I have mentioned Arrow a couple of times: Arrow is an Australian project looking at national Institutional Repository infrastructure. Geoff Payne, the Arrow project manager was in OCLC recently discussing how they might integrate some of our schema transformation work. He gave a well received presentatation to OCLC staff and colleagues from OhioLink and some other organizations in the area. The presentation is now available from the Arrow site. Some random observations:

  • Australia is introducing a Research Quality Framework, similar in conception to the UK Research Assessment Exercise. These involve submission of institutional research outputs for peeer assessment, the results of which influence the flow of public research funding. The role of institutional repositories in managing and making accessible reserch outputs is under active discussion, and it is expected that this will provide incentives for Australian faculty's work to be represented in institutional repositories. A major strand of Arrow work is to fit in with existing frameworks for managing and reporting research activity.
  • Arrow envisages institutional repositories and a national discovery layer provided by the National Library of Australia. A succinct description of this is available from the NLA site. Of course, others may also harvest metadata from Arrow partners. It is interesting seeing the role of the National Library here. One of the issues with much grant-funded activity is that the activity does not outlive the funding impulse which gave rise to it. In this case, the National Library sees this service role as an ongoing part of its mission, ensuring some continuity and institutionalization.
  • The Arrow project is working with VTLS and Fedora to build its repository infrastructure. The VTLS Vital product is running over Fedora.

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