Adding a User Developed Vocabulary in DSpace Side: 1 of 1
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DSpace is a widely adopted open source platform for digital
repositories. It provides a self-deposit environment for users and it
allows users to supply relating metadata for the items. Some of this
metadata may come from vocabularies. DSpace has capabilities of
configuring pre-controlled vocabularies. However, these vocabularies
cannot be enriched with the necessary terms during the process of
submitting items to the repository. This poster describes the method of
developing the post-controlled vocabulary and connecting it to
DSpace, and the test results of the application.
The current released version DSpace 1.4.2 supports controlled
vocabularies to limit the set of keywords that users can use while
describing items. There are two default vocabularies available with
DSpace: The Norwegian Science Index (NSI), and Swedish
Research Subject Categories (SRSC). The DSpace adopters can
also create their own vocabularies by customizing the vocabulary xml
files. But these kind of controlled vocabularies are pre-controlled.
These vocabularies do not support development and enrichment
during the process of metadata creation. Any changes to the
vocabulary xml files are picked up by DSpace only after restart of
Tomcat (Java Server Pages container).
The Texas Center for Digital Knowledge (TxCDK) at the University of
North Texas (UNT) received a grant from the Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board (THECB) to develop a proof-of-concept
application of a learning object repository (LOR). The goal of the
awarded project was to demonstrate a proof-of-concept learning
object repository's capability to leverage the course content
developed through the Texas Course Redesign Project for reuse and
Repository contains U.S. History I course which consists of units,
each of which consists of multiple lessons, which in turn include
multiple topics (Figure 1). The components of the courseware can be
reused and repurposed in multiple instructional delivery models
including online, blended, and face-to-face.
During the process of repository building, based on the user's needs,
the team of THECB LOR decided to develop a post-controlled
vocabulary which can be developed and enriched when users self-
deposit learning objects. This vocabulary is stand alone application
that links to DSpace metadata entry interface.
THEcB Learning O()bect Repositoryl
Disciplines and Courses
Shown below is a list of disciplines and the courses and sub-disciplines within them.
dispilline or course home page.
* History Courses
o U.S. History
. U.S. History 1
A. Course Structure
B. Course-wide Assessments
. C. Complete Course
D. Course Units
E. Course Lessons and Related Assessments
F. Course Topics
o G. Case Studies and Case Study Teaching Guides
. H. Free-Standing Learning Objects
I. IMS Content Paclages
Figure 1. Learning objects repository
Developed vocabulary tool provides the following functions:
O Provide an online version of a controlled vocabulary that metadata
creators can link to and have open when they are determining what
terms to put into the Subject field;
O Let metadata creator click on a term in the online controlled
vocabulary and have it automatically pasted in to the Subject field;
Q Allow the metadata creator to add new terms to the controlled
vocabulary through a simple to use submission form;
Q Make newly submitted terms immediately available for all users
working on items submissions.
tD~ Describe Describe Upload Verify License Complete
Submit: Describe this Item
next input box or bttn, to save you hving to use the muse each time. (Iloe Help...)
Figure 2. Metadata entry page of the repository and vocabulary
The vocabulary was developed using open source database
management system MySQL and PHP scripting language as well as
When a user submits an item to the repository he or she needs to
assign subject terms. Clicking on the link Add Subject to box # brings
subject vocabulary application window (Figure 2). A user can search
this vocabulary for the terms and add terms to the Subject box by
clicking on the term.
A user can add new term by clicking on the Add button if appropriate
term is not found in the vocabulary. Entry form dialog will come up
(Figure 3) and after a user adds and saves the entry, new term will be
immediately available for use. This is especially important for the
environment where more than one user is working on the uploading
items to the repository.
The vocabulary was tested
while submitting hundreds of
items to the repository by the
group of six people working
concurrently from different
locations. Application proved to
be effective and useful tool.
Figure 3. Interface for adding
new terms to the vocabulary Done firstname.lastname@example.org
DSpace is highly customizable open source software package for
digital repositories. There are many add-ons and tools available in
DSpace for building repositories that meet specific requirements.
However, in some instances standalone applications are necessary
to add more features. Standalone subject vocabulary that was
described in this poster is an example of such application.
2008 ALISE Annual Conference, Community Engagement: Integrating Learning, Research, and Practice, January 8-11, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sign on to:
I1' THECB LOR
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Polyakov, Serhiy; Xu, Hong & Moen, William E. Adding a User Developed Vocabulary in DSpace, poster, January 2008; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc39321/m1/1/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Information.