Data Conservancy Software Beta Release Now Available

We are pleased to announce the beta release of the Data Conservancy Software (DCS). The version features archive services and enhanced metadata ingest capabilities, as well as an improved user interface.


“We have started the data preservation capabilities of the Data Conservancy Software by developing a provenance and lineage service,” said Sayeed Choudhury, DC principal investigator and associate dean for research data management at the Johns Hopkins University. “The beta release has a new packaging specification and an independent package builder. We’ve also developed a reference user interface that reflects needs arising from operational support.”


The new version features a standards-based packaging scheme that augments the payload and validation capabilities of BagIt—a hierarchical file packaging format for the exchange of digital content—with the relationship and resource description capabilities of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) model. The user interface now ingests data packages in the BagIt format and performs an integrity check to make sure users are uploading what they intend to be uploading. It provides support for manipulating packages and transforming them into business objects, turning big packages of data into collections and sub-collections. Given a file system that contains a large number of data files, the software creates possible structural descriptions of the relationships, which can be edited.


“We view this packaging specification and builder as the first step toward something we call the Data Conservancy Software Lite (DCS Lite),” Choudhury said. “It’s a version of the software made for both large data sets and also for long tail researchers when they are in the field or when they are not working directly with an archive.” Long tail data or long tail research refers to research data that consist of numerous small data sets.


Like its previous versions, the new release can be used collectively or independently depending on the institution’s needs. Important features of the beta release include a robust ingest framework; a query interface; an archival store abstraction over the Fedora Repository; an HTTP API supporting ingest, query, and retrieval of data; and a browser-based user interface.


Before downloading the beta release, we strongly suggest that you read all information pertaining to the current software versions, including available documentation on the system administration, user interface administration, and user interface users guide.


More details can be found on the Downloads and Documentation pages of the Data Conservancy website.


The Data Conservancy is a growing community of university libraries, national data centers, and information science research and education programs working to unlock the full potential of data integration and discovery. It promotes data preservation and re-use across disciplines with tools and services that recognize the need for institutional and community solutions to digital research data collection, curation, and preservation challenges, and that provide incentives for scientists and researchers to participate.


Initially funded by the National Science Foundation’s DataNet program, the Data Conservancy is now sustained by the contributions of its community members. The Data Conservancy is coordinated by the Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University. For more information, visit the Data Conservancy Web site.

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