The DSpace open-source repository software was designed to serve the needs of academic, non-profit, and commercial organizations building open digital repositories, such as the institutional repositories in university libraries (IRs).
Many in the ORCID community who manage IRs wanted DSpace to improve their ORCID integration that authenticates and synchronizes data. Maureen Walsh, Chair of the DSpace Leadership and Steering Groups and Associate Professor and Head of the Scholarly Sharing Program Area in The Ohio State University Libraries said:
“We are delighted that DSpace is now a Certified ORCID Service Provider. This positive and powerful partnership is a testament to the work, commitment, and support of the DSpace community. DSpace Governance is grateful for the institutions that generously contributed to the DSpace Development Fund to support DSpace development including the 4Science DSpace7 ORCID integration.”
This integration, released in August 2022 in DSpace v 7.3, allows for an ORCID authentication and synchronization to a DSpace User Profile, meaning users of DSpace will be able to pull information from ORCID to their User Profile and push works from DSpace to their ORCID record. (Read more about the DSpace-ORCID integration here.)
DSpace, as an open-source repository software, has always offered the chance to relay and display research, regardless of financial resources—most research repository tools are out of reach of many research institutions. However, technical and administrative support of even open software depends on the availability of resources. In the past, these resources have not always been stable, available, and able to project future improvements of this open-source software. Resource-scarce institutions using DSpace found their tools were not being updated to match the global scholarly infrastructure. Those with technical resources, such as KAUST, did significant customization to their DSpace platform, and made their content linkable. However, the financially accessible DSpace tool remained unlinked to other systems without an easy plugin or a commitment to develop such capability.
Andrea Bollini and 4Science stepped in to resolve the gap between a repository widely utilized in Canada, Latin America, and Southeast Asia and initiated capability to easily connect to the ORCID Member API, making their repository content linkable.
Prior to this integration, ORCID members were unable to exchange data from their DSpace IR to the ORCID Registry to populate local author profiles. This DSpace integration with ORCID will:
- add visibility to the IR content and its authors,
- facilitate collaboration and networking, and
- help organizations with institutional reporting systems and national assessment programs.
Note that for ORCID members, there will be more benefits to using the Member API than the Public API alone. For some deeper background on the relationship between DSpace and ORCID, we’ve included the following Q&A between Andrea Bollini and Federico Verlicchi, both of 4Science, one of ORCID’s new certified service providers that contributes to many open source projects and collaborates with several international organizations and communities to develop, integrate, and promote the adoption of technological standards. Bollini is the Chief Technology and Innovation Officer and is actively involved in various international open-source and open-standards communities with a leading role in the development of DSpace, and Verlicchi is a business developer at 4Science.
Federico Verlicchi: Let’s start with some background on 4Science and how it relates to ORCID for a bit of context.
Andrea Bollini: 4Science truly believes in open science as one of the company pillars, and aims to enable all the institutions to share, manage, and preserve their digital assets in a state-of-the art, fully integrated, and safe platform. We recognize the importance of persistent identifiers to track research steps, connect its components, and preserve its history. We are a proud ORCID certified service provider, whereas this cooperation started back in 2015.
4Science always believed in the work done by the ORCID community and the potential of the ORCID enriching tool for open science. Our team was the first promoter and supporter of the first national ORCID Consortium in Italy in 2015 with the evaluation agency of the Ministry of Education and Research. 4Science is one of the first organizations to have implemented ORCID integration in a widespread system such as DSpace-CRIS, the most ORCID
Federico Verlicchi: What was the process of implementing ORCID in the DSpace community?
Andrea Bollini: We implemented a full integration with ORCID systems in the CRIS extension of DSpace we’re creators of. This integration helped the institutions in enhancing their repository experience as well as improve their repository systems and visibility. Thanks to this feature, the DSpace-CRIS users enjoy a complete bidirectional integration with ORCID. Moreover, we wanted to contribute even more: with the DSpace 7.3 upgrade, all the institutions using the DSpace 7.3 repository platform can enjoy the full integration. This feature allows for authentication via ORCID, as well as synchronizing data between ORCID and DSpace, via the usage of Researcher Profiles.
Federico Verlicchi: What is next for ORCID and DSpace?
Andrea Bollini: 4Science is continuing to improve the DSpace/DSpace-CRIS ORCID integration. In the future, we hope to work on better integration with other PID providers like ROR which would also improve the user experience when interconnected data are synchronized with ORCID. 4Science was recently certified as an ORCID Service Provider for DSpace (in addition to DSpace-CRIS which was already certified several years ago) and in that process we discovered an area of the DSpace ORCID integration that required improvements. We are willing to donate also these further improvements applied to our supported DSpace initiatives to the community. Among these improvements, I want to cite the proper display of the ORCID iD badge for authenticated ORCID in the researcher profiles. Moreover, we are waiting for other 4Science contributions donated to the DSpace community to be able to start the porting of other features from DSpace-CRIS based on the ORCID premium API. Researchers will be proactively and in near-real time invited by DSpace to upload in the repository an open-access version for records included in their ORCID profile not yet present in DSpace. This would be another great feature only beneficial for ORCID members in addition to their ability to keep the ORCID profile of their researchers up-to-date automatically with records uploaded in the repository
Federico Verlicchi: What is the long-term plan?
Andrea Bollini: At 4Science, we are very proud of this achievement and the progress that the ORCID and the DSpace community have made in the name of open science. We will not stop here and, together with the ORCID and DSpace community, we want to help the open science movement to improve and move toward a more open world in the name of dissemination, findability, and accessibility of knowledge.
Federico Verlicchi: What are the differences between DSpace and DSpace-CRIS?
Andrea Bollini: DSpace-CRIS is an extended version of DSpace providing more advanced features. DSpace -CRIS allows an easier and decentralized management of the repository and handles data complexity that becomes unavoidable when dealing with objects other than publication. A typical example of these features is the possibility to apply and support very granular security up to the single metadata value for the single record. Such granularity is mandatory when you start to deal with potentially sensitive or reserved information such as details of the researcher profiles, economic information, and collaboration details about projects & funding. In regards to the ORCID integration, DSpace-CRIS still provides some unique features such as the push of employment, education & qualifications details often imported in DSpace-CRIS from a legacy application that cannot be implemented in DSpace due to a lack of support for hierarchical metadata. There are also other ORCID-related features currently available only in DSpace-CRIS but we hope they will find their way into the DSpace codebase step by step.
Federico Verlicchi: How can people learn more and get involved in the DSpace community?
Andrea Bollini: There are a lot of resources available. There is a DSpace YouTube channel where content from webinars and other initiatives is periodically posted. The Lyrasis Wiki is one of the most important sources of documentation, and a page is also dedicated to all the available support channels to get in touch with the community, such as a mailing list and a Slack workspace where there is also a channel dedicated to #dspace-cris. 4Science also provides news about DSpace and related events via our socials: LinkedIn: @4Science, Twitter: @4ScienceIT, and Facebook: @4Science International
For more information about the DSpace-ORCID integration, here is a video hosted by ORCID Canada (led by the Canadian Research Knowledge Network) and the ORCID US community (led by Lyrasis).