The Digital Repository Service is the current project to build a institutional repository for Northeastern University. The repository will act as a source for departments in the institutional organization to store scholarly resources research information.
What is the DRS?
The DRS is simply the web application / project was and is being build to interface with our Fedora Common's dura-space architecture. The project is lead by the Dean of Digital Strategies, Patrick Yott. He had the vision to adopt open source technology and invest in building a customized web interface to provide Northeastern with a institutional repository to preserve and share university publications and other scholarly works.
The project project had functional requirements that made it more unique than other repository implementaitons. The data models of how content objects were organized followed an anolog of how the university is structured. For example, deposited materials are organized in a graph that follows the divisions of the university so that a research publication of the science department would follow:
Northeastern University / College of Arts and Sciences / Biology / Research Publications
The first implementation of the platform was built using a custom homegrown PHP written application. The features of this application were limited and the extendability of this implementation were greatly limited by the functional and hacked together pieces of code.
As I was given the task to look into using the Drupal APIs and contributed modules to implement a new UI I was quickly faced with the reality that this task was going to require using every API with a collection of custom modules to provide the features that were needed in the project. Drupal is a powerful platform that is no longer limited to be used as just a content management system, so although the