DSpace as an Open Archival Information System: Current Status and Future Directions
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As more and more output from research institutions is born digital, a means for capturing and preserving the results of this investment is required. To begin to understand and address the problems surrounding this task, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories collaborated with MIT Libraries over two years to develop DSpace, an open source institutional repository software system. This paper describes DSpace in the context of the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model. Particular attention is given to the preservation aspects of DSpace, and the current status of the DSpace system with respect to addressing these aspects. The reasons for various design decisions and trade-offs that were necessary to develop the system in a timely manner are given, and directions for future development are explored. While DSpace is not yet a complete solution to the problem of preserving digital research output, it is a production-capable system, represents a significant step forward, and is an excellent platform for future research and development.