The Mission of the UCD Digital Library is to capture digital cultural resources and research outputs of the University College Dublin community as well as its collaborators and partners, to preserve and sustain the usability of these assets, and to enable their broad dissemination.
UCD Digital Library refers to the digital collections and online services made available by the Library of University College Dublin.
It is an archive comprising an organisation, namely, the UCD Library and particularly its Research Services and Information Technology Services divisions,
and technical systems, namely, the UCD Digital Repository and its services framework. It is a curated, preservation-oriented resource that seeks to comply to
internationally endorsed best practices and standards for an
OAIS-compliant Trusted Digital Repository.
Resources managed by the UCD Digital Library include:
digitised cultural heritage data: printed documents, archival materials, artefacts, etc.
research data arising from activity at UCD and elsewhere
UCD Digital Library staff also offer expertise in digital content management and preservation as well as related policy matters, such as Open Access. The UCD Digital Library as a service can
publish outcomes of your research, including research data
enable you to fulfill funders' Open Access requirements
help you increase the impact of your research activities with value-added services such as assignment of DOIs and registration of data in international data registries
The UCD Digital Library strives for interoperability with other, external repositories and databases. Collections information is currently exported to the following sites:
Europeana: a cultural heritage portal for all of Europe, and is a component of The European Library. UCD Library (through the IVRLA project) were the first Irish content aggregator. Europeana are currently referencing 17 UCD Digital Library collections.
ARTstor: a digital library of more than one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences, as part of an agreement between the UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy and ARTstor. Over 600 images, digitised from the 35mm slide collection in the UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy, have been included in ARTstor, 200 of which were digitised by the IVRLA project.
nomisma.org: an international database of ancient coins. Roman Republican Coins from the
UCD Classical Museum
have been documented using the NUDS metadata schema and have been exported in NUDS RDF-XML format for inclusion in the Linked Data resource nomisma.org, and in the forthcoming database of
Roman Republican Coins Online.
DataCite: DataCite is an international registry of research data.
Collections of data in the UCD Digital Library, from all research domains, are registered with DataCite, providing each resource with a citeable DOI
and making descriptive information about the resources available via the DataCite Metadata Search service.
OpenAIREplus is aimed at linking the aggregated research publications to the accompanying research and project information, datasets and author information. UCD became an active data provider to OpenAIREplus in August 2014.
Data Citation Index (Thomson Reuters):
The Data Citation Index on the Web of Science proposes to provide a single point of access to quality research data from repositories across disciplines and around the world.
Research Data registered with UCD Digital Library are reported to the Data Citation Index via agreements with both DataCite
and UCD Library.
The UCD Digital Library' underlying infrastructure can be exploited to support "Sponsored sites"—large-scale sponsored research projects whose data are instantiated on separate web sites. For more information see
The UCD Digital Library and Repository are a data archive in the sense defined by the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS), which states that "an OAIS is an Archive, consisting of an organisation, which may be part of a larger
organisation, of people and systems that has accepted the responsibility to preserve information and make it available for a Designated Community."
The UCD Digital Library and Repository are developed and suported by UCD Library, a core service provider based at University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland. It is supported by a dedicated, permanent cohort of
staff in the UCD Library Research Services division, with additional supports from the Library Information Technology and Services group. It avails of additional services made available through University offices,
including IT Services, the UCD Research Office, Legal and Business Affairs, etc. It provides services on behalf of a designated community of University-based cultural heritage repositories, UCD researchers, and UCD research partners
active in all research domains supported by the University. It supports the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA) and its designated community of Irish and international research
organisations and researchers that produce and consume
In addition it provides services through partnership agreements with external organisations.
Promotional activities are undertaken by UCD Library Administration, Outreach, Client Services and Research Services staff to assure knowledge and understanding of its services.
These activities include dissemination of information on UCD web sites, topical promotional activities, and training classes supported by the Library's Client
Services and Research Services divisions. The UCD Digital Library is also registered as a research data repository with re3data.org,
an international registry of research data repositories and is represented in social media sites such as Twitter.
Research data held by the UCD Digital Library is registered with international registries, including DataCite,
and the Data Citation Index.
Scope of Services
UCD Digital Library and Repository provide services to staff and organisational units of University College Dublin, their partners and collaborators, and other organisational entities whose data archiving
and publishing requirements are in alignment with the mission.
UCD Digital Library and Repository have an explicit mission with regard to digital cultural heritage resources, including digitally reformatted instantiations of original analogue
resources and information that is "born digital."
UCD Digital Library and Repository also have an explicit mission with regard to capture and preservation of research data.
Research data comprises observational data, experimental data, simulated data and the computational models on which simulations are based, and documentation of research protocols, methods, and workflows.
Broader definitions may also apply, such as in the definition of "dataset" offerred by DataCite,
an international registry and provider of services related to research data:
Recorded information, regardless of the form or medium on which it may be recorded including writings, films, sound recordings, pictorial reproductions, drawings, designs, or other graphic
representations, procedural manuals, forms, diagrams, work flow, charts, equipment descriptions, data files, data processing or computer programs (software), statistical records, and other research data.
UCD Digital Library and Repository have extensively documented the procedures surrounding the operational activities and services offered by it. These procedures are governed by clear policies,
which align with the mission statement and meet with best practices. All operational activities and services, complemented by a
robust, scalable and sustainable technical infrastructure, ensure that long term access and preservation of the digital collections, with all of their components, can be facilitated.
Policies and procedures relating to preservation, digital object curation (including acquisition and digitisation), cataloguing, copyright, and the technical infrastructure, will be available in the Publications area.
Publicity and Guides
Information about the UCD Digital Library, its services, and general guidelines about digitisation projects and other related disciplines, can be found in a growing number of online guides and publicity material.
With regard to systems and procedures, the UCD Digital Library and Repository has been guided by the OAIS reference model with regard to the functional model of archival information systems (§4.1 of the guidelines).
The figure below provides a graphical representation of systems and interactions with data producers, archive administrators and management, and data consumers, following the OAIS functional model:
The technical infrastructure is described more fully below, but key components include the Fedora Commons repository software,
Nesstar (a software system for publishing quantitative data),
and relational and semantic database services. Computational resources are hosted in part within the University College Dublin Data Centre and in part by cloud service brokers and computer service vendors
that are certified EU Safe Harbour service providers. External services provide redundant storage, disaster recovery services as well as some value-added services, including data integrity audits.
UCD Digital Library and Repository follow international best practices and standards with regard to resource description and instantiation of information about the data assets it holds.
These practices apply to the following kinds of metadata:
Description and encoding practices comply with internationally accepted best practices for interoperable metadata. Detailed documentation on the use of descriptive schemas is maintained by UCD Digital Library
staff in an internally accessible Confluence wiki. Use of the MODS 3.5 schema in particular seeks to maximise usage of data element attributes that enable encoding of Linked Data refereneces.
A locally developed metadata creation and management system, IMAD (Ingest, Metadata, and Administration Database),
facilitates efficient recording of descriptive information and capture of URI references from Linked Data vocabularies referenced
by the UCD Digital Library (see below, Vocabularies Referenced).
Metadata reference authoritative vocabularies wherever possible, drawing upon vocabularies developed in support of diverse communities; wherever appropriate references are made to Linked Open Vocabularies, namely, openly licensed RDFS or OWL ontologies.
The UCD Digital Library and Repository is capable of storing and disseminating any type of data. For certain types of data there are preferred formats which facilitate processing, storage, and dissemination of data, assuring both useability and longer-term durability of the data. Preferred formats are:
OpenDocument Text (.odt) MS Word (.doc, .docx) Rich Text File (.rtf) PDF (.pdf)
UCD Digital Library and Repository assumes responsibility for discovery, access and assurance of availability of digital assets deposited by producers of the data which it holds.
Digital Library Web Site
UCD Digital Library provides mechanisms for browsing holdings by logical collections and via full-text search. Search interfaces are proovided via the Digital Library web site and
via an OpenSearch API.
Metadata & Full-text Search
Metadata and full-text resources are indexed with the full-text faceted search engine Solr and are exposed via the UCD Digital Library web interface for interactive use.
Exposure to internet search engines is facilitated by the use of XML Sitemaps.
Discoverability by internet search engines is also enhanced by use of semantic markup, namely inclusion of Open Graph metadata and
markup compliant with schema.org.
UCD Library is an active contributor to Europeana, the aggregator of metadata related to European cultural heritage. As noted above,
DataCite 3.0 metadata is created for all objects registered with the DataCite services and that are assigned a DataCite DOI, which is in turn exposed via
the DataCite Metadata Search interface.
by agreement with Thomson Reuters, DataCite metadata representing research data in the UCD Digital Library are also included in the Web of Science
Data Citation Index.
The UCD Digital Library exposes data services via a suite of Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, that enable functionality in the Digital Library web interface but also expose data and data services to third parties for integration into
external research activities or web applications. These services complement the OpenSearch and OAI-PMH services identified above.
Services exposed at http://digital.ucd.ie are enabled by a general Web API that supports interactive human- and machine-use of the UCD Digital Library. The Web API provides core functionality to support usage via conventional web browsers on both desktop and mobile platforms:
view (HTML + diverse alternative representations of information resources)
export/download (diverse formats)
The Web API also supports HTTP content negotiation to facilitate machine-based interactions with the UCD Digital Library. Details of the Web API and APIs supporting metadata and content dissemination are available at http://digital.ucd.ie/research/#data-services.
The technical infrastructure of the UCD Digital Library and UCD Digital Repository Services are comprised of an integrated suite of open-source components widely used in the research data management and data preservation communities. A visual representation of the general software applications stack is provided below as Figure 2.
UCD Digital Library deploys the MySQL relational database management system, version 5.1.73, both as a component of the fedora services framework and for management of user metadata related to authenticated sessions, for management of Access Control
Lists, and to enable authorisation of users for access to restricted resources.
The mulgara semantic store, version 2.1.13, is also deployed as part of the fedora service framework to support the fedora risearch index, which indexes RDF expressions describing relationships among objected in the repository.
Geospatial Information Services are also supported by the UCD Digital Library. A postGIS/postgreSQL database is supported via subscription by the service provider CartoDB to manage a geospatial knowledge base, geospatial references and boundary data related to resources in the UCD Digital
Library and Repository, and other geospatial objects. CartoDB provides value-added services including APIs that facilitate integration of spatial information into real-time web applications and download of geospatial information in a range of common GIS formats.
UCD Digital Library deploys applications services to support specialised data management and dissemination functions.
These services enable integration of advanced data presentation and download functions to end-users into both the Web user interface and APIs supported by the UCD Digital Library.
The djatoka JPEG2000 image server is deployed to enable real-time region extraction and delivery of static images in a range of formats (BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, PNM, TIF, JPEG 2000) in response to user requests. It also supports
URI-addressability of regions, facilitating creation of persistent references to specific manifestations of static images drawn from JPEG20000 images. djatoka supports both real-time delivery of images via the UCD Digital Library Web API and via the IIIF Image API.
Nesstar, a specialised application to support use of quantiative datasets, is also deployed by UCD Digital Library on behalf of the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA). Nesstar facilitates resource discovery, browsing of dataset
metadata and variables, and download of quantitative datasets in a range of commonly used formats, including SPSS, SPSS Portable, SAS, Stata, Stata6, Stata7, and NSDData. Nesstar's services are exposed via a web interface at http://nesstar.ucd.ie/webview/; services exposed via the Nesstar REST API are also made available via a proxy quantiative data API and are integrated with the UCD Digital Library web services to enable browsing of information related to survey data.
Services that enhance identification and discoverability of digital assets are also subscribed or employed to add value to UCD Digital Library Services:
EZID is a service offerred by the California Digital Library to enable assignment of persistent identifiers to digital assets. EZID enables assignment of
Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to data and registers corresponding metadata with DataCite, making published datasets uniquely identifiable and easily citeable. It also provides the ability to assign
Archival Resource Keys (ARKs) to digital objects to assist with general resource management.
DataCite is an international organisation which aims to establish easier access to research data increase acceptance of research data as
legitimate contributions in the scholarly record, and to support data archiving to permit results to be verified and re-purposed for future study. DataCite maintains an international registry
of research data, identified by DOIs, and exposes services related to the discovery and use of metadata for research data.
ORCiD is an open, non-profit, community-driven effort to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a
transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers. Whenever possible, metadata in the UCD Digital Library associates researchers with their
ORCiD identifier to assure that they are identified unambiguously.
The web site at http://digital.ucd.ie/ also integrates a range of ubiquitously deployed code frameworks and software tools
to enable a broad range of functionality and assure accessibility. These technologies include:
simpleSAMLphp, middleware service for authentication of users via Shibboleth or SAML 2.0 identity providers
In addition, the Web API enables support of "sponsored sites". These are web sites that can be instantiated separately from the UCD Digital Library web interface
with their own web domain. The web site created in partnership with the Iberian Book Project is an example of a sponsored site:
UCD Digital Library utilises a combination of local and cloud storage solutions. All digital library content and metadata resides on local Netapp SAN disks located within the UCD campus data centre. These volumes are then mirrored to identical storage in the UCD Computer Centre.
UCD Digital Library integrates Duracloud services to automatically back up and preserve digital library content. Amazon S3 storage is employed to hold a primary backup copy of content which is then archived to Amazon Glacier. There exists automatic synchronisation of content between primary and secondary storage and automatic file recovery is maintained between both backup copies.
UCD Digital Library and Repository uses due diligence to ensure compliance with legal regulations and contracts, including regulations governing the protection of human subjects and informants of ethnographic studies.
UCD Digital Library works with a wide variety of source repositories and individual depositors within UCD, as well as externally. There is a detailed Collection Development Policy in place regarding the kinds of collections accepted, and potential
depositors are invited to contact us to discuss how best to proceed. General requirements are listed below.
Depositors must provide information about the context of the data to be deposited (metadata). This information may comprise the following kinds of metadata:
Descriptive metadata consist of information required to find data and add transparency to their meaning (definition and value) and importance. Examples of descriptive metadata are the data elements of the Dublin Core Element Set, with fields such as creator, type, and date.
Structural metadata indicate how different components of a set of associated data relate to one another. These metadata are needed to be able to process data of complex digital objects, i.e., those consisting of more than one digital file.
Administrative metadata are required to enable permanent access to the data. This concerns the description of intellectual property, conditions for use and access and the preservation metadata needed for durable archiving of the data.
Staff of UCD Digital Library are able to advise on required metadata and offer services that enable information provided by depositors to be serialised in XML formats required for storage in the UCD Digital Repository.
Preferred Formats for Data
The UCD Digital Library and Repository is capable of storing and disseminating any type of data. For certain types of data there are preferred formats which facilitate processing, storage, and dissemination of data, assuring both useability and longer-term durability of the data.
For all data deposited, we ask contributors to provide a full manifest of data files contributed, identifying filenames, file types (internet media types or MIME types), and a checksum hash value (e.g., MD5 or SHA checksums). All data received is verified against file manifests and supplied checksum hash values.
For data received in formats other than the "preferred formats" listed above, curatorial staff will determine whether it is appropriate to re-format data into preferred formats for preservation or dissemination purposes in line with international best practices.