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Date & Time

  • April 14th 15:00 UTC/GMT - 11:00 ET 


We will use the international conference call dial-in. Please follow directions below.

  • U.S.A/Canada toll free: 866-740-1260, participant code: 2257295
  • International toll free:
    • Use the above link and input 2257295 and the country you are calling from to get your country's toll-free dial in #
    • Once on the call, enter participant code 2257295


We will start with the three questions which we agreed to cover in our last meeting:

  •  What are the top features of DSpace you use at least once a week

  • What are some of the features you do not use at all

  • As an administrator, which things do you really need to have both Configurable in the UI + take effect immediately without the need for a Tomcat restart. If you need some inspiration on this one, take a look at the administrator use cases.

Subsequently we will discuss following UI related questions, feeding into the ongoing DSpace roadmap work:

  • What is of interest to you in a UI? (use cases / features / needs)
  • What do we keep? What can we do better?
  • What would your ideal UI look like?


We will finish off with a request for assistance to finalise the list of Use Cases we created last year. Some of these have to be edited or further elaborated.

Preparing for the call

Please prepare the abovementioned questions in advance of the meeting. You can leave your answer to those questions in a comment below. In case you can not attend the meeting but would like to share your opinion, feel free to leave a comment as well. 

Meeting notes

Part 1: Core functionalities of DSpace

Following are non exhaustive lists based on the outcomes of our discussion. The goal of this part of the meeting was to list the main features in DSpace. The underlying idea is when we improve those features the overal admin user experience will increase.

Which admin features are used most often:

  • Editing metadata
  • Eperson management and authorization: This, however, still is a labour intensive process in most cases. Adding Epersons to certain groups is often done manually.

Which features are seldom used:

We went over this question rather quickly. It was clear that nearly all of the mentioned features are relatively new and might still need to find their way in.

One of those less used features in DSpace are curation tasks. The reason why this is not often used might be that those are not very well organised, which hampers the work.

Another feature is the versioning feature. This one has the limitation that the versioning form is the same as the submission form, while admins usually try to keep submission forms as easy as possible, but require a more elaborate form for versioning.

What should be configurable in the admin UI (Without having to reboot afterwards):

  • Themes: admins should be able to select different themes for each collection or community without requiring any technical assistance from developers. They should be able to adapt the basic look and feel of the communities and collections they're in charge of. 
  • Facets: Admins should be able to conveniently add or remove sidebar facets.
  • Changing the submission forms: Admins can alter the metadata schema's, but not the fields included in the submission form itself. Also, it would be a great improvement if submission forms could be tailored to the collection one is submitting to.

Part 2: Most important UI functionalities

Which features should definitely remain in the UI: 

  • Sidebar facets
  • Custom themes

Which features should be improved or created:

  • Submissions: Still a lot of users find submitting to DSpace difficult. It would be great if we could further improve the ease of use for submissions.
  • Visible relationships between bitstreams: this needs to be created as currently there is no way to visually indicate bitstream relatedness.
  • Audiovisual content streaming: DSpace does not support the streaming of video or audio files. A lot of DSpace admins now have to rely on third party services to stream their audiovisual content. It would be convenient if such a feature is integrated in DSpace. 
  • item pages: Most visitors land on those pages after searching google or an other search engine. The bitstream download link could be displayed more clearly however. Also the item page itself could have a cleaner overview. 

Call Attendees 


  1. Admin features I'd like to see configurable in the UI:

    1. Adding/Removing search filters
    2. Adding/Removing sidebar facets
    3. The ability to switch themes (between Mirage 1 and Mirage 2)
  2. Top ADMIN features for which we see heavy use among our clients

    • CSV export and import of items
    • Epeople management & Login-as
    • Collection creation and role management

    Admin features of which we see little use

    • Creation and usage of custom curation tasks (only a minority in our client base is writing custom curation tasks)
    • Accessing the list of Private items => this feature is fairly new so we don't see super high uptake yet
    • Using the "content source" tab in edit collection, to link up a collection to an external target for harvesting
      • Quite specific in terms of feature
      • Quite a few bugs in this feature to make it really usable at this point
    • We also see low use for many great features that require coding or config directly on the server
      • Writing of custom oai crosswalks
      • adding your own XML controlled vocabularies

    Admin features to be leveraged in the UI without a restart

    • Look & Feel: Modifying general site colors, header and footer content
    • Look & Feel: selecting a custom theme for a specific collection. Not the whole development, but if you already have a number of custom styles, the selection of the style should be easy at the point of creating a collection
    • Editing the input forms
    • Selecting a specific input-forms map for a particular collection


  3. Notes from Kate Dohe and Terrence W Brady at Georgetown University.

    Admin Features we use Weekly

    • Item submission,
    • Bulk ingest
    • Metadata editing
    • metadata export and bulk metadata edit
    • Eperson management and authorization policies

    Admin features we do not currently use

    • crosswalks
    • curation system
    • workflow system
    • open search
    • sword
    • type based submissions
    • controlled vocabularies
    • orcid id
    • doi
    • collection exports

    Admin changes we would like to make without a server restart

    • theme selection
    • facet and filter configuration
    • re-index of a community or collection
    • create hidden collections (to provision production handles for custom themes and facets)
    • configure summary display and customize labels
    • duplicate/clone and item (and then edit the cloned metadata)

    UI features to keep

    • Sidebar facets
    • Metadata summary
    • Simplicity of an item page

    Additional UI features

    • Ability to better express relationship between bitstreams within an item 
      • Currently, we manipulate item metadata and bitstream descriptions to enable specific use cases for items




  4. Weekly use:

    • Submit and approve items
    • Edit metadata
    • Checksum reports - email notifications that indicate whether there have been changes

    Regular use

    • Export metadata
    • Import metadata
    • Add bitstreams
    • Re-order bitstreams
    • Add communities
    • Edit communities - metadata
    • Add collections
    • Edit collections - metadata
    • Create item templates
    • Edit item templates

    Occasional use

    • Delete items
    • Add accounts for people
    • Disable accounts for people
    • Add groups
    • Edit groups
    • Edit community and collection roles

    Hope to use when functionality improves

    • Statistics

    Might start using

    • Look-up feature for names when submitting items

    Would like non-programming interface for

    • Changes to indexes - create and delete indexes; add and remove fields
    • Changes to facets - create and delete facets; add and remove fields
    • Displays - fields to include; field to suppress; field labels
    • Sort options
    • Changes to submission forms - metadata fields
    • Changes to values in drop-down boxes in submission forms

    Would like

    • Verification when a collection or community is being deleted; e.g., you are deleting a collection AND 50 items.




  5. I'm going to be unoriginal and cherry-pick from lists others have made...think of these as +1s to those suggestions

    Use regularly

    • item submission
    • metadata editing
    • Eperson management and authorization policies
    • collection creation

    Use less often, but still important enough that making these a little easier would be great

    • add/remove/replace bitstreams
    • add/update embargo

    Would like to make a lot easier

    • changes to submission forms - metadata fields
    • changes to values in drop-down boxes in submission forms
    • better ability to express relationship between bitstreams within an item
  6. What are the top features of DSpace you use at least once a week?

    • Reviewing and approving submitted Items, and editing their metadata.

    What is of interest to you in a UI? (use cases / features / needs)

    • We’d very much like to see the user when depositing be able to multiple select files and/or drag and drop files, to make it much quicker to deposit items with multiple files. But they should still have the ability afterwards to add a separate comment for each file.
    • It would also be useful if we could search our own file format registry. Currently we are having to put the information in a separate place, duplicating it, just so that we can search it e.g. to search for a file extension.

    What would your ideal UI look like?

    • The addition of a photo gallery viewer would be particularly useful for one large deposit we are dealing with, either to view all the images in an item or in a collection.
  7. Having consulted my colleagues further, I'd like to add:

    As an administrator, which things do you really need to have both Configurable in the UI + take effect immediately without the need for a Tomcat restart?
    • We would like to be able to add or edit contextual help (as mouseover tooltips) for the web deposit interface OR to be able to add/edit hyperlinks taking the user to our very detailed documentation if they need it, but for these to be in a mouseover so that they are usually hidden, so the users are not continually distracted and leaving the page.

    What is of interest to you in a UI? (use cases / features / needs)
    • We want to encourage more deposits of data, and so anything that can be done to make depositing easier and more userfriendly would be welcome. For example, it would speed up our workflow if it were possible for the curator to replace or add a file, or re-order files during the review stage (or permit the depositor to do so) (and for the curator to move an Item to a different collection during the review stage - we have to do this frequently). On several occasions I have wished I could do this so I could avoid going through the process of rejecting the item and forcing the depositor to start the deposit from scratch.

    What do we keep? What can we do better? 
    • Please let's get rid of the restrictions on the structure of the data. I've commented in greater detail on the relevant use case: Structure - Community and Collection hierarchy (or generic containers) .