in books and online the speeches, letters, autobiographies, and other writings of abolitionist, statesan, and renowned orator Frederick Douglass.

Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD)

Part of the CAUL-CBUA Atlantic Islandora Repository Network (CAIRN) multi-site, this repository features items of importance to the history of NSCAD University, including a collection of digitized scrapbooks containing NSCAD memorabilia dating back to 1921, a collection of books authored by past principal Elizabeth Styring Nutt, a digitized audio archive of lectures, performances, and sound art, and a collection of digital theses by MFA, MDes, and MA graduates dating from 1975 to present.

San Diego State University

The host of our next Islandora Camp digital collections, SDSU's Islandora repository covers theses, syllabi, and other materials produced by students, faculty, and staff.

 

Is your site on our list? Drop us a line to be added or updated.

* Yep, it's actually 254. Just like last time, the list grows  faster than the blog updates

Islandora and the COAR Next Generation Repositories Report

Late last year, a working group of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) released a report with recommendations to adopt "new technologies, standards, and protocols that will help repositories become more integrated into the web environment and enable them ​to ​play ​a ​larger ​role ​in ​the ​scholarly ​communication ​ecosystem." Islandora's own Institutional Repository Interest Group took up the report and measured Islandora against it, looking at both the current functionality available in Islandora 7.x, and how we can best shape Islandora CLAW to meet these recommendations for the future (complete with issues in the CLAW GitHub so we can track our progress). They have shared their own results, written up by convenor Bryan Brown:

 

#1: Exposing Identifiers

The brunt of the recommendation here seems to be implementing best practices listed at http://signposting.org/ regarding typed HTTP links. I’m not sure what Islandora 7.x is doing in terms of typed HTTP links, but I’m assuming nothing beyond whatever Drupal 7 does by default. It could certainly be doing more, but there’s a lot to chew on in the best practices in terms of deciding what actually needs to be done, and how this should be done for different types of objects. CLAW, being a linked data application that operates primarily via HTTP, should definitely be doing these things. I’ve made a use case for this at https://github.com/Islandora-CLAW/CLAW/issues/860.

 

#2: Declaring ​Licenses ​at ​a ​Resource ​Level

Very similar to Behavior #1 (Exposing Identifiers), this recommends using best practices from http://signposting.org/ to use typed HTTP links to expose the URI for the license that best describes a resource. Good in theory, but not all licenses have machine-readable URIs, and would require either migrating existing free-text licenses to ones that have a URI, or in the case of special one-off licenses, creating URIs for local licenses (which wouldn’t be very interoperable). COAR recommends using Creative Commons licenses since they have readily available URIs, but CC licenses aren’t really a good fit for scholarly works since publishing introduces a lot of issues that CC licenses don’t cover. As for the human readable part, that’s just a matter of your metadata and your theming. 7.x and CLAW both should be able to display human-readable rights statements, but neither can do the HTTP link part currently. CLAW use case at https://github.com/Islandora-CLAW/CLAW/issues/860.

 

#3: Discovery ​through ​Navigation

Even more emphasis on using the best practices at http://signposting.org/. 7.x’s Islandora Google Scholar module adds a link to the PDF for citation/thesis objects as an HTML meta tag, but that’s it. Its easy to see how adding this as a typed HTTP link, especially for compound objects would be helpful to let a machine know about the different parts of a larger meta-object. This feature would be nice for 7.x, but as a Linked Data Application CLAW should definitely have it. Covered again by https://github.com/Islandora-CLAW/CLAW/issues/860.

 

#4: Interacting ​with ​Resources ​(Annotation, ​Commentary ​and ​Review)

Members of the IR IG are not sold on this one for use in university IRs. Perhaps there are very specific types of repo systems where peer review, comments and annotations are useful, perhaps for aggregators or publishing platforms. In a university IR, it seems like it could actually hinder adoption because faculty might not want folks interacting with their scholarship, and would request mediation for such things which would slow down already overworked IR staff. Drupal already has tons of modules for things like this, so you could probably modify one to work with Islandora objects in 7.x, and in CLAW you wouldn’t even have to write any code, just turn the module on and configure it. Turning those annotations into linked data on the object would be a bit more difficult, but that difficulty would be more in deciding how the metadata should look than how to implement.

 

#5: Resource ​Transfer

This seems to be suggesting a modern form of OAI-PMH, but in a way that includes assets in the transfer. Strong recommendation for ResourceSync, which we have no experience with, but looks like it would do the job. 7.x will probably never have this, but CLAW should focus on it. Use case at https://github.com/Islandora-CLAW/CLAW/issues/857.

 

#6: Batch ​Discovery

We aren’t really not sure how this differs from Behavior #5 (Resource Transfer) since this seems to be a use case where someone used “Resource Transfer” technology to put all of your repo’s stuff in an aggregator so that it could be found in multiple places. You take care of #5, you already take care of #6. Covered by use case https://github.com/Islandora-CLAW/CLAW/issues/857.

 

#7: Collecting ​and ​Exposing ​Activities

This seems to be a mash-up of #4 and #5: capture interactions, turn them into metadata that you expose, and then push that metadata along with the rest of your data with ResourceSync. There are a LOT of recommendations for possible ways to do this, which underscores the fact that there’s not a clear standard for this and probably not a lot of consumers for this kind of data either. This seems like a “nice to have”, not a “have to have”.

 

#8: Identification ​of ​Users

This seems like a good idea, and ORCID seems like the obvious best choice in a scholarly context. We don’t know much about the other two ID systems involved (Social Network Identities and WebID), perhaps they would be good for folks who don’t have an ORCID, but then again perhaps this could be a good way to get people to use/understand ORCID. Use of ORCID could potentially lock out non-academic users, which may be a bug or a feature depending on your goals. Whichever you pick, the problem is going to be getting something that people use across the web in order to deliver on the promises outlined in this section. In an age where people are wary about privacy and the web knowing too much about you, we don’t think this one would get as much broad adoption as COAR thinks.

 

#9: Authentication ​of ​Users

We don’t understand how this is different from #8, it seems like the two go together to such a degree that separating them is only confusing.

 

#10: Exposing ​Standardized ​Usage ​Metrics

This is a nice dream, but much harder than it sounds. Current generation repositories are pretty close to doing all they can in terms of capturing views/downloads on objects, although client-side triggers are better than server-side ones in order to avoid problems with caching, and Piwik seems to be a winner in the international community due to its focus on privacy and flexibility (although it does require setting up your own Piwik server). Standardizing the way usage stats are exposed from the same repo is a good idea as well, but none of us have experience with SUSHI or COUNTER.

All this can be done to perfect aggregation of usage stats on the same repo, but aggregating/summing stats from external sources is not going to be a practical option until there is a centralized source that does this with a solid API.

 

#11: Preserving ​Resources

While we agree with the sentiment here, we’re not sure they are saying anything new. Fedora should take care of the actual preservation bits, and Islandora has always requested least-common-denominator open format file types for archival master datastreams and used derivative processes to spin into other formats.