Many of you who have an interest in open education resources and the Academy / JISC OER Pilot Programme will already be following the development of JorumOpen. JorumOpen will enable users worldwide to search, browse and download open educational resources deposited by UK Further and Higher Education Institutions and licenced under Creative Commons licence. OER Projects already have access to the JorumOpen deposit tool and the service itself, which is based on a customised version of DSpace will be available to the wider community from the 19th of January 2010.
CETIS have been liaising closely with the Jorum team in order to support the OER Programme’s requirements. One early requirement that has emerged is the need for bulk deposit and a request from some projects that this may be partially fulfilled by ingest of RSS feeds. Sounds simple enough but as with all such requirements the devil is in the detail. And in this case some of the details include which version or RSS to support, how to encode and handle licence information, what metadata to include, how to process said metadata, what is a realistic size for feeds?
In order to kick off a discussion on these and other issues Gareth Waller, Jorum’s Technical Manager (and DSpace wrangler extraordinaire) has written a short white paper titled Issues surrounding feed deposit into institutional repositories which presents the pros and cons of using syndicated feed formats to facilitate deposit into repositories such as JorumOpen. Gareth presents a succinct overview of syndicated feed formats and raises a number of questions relating to: item identification, item updates and deletions, missing items, polling periods, feed formats, metadata formats, local metadata application profiles, handling licences and whether to store links or download resources.
JISC, CETIS and Jorum would like to move towards the development of an agreed RSS profile for open educational resources so we are actively seeking comments from the community on the kind of issues Gareth raises in his paper. If you would like to comment or raise additional issues please post your comments here or on the Jorum Community Bay. You can download Gareth’s paper here or from the Community Bay.