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Document Repository

Atmire Acquires Open Repository

Smart Libraries Newsletter [September 2016]

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Copyright (c) 2016 ALA TechSource

Abstract: Repository, the platform offered by BioMed Central for institutional repositories of open access content. The Open Repository service is based on the open source DSpace application, implemented primarily to support institutional repositories. Organizations of many different types contract with Open Repository, including universities, non-profits, and other research organizations. Open Repository offers both a premium version with a more robust set of hosting, configuration, and support services and a lite version, providing organizations a lower-cost approach with more basic features and services.


Atmire, a company providing services surrounding the DSpace repository platform, has acquired Open Repository, the platform offered by BioMed Central for institutional repositories of open access content. The Open Repository service is based on the open source DSpace application, implemented primarily to support institutional repositories. Organizations of many different types contract with Open Repository, including universities, non-profits, and other research organizations. Open Repository offers both a premium version with a more robust set of hosting, configuration, and support services and a lite version, providing organizations a lower-cost approach with more basic features and services.

BioMed Central, owned by Springer Nature, functions as a major open access publisher. Though founded in 2000 in the United Kingdom, the publisher is active globally with over 500 member institutions. BioMed Central publishes a variety of open access journals across a variety of scientific disciplines primarily related to biology, medicine, and health.

Open Repository was launched in 2008 to provide deployment, customization, support, and hosting services for institutional repositories. The open source DSpace software was used as the technical infrastructure for these repositories. BioMed Central began providing services related to institutional repositories as an additional way to promote open access publishing in addition to its formal journal titles. BioMed Central currently publishes hundreds of open access STM (Science, Technology, and Medicine) journals with over 30,000 articles issued each year. Divesting Open Repository enables BioMed Central to focus its resources on that core activity. As of August 1, 2016, Atmire, with well-established expertise in DSpace, will assume responsibility for providing support to all of the existing customers of Open Repository.

Taking on ownership and support for Open Repository fits well within Atmire's business niche of providing support services for DSpace. Atmire is based in Belgium with offices in Rochester, NY. It was established to provide a variety of services for organizations with repositories based on DSpace. Atmire has been providing DSpace services since 2006. The company was founded by Lieven Droogmans, Ben Bosman and Bram Luyten as a spin-off from Katholieke Universiteit (KU) Leuven. Prior to founding Atmire, Droogmans was involved in the creation of LIRIAS (Leuven Institutional Repository and Information Archiving System), a customized implementation of DSpace for KU Leuven.

DSpace was originally developed by Hewlett-Packard and MIT Libraries. It was initially released in 2002 as an open source platform for institutional repositories that could be deployed with a relatively low level of technical difficulty. Fedora, another open source repository application, is generally seen as more complex because it requires at least some technical development by each institution to deploy and customize. DSpace and Fedora now both reside within DuraSpace for coordination of development and governance. Residing within DuraSpace does not preclude other commercial organizations, such as Atmire, from providing services surrounding DSpace.

BioMed Central has no business relationship with PubMed Central, operated by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health in the United States.

Another Round of Funding for CollectionSpace

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has funded a new grant for $850,000 to Lyrasis for its ongoing involvement with CollectionSpace, an open source museum management application. These funds will help support ongoing development of the software and for further exploration of business models to sustain the project. Lyrasis will work closely with the community of institutions engaged with CollectionSpace.

This grant builds on an initial $1.5 million funding provided by the Mellon Foundation in December 2013 to establish Lyrasis as the organizational home for CollectionSpace. The initial funding was intended to help Lyrasis build the organizational capacity for support, development, and governance of the software and related activities to promote its adoption by museums and related organizations.

The University of California at Berkeley continues its active role with CollectionSpace. The University operates five instances of the software to support its multiple museum collections, administered through its Research IT Museum Informatics team.

The initial development for CollectionSpace began in 2008 through a project led by the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY, the University of California at Berkeley, and in collaboration with several other European and American institutions. The Mellon Foundation provided funding for this initial development effort as well as for two other grants to Lyrasis for ongoing support and sustainability.

In addition to its support for CollectionSpace, Lyrasis has also been designated as the institutional home for ArchivesSpace, the open source tool for managing archival collections. ArchivesSpace was developed with funding from the Mellon Foundation as the forward migration platform for Archon and The Archivists Toolkit. Lyrasis provides hosting services for CollectionSpace, ArchivesSpace, and other open source software applications as part of its revenue-generating activities. Lyrasis had entered a process to consider a merger with DuraSpace, the organization providing governance and services surrounding DSpace, Fedora, DuraCloud, VIVO, and other open source repository initiatives. That proposed merger, covered in detail in the March 2016 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, was dissolved according to a May 2016 press announcement.

Lyrasis has been quite successful in pursuing grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. According to information available on the Foundation's website, Lyrasis has awarded Lyrasis a total $8,682,900 in funding for 14 different projects since 2006.

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Publication Year:2016
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Smart Libraries Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 36 Number 09
Issue:September 2016
Page(s):3-5
Publisher:ALA TechSource
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
ISSN:1541-8820
Record Number:22255
Last Update:2017-12-08 11:50:40
Date Created:2017-02-16 09:16:56