In these deeply troubling times, we are nonetheless happy to announce that the OAPEN Library has moved to a new platform, based on DSpace, the open source repository system. Together with the move to DSpace, we have renewed the website and implemented a new content management system. The move to DSpace is part of our mission to develop as an open, community-driven infrastructure service to support open access to monographs and edited volumes. The need for open infrastructures and global, open knowledge exchange in all scientific fields has never been more apparent.
OPERAS, DOAB and SCOSS
The move to DSpace is part of a wider project, OPERAS-P, to support the development of OPERAS (Open Scholarly Communication in the European Research Area for Social Sciences and Humanities), which is funded by the European Commission in the Horizon 2020 framework. The redevelopment also involves DOAB (the Directory of Open Access Books), to secure both OAPEN and DOAB as open infrastructures, and DOAB as a central service for OPERAS. OAPEN and DOAB have also jointly been selected by SCOSS (the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services) to be supported by the open science community in its second funding cycle.
The new platform
The new platform is developed with open source software, using DSpace for hosting the OAPEN Library collection and Strapi for the content management system (CMS). Strapi is a CMS licensed under the MIT License. DSpace is typically used for creating open access repositories for scholarly digital content, and is supported by a large and global user base. Our development partners are Atmire in Belgium (for DSpace) and Trilobiet in the Netherlands (for the website and CMS). Our hosting partner is Huma-Num, the French national research infrastructure for the humanities and social sciences.
With the migration to a new platform, we were able to introduce several new features and improve existing ones. We introduced new browsing options based on license or publication type (book or chapter), and improved our metadata offerings in MARCXML and MARC 21, based on feedback from libraries. We added a REST search API for systems to search the OAPEN Library.
A custom feature that we will make available as an open source addition to DSpace is ONIX import. Publishers use the ONIX XML standard to exchange information about their titles. We created an import script that converts ONIX XML to new records for the OAPEN Library in DSpace. The ONIX metadata now also contains chapter descriptions linked to books.
New features are being planned, and we hope to work with the community of DSpace users to develop more open source components going forward.
The first 10 years
The OAPEN Library launched almost 10 years ago as the first international platform dedicated to open access books. The original system was developed by the University Library of the University of Amsterdam, as part of a European project coordinated by Amsterdam University Press and co-funded by the European Commission. At the launch in September 2010, the Library contained around 700 OA books from 10 publishers. Today, the Library contains over 12,000 OA books and chapters, from more than 300 publishers from all parts of the world. Last December we reached the milestone of 10 million downloads since 2013, when we introduced COUNTER reporting in collaboration with IRUS-UK.