14.3 MIT's DSpace System Documentation

DSpace is a repository and multitier application being developed by MIT and HP Labs to track the intellectual output at MIT. It's based in Java and implemented as a J2EE application residing on Unix and using PostgreSQL as a database. The application has been carefully documented, including detailed installation instructions, as well as excellent overall architecture and usage documentation.

DSpace is a Source Forge project, with a home page at http://www.dspace.org/. Download the source at http://sourceforge.net/projects/dspace/ or at the HP Labs download page (at http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/downloads/). View systems documentation at http://dspace.org/technology/system-docs/index.html. DSpace is open source, available under a BSD license.

DSpace works by allowing to the establishment of major organization divisions, which the project calls communities. Within the communities, intellectual output is further categorized into collections. Each unique output item gets a Dublin Core record attached to it and is then combined with any external material such as images into a bundle. This bundle is then formatted as a bitstream, and the format for the bitstream is attached to it. With this infrastructure in place, each output is a complete package including the metadata information associated with it, through the addition of the Dublin Core record.

DSpace users can submit a document or other material for inclusion with the system, and its inclusion can be reviewed and accepted or rejected. If accepted, the material can be uploaded; information about the material is then available for search and browsing. In addition, when the material is loaded, it's assigned a handle based on the CNRI Handle System for direct access to the material.

More information on CNRI can be found at http://www.handle.net/.

The type of material that can be accommodated within DSpace includes documents in all forms, books, multimedia, computer applications, data sets, and so on. In addition to getting access to the material through search, browsing, or directly through the handle, users can also subscribe to a specific collection within a DSpace community and be notified by email when a new item has been added.