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Croatian national repository system DABAR & OpenAIRE

Croatian national repository system DABAR & OpenAIRE
For a small academic and research community like Croatia it is important to build national collaborative infrastructure at different levels and for different purposes. Institutional repositories are for last twenty years an important strategy for attaining open access, and provide a key infrastructure for the long-term preservation of digital materials. Apart from HRČAK repository of OA journals (with 415 OA journals) and Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI with more than 30.000 deposited full-text papers, until 2015 there were only 7 institutional repositories in Croatia. The initiative to create the common platform for digital repositories for the whole Croatian academic and research community was born in March 2014 during the First Digital Repositories Day conference and the national infrastructure for digital repositories was launched in August 2015.

DABAR (Digital Academic Archives and Repositories) is a national digital repository system that provides the infrastructure for effective and reliable digital asset management of Croatian higher education and research institutions. Within DABAR an institution or a research community can get institutional or thematic digital repository free of charge and ready-to-use for collecting, storing, organising and disseminating digital objects. Repositories in DABAR are accessible via institution’s Internet domain. Institutions have full control over repository content, access, and usage rights.

DABAR was created and maintained by SRCE – University of Zagreb, University Computing Centre in collaboration with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,  University of Zagreb (FFZG), National and University Library in Zagreb (NUL), Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB), School of Medicine, University of Zagreb (MEF) and a number of other institutions and individuals from the academic and research community experienced in repository management. From the beginning, DABAR activities were continuously supported by OpenAIRE community. Main activities are organized through working groups ensuring broad collaboration and continuous development of DABAR: theses and dissertations, metadata description of different types of digital objects, controlled vocabularies and identifiers, interoperability, policies related to the long-term curation, user interface functionalities, rights, education, and support. Recommendations and final documents created by working groups are in OA and also groups are open for experts-volunteers from the LIS, ICT and publishing disciplines. We find the high level of transparency of DABAR development very important.

DABAR has been built using open-source framework Islandora based on Fedora Repository, Drupal CMS and Apache SOLR. The descriptive metadata are stored using MODS schema and the system is connected with other relevant parts of the national IT infrastructure e.g. Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure of science and higher education in Croatia (AAI@EduHr) and Information System of Higher Education Institutions (ISVU), also maintained by SRCE.

DABAR provides all repositories with an implemented support for metadata harvesting via OAI-PMH. The OAI-PMH interface is compatible with OpenAIRE Guidelines for Literature Repositories 3.0 which enables repository managers to register their institution's repository as a data provider in OpenAIRE. Beside OAI-PMH, all repositories have implemented REST API which can be, among others, used to automatically store digital objects from other systems in the repository.

Application profiles (object metadata descriptions) are defined by the specific working groups. All repositories support storing theses and dissertations, and from 5 December  2016 journal articles. Metadata descriptions for those three objects have been defined on the national level. To simplify the process of describing theses, repository managers and students can use metadata from the Information System of Higher Education Institutions (ISVU). At the moment, application profiles and software support for conference papers and multimedia content are being built.

[caption id="attachment_1769" align="alignnone" width="600"]DABAR statistics Number, size, and visibility of objects stored in repositories in DABAR. Source: SRCE - University of Zagreb, University Computing Centre. (2017). DABAR statistics: total objects [graph]. 7 February 2016. Retrieved from: https://dabar.srce.hr/en/stats
DABAR was released in August 2015 and since then it has been used by more than 100 institutions in Croatia to set up their digital repositories for describing and storing their digital assets. Until the end of January 2017 more than 29.000 digital objects were stored in DABAR repositories, and among them more than 12.000 are in OA. Even more, there are 30 institutional repositories with more than 90% of the deposited publications in OA! Two major activities will be undertaken by repository managers during the next period: adoption of self-archiving and a shift towards other types of digital objects (journal articles, etc.). All OA repositories using DABAR infrastructure will be registered in OpenDOAR and OpenAIRE during next months.

Authors: Draženko Celjak (Srce), Jadranka Stojanovski


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16 Sep 2021

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