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The Future Created by JAIRO Cloud

JAIRO Cloud, 500 Institutions Plan

by Nanako Takahashi, Scholarly and Academic Information  Division, NII

     Ms Takahashi introduced JAIRO Cloud by outlining its advantages; explained the validation tests currently conducted to test the transferring of institutional repositories to JAIRO Cloud; and shared the future plan of JAIRO Cloud with the audience.

     JAIRO Cloud is a cloud service infrastructure developed and provided by NII. On JAIRO Cloud, institutions can have their own repositories without the burden of constructing it from the start and managing their own server. It has contributed to the expansion of institutional repositories in Japan: currently, there are 508 institutional repositories (including 61 in preparation), 40% of which are on JAIRO Cloud.

     The advantages of JAIRO Cloud are in three fold: 1) Initial construction; 2) System development; and 3) Support. First, it is easy to construct an institutional repository on JAIRO Cloud compared to developing one’s own repository. For example, this can be done in minimum of 7 days (average 172 days) from the handing over of the system environment to the start of the operation. There is no need for an institution to have, manage, or maintain a server. Therefore, institutions can focus their work on managing content. Second, JAIRO Cloud not only has all the standard functions but also adopts new functions as required. For example, since April 2013, it has become mandatory for universities to publish doctorial theses on-line and send their digital copies (which must be compatible to junii2 version 3.0) to the National Diet Library. As JAIRO Cloud is compatible to junii2 version 3.0, institutions can send these theses straight away without having to convert them. The outcomes of CSI project, the project in which participating institutions develop various common utilities and functions for repository systems, will be also reflected in JAIRO Cloud. For example, one of CSI project’s outcomes, Society Copyright Policies in Japan (SCPJ) – a tool to check the copyright policies – is adopted in JAIRO Cloud’s system. Therefore, administrators can check copyright policies easily when registering content on JAIRO Cloud. ROAT, another CSI project’s outcome, is a tool to analyse institutional repositories’ usage statistics in a standardised manner. JAIRO Cloud is due to add ROAT equivalent statistical function this year. This year, institutions will be able to denominate DOI to their content. JAIRO Cloud is going to add a function necessary for registering DOI. Finally, NII provides supports for running an institutional repository by providing usage manuals, training sessions, and a community. This year, NII is planning to hold five JAIRO Cloud training sessions.

     A survey conduced in 2012 found that 40 % of institutions that have their own repositories want to transfer to JAIRO Cloud. The main reason for this was the difficulty of managing a server by themselves. This result was reinforced by a further survey that revealed that 46% of institutions with their own repository have not upgraded software versions since its implementation. This means that these institutions cannot add new functions and exposed to security risks.

     NII set up a series of validation test to test the transfer of institutional repositories to JAIRO Cloud. The objectives of these are to test whether an institution can transfer all data by themselves and whether it can be done with major repository systems. Therefore, it was designed to test different software used by institutions such as DSpace, NALIS-R, XooNIps, and E-Repository. NII developed data converters for different software so that data stored in a server of an institutional repository can be converted and transferred to JAIRO Cloud’s server. During 2013, two tests were conducted at Tsukuba University (i.e. DSpace ver 1.5) and Asahikawa Medical University (i.e. XooNIps) and both were successful. During the first half of 2014, NII is planning to complete the remaining validation tests at 5 institutions.

     In the second half of 2014, NII is planning to accept applications from institutions for transferring from institutional repository to JAIRO Cloud. On principle, the institutions are expected to transfer all data by themselves using a data converter developed by NII; however, NII will provide necessary support as well. Takahashi concluded her presentation by saying that NII aims to have 500 institutions join JAIRO Cloud including the ones that transfer from their own servers.


A Feasibility Test for System Migration from Tsukuba Repository to JAIRO Cloud

by Takayuki Manaka, Tsukuba University Library

     Mr Manaka talked about University of Tsukuba Library’s experience of system migration from their own institutional repository (Tsukuba Repository, Tulips-R) to JAIRO Cloud and showed how the migration could be done smoothly for institutions that are considering the migration in future. Manaka explained the characteristics of Tsukuba Repository; the timeline of the test; its process; what they found through the experience; and their future plan. Tsukuba Repository became available on JAIRO Cloud on 21st of May 2014.

     Tsukuba Repository was launched in 2006. Before that, University of Tsukuba had the Digital Library Project and the repository took this over. Initially, the data were what they inherited from the Digital Library and thus were mainly departmental bulletin papers and theses or dissertations. By using multidisciplinary databases of bibliographic information such as Web of Science, they listed up journal articles written by their faculty and researchers that were published in academic journals. The repository gradually collected them. Metadata was stored in their repository system, DSpace. The number of content was 30,882 items (as of 16/5/2014) and the size of the data was 47GB (17GB for the repository’s own content and 40GB for the Digital Library’s content). The feasibility test was conducted to migrate all of the content to JAIRO Cloud.

     The timeline of the test was as follows: they attended the JAIRO Cloud training session in January 2013; were approached by NII for their participation for the test in February; answered to participate in March; and made their participation public at the Open Access Summit held by NII in June 2013. Before making the decision to participate, they evaluated possible advantages and disadvantages of JAIRO Cloud. The advantages they found were: JAIRO Cloud can remove the burden of management and maintenance of the server; its web interface is easy to manage; and it can add new functions easily such as handling author ID and junii2. Before the test, they had meetings with NII staff and confirmed that, if they were to migrate to JAIRO Cloud, they would need to move all content and that the functions should be equal or better than that of DSpace. More specifically, they requested NII to add their persistent identifiers (by CNRI’s handle system),  a statistics data emailing function, and linkage to CRIS (Current Research Information System) via SWORD 2.0 (protocol for deposit). They also checked the mapping definition files of Tsukuba Repository and junii2. Manaka emphasized that this is an important process to do if anyone is considering the system migration.

     The actual migration was done in the following phases: NII created a testing environment in August 2013; University of Tsukuba conducted full dump of DSpace’s database in September; checked metadata for registration (TSV format) in October; sent SCfW filter and full-text data of the Digital Library to NII in November; NII registered data in bulk via SCfW in December; University of Tsukuba checked the registered data and received explanations from DSpace about the Data Outputting Tools in January 2014; checked the statistics data emailing function in February; checked the handle function in March; prepared a mirror server environment in March; and registered the difference data in April. After this, they went through a few more steps including explaining it to the President, registration of remaining difference data, and making it available on a trial basis. It was finally made open to the public on the 21st of May 2014.

     Manaka summarized what they found difficult through the migration process: 1) character code; 2) registration order of the files; 3) the path length; 4) bulk correction of metadata; and 5) switch over of handle. On the other hand, what they found useful was that: 1) it became easy to migration and sort files and index tree as JAIRO Cloud allows drag and drop; 2) it became easy to register in bulk; 3) it allows the storage of files temporarily and to designate a date for open access; and 4) it allows various export formats (e.g. RSS, BibTeX, etc).

     According to Manaka, the future plan of Tsukuba Repository includes: making metadata of theses compatible with junii2 ver.3.1; setting up a PDF cover page; re-directing the former repository’s (DSpace) URL to JAIRO Cloud; making departmental bulletin articles looking like an e-journal; connecting CRIS via SWORD 2.0; and inputting author IDs. He concluded his presentation by suggesting a few improvements and additional functions that could enhance the usability of JAIRO Cloud. 1) It would be helpful if the PDF cover page could be created more dynamically (as it can only be done at the point of registration). 2) It would be useful if registered data could be downloaded and amended in bulk. 3) It would be useful if metadata of theses could be exported in ETD-MS format. 4) It would be better if a message in a statistics data email could be customised. 5) It would be useful if Altmetrics could be introduced.



Supporting JAIRO Cloud by a Community

by Akira Maeda, Scholarly and Academic Information Division, NII

     Mr Maeda outlined the current situation of open access, how institutions could potentially reduce cost by collaborating with each other, and how JAIRO Cloud Community could contribute to it. He then introduced the current activities of JAIRO Cloud Community; how it can be in future; and argued how the community-supported JAIRO Cloud can make a large contribution to the distribution of academic information with little cost.

     It has become a necessity for universities to adopt open access. It is a world trend to make open access mandatory and many policies regarding open access are being created. In Japan, open access has been promoted by the government, MEXT and JST in the last few years. For example, it has become mandatory to make doctoral theses open access via institutional repositories. However, the issue of open access is its high cost. There are some business models for paying the costs such as by authors (i.e. Article Processing Charge), by funding bodies, and by institutions. In any case, someone must bear the cost in these business models. For institutions, using institutional repository is an effective way to promote open access. However, an institutional repository itself is costly, involving the improvement of software, collection of information and content, maintenance of the system infrastructure, and training administrators.

     JAIRO Cloud can be a solution to reducing these costs by sharing the burden among different parties involved in its community. For example, each university can focus on collecting content (i.e. PR, digitalisation of content, and creation of metadata); the community can contribute in terms of operation and collection of content by sharing know-how and information, training of administrators, and creating future plans; and NII can support the operation and infrastructure by developing and maintaining systems and providing user supports.

     JAIRO Cloud Community is a relatively new community being established in 2012; however, Maeda argued that the community has the potential for sharing costs by thinking together how we can achieve this. There are 208 members in JAIRO Cloud Community. The majority are small scale institutions (i.e. less than 100 including admin and academic staff) and 76% are private universities. It can be imagined that there are not enough staff to handle institutional repositories and that there are a lot of issues that cannot be dealt with within an institution. What can the community do for the benefit of its members? The community can share the know-how, train administrators, share the latest information, and exchange information to create better institutional repositories. The characteristics of JAIRO Cloud are that: 1) all the member institutions use the same system environment (i.e. SaaS style cloud service) and thus it is easy to share the knowledge; and 2) the large number of members provides opportunities for sharing the problems and helping each other.

     Maeda then introduced the current activities of JAIRO Cloud Community. The centre of the members’ exchange is the community site. On the forum page, members post a question and other members provide answers. The manual page is a new attempt for members to contribute and create their own manuals. Although NII provide usage guides and manuals, it was requested from the members that they want to make their own manuals reflecting their points of view and issues they found through their daily work. At training sessions for administrators, members of the community are invited to give a talk on their experience of constructing and operating an institutional repository on JAIRO Cloud. This turned out to be a poplar event with positive and very helpful feedback. The training sessions also include lectures by NII staff as well as practical sessions supported by community members as assistants. The training courses are expected to be delivered by community members themselves in the near future. At the moment, they are working on creating an environment in which community members can share the latest information they acquire. The members’ feedback and opinions to JAIRO Cloud are collected through the community site as well as through interviews conducted at training sessions. This autumn, they are going to hold a users’ meeting to discuss how to develop the JAIRO Cloud Community. They are hoping to encourage more participation of, particularly, those who have experience of constructing their own institutional repositories. By participation of more experienced members, it is expected that the community will grow stronger.

     Maeda concluded his talk by describing the future structure of operating JAIRO Cloud. In future, there could be a JAIRO Cloud Community Group, which has an administration office that runs the community activities. NII will collaborate with the working group and support the activities. With collective effort, it is hoped that they can promote the development of open access and institutional repository. It will then be able to contribute to the distribution of academic information and lead to a better research environment for the academic community as a whole.