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October 2019

Duke University Libraries (DUL) maintains three digital repositories, separate systems that complement one another in terms of communities, service models, and collections. Together they represent the Libraries’ commitment to preservation and access for valued digital materials either held by the libraries, or produced by the University’s scholars. In managing these repository systems, we place a high value on openness, community and peer engagement, and independence from vended platforms. Guided by these values, we have, where possible, chosen to build our repositories on open source software platforms. The three repositories and their foundation platforms are:

  • the Duke Digital Repository (DDR), built on the Samvera framework - for digitized, born-digital, purchased, and licensed digital collections, as well as approved campus collections;
  • the Duke Research Data Repository (RDR), built on Hyrax, a Samvera solutions bundle - for research data produced by Duke scholars;
  • DukeSpace, built on DSpace, and integrated with Duke ScholarWorks via Symplectic Elements - for theses, dissertations, and research produced and published by Duke students and scholars.


These platforms require extensive staff time to develop and maintain, a commitment that we make, assuming no reduction in staffing levels, to all three platforms. At the same time, DUL has committed to multiple strategic priorities over the next several years, including major projects such as the design and development of the open source FOLIO library services platform, and the renovation of the Lilly Library. Staff and fiscal resources will be impacted and must be considered in the full context of DUL’s short- and long-term planning. 

Within this context, DUL commits to ongoing development and support (including routine maintenance) for the three repositories until no sooner than 2022 (3 years from now) as the primary platforms for their collecting and service areas. While we may consider strategic consolidation, we will not actively pursue a strategy of migrating to new technologies during this time. Committing to these platforms also deepens our engagement with peer institutions in the development of tools that support our community’s shared mission of digital preservation.

As part of our commitment, we make the following stipulations:

  • Oversight and management of repository platforms will continue to be part of the Digital Preservation and Publishing Program's (DP3) portfolio. 
  • Backlogs for the separate platforms will be populated, managed, and prioritized by their product owner teams, with DP3 Implementation and DP3 User focus teams serving in a consulting and advisory capacity. Product owner teams are also expected to collaborate with their stakeholder groups, including the Digital Collections Implementation Team (for DDR), Research Data Working Group (for RDR), and the Open Access team (for DukeSpace). 
  • Product owners will submit project summaries through the DST Leadership Team’s process for evaluation, grouping stories thematically, and scoping projects in manageable sizes. 
  • DUL’s software development team is committed to ongoing work on the backlogs for the three platforms. Work is scheduled for the RDR to start in the final quarter of 2019, and on enhancements to the DDR when version 2.0.0 of the platform goes into production, currently scheduled for early 2020. We expect this work to be an open-ended commitment, continuing to the end of FY20 and beyond, as needed.
  • This timeline allows DUL and specifically the Information Technology Services group to avoid considering requests to support new preservation platforms during the duration of the FOLIO implementation.


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