David T. Palmer
Associate University Librarian & Digital Strategist
University of Hong Kong
Institutional repositories (IRs) collect, manage and display publications and their metadata. However, an institution’s research, expertise and capacity is described by more than publications. The University of Hong Kong (HKU) Scholars Hub, hosted in DSpace, began as the HKU IR in 2005. Asking for voluntary deposit of publications from HKU academics, it received little notice, and more importantly, little support from University senior management. In 2009 a new HKU initiative, Knowledge Exchange (KE), adopted the Hub as a key vehicle to share knowledge and skill with the community outside HKU. With funding support from the Office of KE, the data model of DSpace was extended to include relational tables on non-publication objects, including people, grants, and patents, holding attributes of these objects, such as co-investigators, co-inventors, co-prize winners, research interests, languages spoken, supervision of postgraduate theses, etc.
The DSpace user interface now delivers an integrated search and display on these objects and attributes, as well as on ones newly derived, such as authority work on name disambiguation and synonymy in Roman and Hanzi, visualizations of networks of co-authors, co-investigators, etc., metrics extracted from external sources such as Scopus, WoS, PubMed, Google Scholar Citations, internal alt-metrics of view and download counts, and more. Beyond the functions of an IR, the Hub now performs as a system for reputation management, impact management, and research networking and profiling, all of which are concepts included in the broad term “Current Research Information System” (CRIS). These new objects and attributes curated from several trusted sources, and integrated into the present mashup, contextualize and highlight HKU research, and attract more hits, than an IR with only publications.
The HKU Office of Knowledge Exchange has now funded the modularization of these new HKU features of DSpace. Together with its partner, CINECA of Italy, this work is being made available in open source for the DSpace community.