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Sheeja N. K and Surendran Cherukodan, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin-
682 022 , E-mail : sheeja[at]
The effective organization and utilisation of resources produced by the students, faculty and research scholars
in university departments assume greater significance. Institutional repositories are developed by many in-
stitutions to provide resources and materials that support students in their studies. The present study recog-
nizes the value of such a repository in the Engineering and Technology discipline in Cochin University of
Science and Technology. The paper explains the need for a digital repository of project reports. The authors
present a model'for digital repository, and the organization.and administration of such a repository. The study
also analyses the various other factors associated with the proposed depository.
The Cochin University of Science and
Technology (CUSAT), Kochi, Kerala., was
established inl971. The mission of the university
is to prosecute and promote research in applied
science, technology, industry, commerce,
management and social science for the
advancement of knowledge and for the
betterment of society, and to provide facilities
and offer opportunities for graduate and
postgraduate education in these subjects.
CUSAT University library system is an
automated one, connected with campus LAN.
The library has a 2 mbps leased line Internet
connectivity and offering online services to the
user community. It has web enabled OPAC and
windows based library software ADLIB to enable
the house keeping operations. CUSAT has vast
amount of resources, that include the journals,
books, theses, abstracts, project reports,
databases purchased by the university, and
online journals and databases available through
the consortia basis. University has membership
in INDEST consortia and UGC Infonet
programme. The university provides access to
IEEE Electronic Library, Proquest Applied
Science & Technology database, ASCE (American
Society of Civil Engineers) and ASME (American
Society of Mechanical Engineers) databases
through INDEST consortia. The IEEE Electronic
Library (IEL) is providing full text access to
articles from more than 4000 publications,
including journals, conference proceedings, and
IEEE standards with original charts and graphs
from 1988 onwards.
The Engineering faculty in Cochin
University of Science and Technology offers a
variety of B.Tech programmes in Civil
Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical
Engineering, Electronics Engineering,
XXV IASLIC Conference / Chennai / 2005 / pp.117-120Page 2

Information Technology, Mechanical
Engineering and Safety and Fire Engineering .
Under the faculty of Technology the University
has seven Departments namely Computer
Application, Computer Science, Electronics,
Instrumentation,. Polymer Science and Rubber
Technology, Ship Technology and the
International School of Photonics. Majority of the
Departments offer B.Tech and M.Tech
programmes in the concerned subjects. All the
Departments offer Ph.D programmes also thus
produce a large amount of research materials,
mainly consisting of project reports and research
An institutional repository is a database
with a set of services to capture, store, index,
preserve and redistribute a university's scholarly
research in digital formats. Lynch defines
institutional repositories as in the following way:
"A university-based institutional repository is a
set of services that a university offers to the
members of its community for the management
and dissemination of digital materials created
by the institution and its community members.
It is most essentially an organisational
commitment to the stewardship of these digital
materials, including long-term preservation
where appropriate, as well as organisation and
access or distribution" [3].
Institutional repositories are being
constructed today to address the needs of
scholarly communication in a digital
environment[lj. During the past decades colleges
and universities have witnessed an exponential
growth in digital information available for
teaching and learning. As the quantity of
information continues to increase and these
collections expand, there is need for a repository
that can provide appropriate storage and access
to all these valuable material in a flexible and
extensible manner for the foreseeable future.
This need has led many organizations to select a
digital library solution that can assimilate
current collections and accommodate new
materials, as they become available[2].
The completion of the course in Engineering
and Technology in the University requires the
preparation of a project report on a subject
selected by the student and approved by the
Supervising teacher. So each student wants
information on the topics of projects, list and
details of previous projects submitted, factual
data for the current projects etc. If the library
builds a digital resource base for project reports
it shall be of immense benefit to the students for
accessing large amount of data. The depository
will also help the staff to achieve bibliographical
control of project reports and ensure full text
accessibility to the reports being completed.
5.1 Building Digital Repository
The development of policies that govern
content acquisition, distribution, and
maintenance are the first steps of building any
repository. There are many factors to be
considered like, what is the mission of the
repository? what kinds of contents will be
accepted for building the collection? who are the
key users of the repository? who can deposit
contents in the repository? who will provide
The mission of the CUSAT project
repository is to provide necessary resources
essential for engineering undergraduates for
their projects. The model is designed as a
centralised one, controlled by a team of university
library staff. Students can submit their project
reports to the library in digital form. The team
118Page 3

of staff who manage the repository review the
rupurts and create metadata and submit the
contents to the repository. ^
Another important thing in the repository
is installation of the software platform. There are
a number of software platforms for building
institutional repositories. The following are some
of the leading institutional repository software
platforms: Archimede, an open source software
for building institutional repositories developed
by the Laval University Library; Bepress,
developed by the Berkeley Electronic Press;
CDSware developed by CERN, the European
Organization for Nuclear Research, based in
Geneva; CONTENTdm of DiMeMa
Incorporations; Dspace, jointly developed by MIT
and Hewlett Packard Labs. Eprints, a free, open
source software developed at the University of
Southampton. Fedora jointly developed by the
University of Virginia and Cornell University;
Greenstone Developed by the New Zealand
Digital Library Project at the University of
Waikato, and Open Repository a commercial
software service for building institutional
repositories developed by BioMed Central.
Research institutions worldwide widely use
DSpace for a variety of digital archiving needs
including institutional repositories to learning
object repositories, electronic records
management, and more.
5.2 Workflow
The following diagram shows the workflow
of the proposed study. The first step begins with
the resource development of the repository. The
contents of the repository come mainly from three
sources. The major part of the repository is built
by adding the project reports produced by the
students in digital format. The students send the
reports to the collection centre of the university
library and the selection teams review the
contents of the reports based on the policies
formulated for the purpose and add them to the
repository. Metadata are created by the team for
enhancing access to the repository through
different terms.
The second source of the digital repository
is coming from faculties and research scholars
in the form of guidelines, teaching aids, preprints,
post prints learning objects, full text of original
articles etc. This type of resources may guide the
students on how to conduct a study, what are
the methods of searching the literature and
collecting data, and the production of a final
project report.
The third source of the digital repository
includes the selected articles on recent
developments in the areas of Engineering and
Technology appeared in online journals and
databases. For this purpose the selection team
can seek the help of the faculty for inclusion and
deletion of certain materials. These resources will
help the students to select a problem for their
study, literature search, image search, etc.
When the repository is ready with contests
and selected software platform, it is put to use
by the students, who can access the depository
from their labs through the campus wide
network. The end-user or public interface will
supports search and retrieval of items by
browsing or searching the metadata.
5.3 Metadata, Standards, Protocols /
A digital repository exists to preserve the
ability to use the intellectual content of the digital
objects within it. For this to happen, the
119Page 4

repository will need to preserve the object itself,
but it must also preserve the metadata describing
the object. Dspace uses a qualified Dublin Core
metadata standard for describing items
intellectually. Interoperability requires that
repositories employ standards developed to
handle issues associated with open access. These
standards include the Open Archival Information
System (OAIS) Reference Model and Open
Archives Metadata Harvesting Protocol (OAI-
5.4 Intellectual Property Rights
Librarians and administrators responsible
for operating and maintaining repositories need
to ensure that all legal requirements are met.
These requirements include appropriate software
and content licenses.
5.5 Preservation Strategies
Digital information stored in the repository
may lose its authenticity due to many reasons.
So it is essential that the system should be
prepared to apply different strategies and
techniques for the preservation of digital
resources in the repository. Without intervention,
an e-print may be subject to media degradation
within a few years. Even if the e-print is securely
backed-up, in a few more years will see the e-
print's content become inaccessible as software
and hardware change[4]. There are a number of
preservation strategies like technology
preservation, refreshing; migration and
reformatting, emulation etc.
5.6 Evaluation
Regular assessment is necessary for any
system. It is desirable that the system uses
different methods to evaluate the functions of the
repository from time to time. Feedback from the
students may be collected and used to understand
the functioning of the system.
5.7 Training
Trained manpower is essential for
maintaining quality of the system. So continuous
skill development programmes for every staff
member in the team is critical. Attending of
workshops and tutorials shall help the team to
apply new strategies and methods for collection,
processing and retrieval of digital resources.
An institutional repository of projects
reports in Engineering and Technology shall be
an effective way of storing and making the
documents.produced by the students, faculty and
research scholars in the area. The resources are
organised and well maintained in a system that
identifies the information requirements of
students and achieves bibliographical control of
projects reports. The CUSAT project reports
repository will be a valuable source of
information for the current and future users of
the university.
1. Crow (R.). The case for institutional repositories"
2002, available at
2. Kumar (A.), et al. Architecting an extensible
digital repository. In Proceedings of the 2004
Joint ACM/IEEE Conference on Digital
Libraries (JCDL'04 ), June 7-11, 2004, Tucson,
Arizona, pp.2-10.
3. Lynch (Clifford A.). Institutional repositories :
Essential infrastructure for scholarship in the
digital age. ARL Report 226, February 2003,
4. Pmfield (Stephen) and Hamish (James). (The)
Digital preservation of e-Prints. D-Lib
Magazine 9(9), 2003 available at http://

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