Friday, December 14, 2007

Release of OAI (Open Archives Initiative) Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) User Guide and Specification Documents

The OAI Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) User Guide and Specification documents have been released at Feedback is sought on their contents, as part of our effort to transition these documents to beta and then final production release. A Google Group has been established to publicly discuss these documents:
You will also find this URL in the header note in the OAI-ORE documents.

Upcoming events related to OAI-ORE:

1. March 3rd 2008, John Hopkins University: USA ORE Open Meeting.
Register at (limited to 150).
Supportedby Microsoft.

2. April 4th 2008, University of Southampton: European ORE Open Meeting.
In conjunction with Open Repositories 2008. Registration not yet available.
Supported by JISC.

Information provided by - Carl Lagoze & Herbert Van de Sompel on behalf of the OAI-ORE effort

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Which comes first? The chicken and egg dilemma.

When it comes to repositories, there is a chicken and egg dilemma. Which comes first, the marketing or the content? In Florida, we've been told by institutions that they need sufficient content in order to market the repository to faculty and provide training. On the other hand, we need faculty to be aware of the repository in order to contribute content and URLs to expand the amount of high quality content. So, how have we handled this dilemma?

Our approach is to take multiple paths. First of all, we recognize that faculty are very busy and often must do what is easy and effective to impact students due to time constraints. So, the integration of our repository software system into the learning management system is a priority. Integration, the direct entry into a repository thru an LMS without additional authentication, makes access to and use of the repository simple, easy, and reduces training. Why? Faculty are accessing the repository using tools provided by the LMS that they are familiar with and have received training to use. The repository becomes one more tool in their LMS toolbox. The integration of the repository supports success of the project as well as becoming a marketing tool. Integration requires faculty to have only one login and password to the learning management system which also enables access to the repository.

We also recognize that without sufficient content, that there is no reason to use the repository. In order to increase the pool of resources, we are pursuing content acquisition from the following resource types:

1. State of Florida Resources. Contacted Florida entities and institutions, that have received money from the state to develop resources, and requested to place a copy of the resource in the repository. While there has been enthusiasm to share the resource/s, it has not been easy to acquire the content. And, there have been issues to effectively use the resources that were provided. Guidance is needed to inform developers regarding preferred methods of saving and storing content.
2. Institutional Developed resources
3. Faculty developed resources – individual contacts
4. Federation and Harvesting
5. Open Educational Resources
6. Publisher Content
7. URLs to exemplary resources identified by other repositories

Another effective path for marketing has been to offer both face to face training and online tutorials.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Getting Started

Reading Stephen Downes Blog today, I noticed a request for repository blogs by Leslie Carr from the UK. Clicking on the link to Leslie's blog, I enjoyed reading about his efforts and initiatives in the UK. As part of our FIPSE (United States Department of Education - Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education) grant, we promised to offer a blog regarding repository development and implementation, but had not begun to make effective use of it. I realized that it was past time to begin!

My name is Susie Henderson. I work for the Florida Distance Learning Consortium ( in Tallahassee, Florida as the Associate Executive Director working with the public and private institutions in Florida that form our membership. The Orange Grove, our K20 Digital Repository, is the #1 priority of this statewide organization. The Orange Grove is operational, running on Equella, The Learning Edge Limited from Tasmania, Australia. (

For the past four years, we have been developing the repository and seeking funding to adequately support it. We received a small $250,000 appropriation for the 2007-08 fiscal year which has greatly energized our efforts.

The OnCoRe Blueprint project is an outgrowth of our efforts to develop a statewide repository and the need by other states for a blueprint, model or guide to create a repository and bypass some of the more onerous discussions and tasks required when you are doing something for the first time and on such a large scale.

Our team is small. I serve as the Principal Investigator and am involved in all aspects. Elizabeth (Liz) Johnson is the Project Coordinator, working full time on the grant. She is the point person for the Blueprint, setting up and conducting webinars, and maintaining contact with partner states and whatever else needs to be done! Cathy Alfano, the Project Manager for The Orange Grove (TOG), provides significant energy to brainstorm, write, review and advise on the creation of the actual Blueprint.

We recognize that Florida does not have all the answers and are reaching out to others who have developed repositories through interviews and offering webinars on topics of interest. The states of Georgia, North Carolina, Minnesota, Colorado, and Kentucky are all working on or establishing repositories.

This shortened week of Thanksgiving has been focused on licensing content for two years from the National Repository of Online Courses ( We need a basic foundation of content to interest our faculty in using the repository. NROC content would provide approximately 2000 modules for our faculty to use. It will take significant time and people resources to metatag the content based on the LOM fields that we are using as NROC has limited tagging, not based on standards or associated with the resources.

We also had discussions with WileyPlus regarding their online content. On a future posting, we will discuss content in more detail. Needless to say, content is critical for the success of any repository.

I have also requested to place reading content paid for by the State of Florida into the repository, but am waiting for permission. It has brought home to me that a policy is needed that the state will place a copy of any content paid for with state funds into the repository.

I hope that you will join us in reading and commenting on topics of interest.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

OnCoRe Blueprint FIPSE Grant selects Kentucky as their Pilot State

The state of Kentucky was recently selected to serve as the pilot state for the development and implementation of a statewide repository.