Web Magazine for Information Professionals

DAEDALUS : Freeing Scholarly Communication at the University of Glasgow

William J. Nixon presents a brief overview of the DAEDALUS Open Archives Project at the University of Glasgow.

DAEDALUS [1] is a three year JISC funded project under the FAIR Programme [2] which will build a range of Open Archives Compliant (OAI) digital collections at the University of Glasgow. These collections will enable us to unlock access to a wide range of our institutional scholarly output. This output will include not only published and peer-reviewed papers but also administrative documents, research finding aids, pre-prints and theses. DAEDALUS is also a member of the CURL SHERPA project [3].

Key Elements

At Glasgow, our experiences with our initial ePrints service [4] enabled us to identify two key elements for the development and implementation of a successful service:

We have addressed both of these elements in DAEDALUS by establishing two distinct but complementary project strands: Advocacy and Service Development, each with their own Project Manager and remit.


Through their experiences many early ePrints adopters have identified the critical role which Advocacy activities have played in the success of their services.

The broad remit of the Project Manager (Advocacy) is:

The Project Manager (Advocacy) will work with our Subject Librarians and with other FAIR Projects such as SHERPA and TARDIS [6]. The Project Board has been set-up and includes a senior academic member of staff from each of three territorial subject groups in the University.

We will also build on the initial momentum of our Scholarly Communication event entitled "Creating Change" [7], which was held in April 2002. It was attended by some 60 plus members of staff and provided an opportunity for invited speakers, such as Julia Blixrud from SPARC to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the Crisis in Scholarly Communication.

We are now in the process of contacting academics who are already self-publishing. With the support of early adopters of our initial ePrints service we have been invited to a make presentations to departmental meetings.

We will also act as a Focus for publisher copyright policies for published papers and have been greatly assisted in this by the work of Project RoMEO [8]. RoMEO has published a range of publisher policies for copyright and self-archiving.

In addition to this advisory role the Library will provide a mediated submission service for any academic staff who would like to deposit their content in our archive.

It is also apparent that there are broader issues which must be considered as the project continues beyond the immediate ones of copyright, quality control and peer review such as digital preservation. These broader issues will be explored through our use of software such as DSpace and in conjunction with other projects including SHERPA.

Service Development

The remit of the Project Manager (Service Development) is to establish five OAI-compliant collections [Data Providers] and one search service [Service Provider]. These collections will use a range of different software solutions including GNU Eprints 2.0 and MIT’s DSpace. The collections are:

We will also build an OAI-compliant search service, which will enable users to cross-search this material.

In the first year of the project we will be focusing on published papers, preprints and theses using a range of open source and freely available software solutions.

GNU Eprints 2 – Published and Peer-reviewed papers

Published and peer-reviewed papers will be deposited in a repository implemented with the GNU Eprints 2 [9] software from the University of Southampton. We are currently building a new Demonstrator service using Eprints 2.0 and will look to migrate content from the current service in the New Year as it is developed and configured.

DSpace – Preprints and Working Papers

DSpace is a digital repository created to capture, distribute and preserve the intellectual output of MIT [10]. The source code was released on the 8th of November 2002 and is freely available for download. DSpace will be used as a repository for preprints, working papers and technical reports. We will begin working with DSpace in early 2003.

Virginia Tech ETD-db – E-Theses

Theses will be deposited in a repository using the ETD-db software from Virginia Tech. This is already in use in sites such as Caltech and is well documented [11]. We are also working with two other FAIR Theses Projects: Theses Alive! (University of Edinburgh) and the E-Theses Project (Robert Gordon University) [12].

Other Collections: Administrative Documents and Research Finding Aids

From August 2003 DAEDALUS will begin to investigate the challenges of making existing collections of material OAI-compliant as we build on the initial collections established over the first year.

DAEDALUS (and Ariadne)

Why Daedalus? Daedalus, architect of the Labyrinth for King Minos came to the aid of Ariadne [13]. He divulged the secret of his Labyrinth to her so that she could rescue her lover Theseus. Minos discovered Daedalus' betrayal and imprisoned him. Daedalus made wings of wax and feathers for himself and his son, Icarus to enable them to escape. Icarus, ignoring his father's warnings flew too close to the sun, his wings melted and he plunged into the sea. Daedalus, however, did not fly too near to the sun and was able to land safely in Sicily.

An architect, able to arrive safely at his destination seemed a fitting choice for a project to build a range of OAI-compliant services and to unlock scholarly content.

The image displayed here is Daedalus from Ovid's Metamporhoses, illustrated by Virgil Solis, Frankfurt: 1569 [S.M. 875]

The DAEDALUS project logo is taken from this woodcut of Daedalus watching Icarus fall in Ovid: Metamorphoses, illustrated by Virgil Solis (Frankfurt: 1569) and held in the Department of Special Collections, Glasgow University Library.

The Future

The FAIR Programme in the UK has put the development of such services firmly on the agenda for many UK institutions. DAEDALUS will contribute to this work and the wider debate on scholarly communication through our practical experience of implementing these collections.


[1] DAEDALUS http://www.gla.ac.uk/daedalus
[2] JISC FAIR Programme Circular 1/02 http://www.jisc.ac.uk/pub02/c01_02.html
[3] SHERPA (CURL) http://www.sherpa.ac.uk
[4] Glasgow EPrints Service http://eprints.lib.gla.ac.uk
[5] Nixon, William J "The evolution of an institutional e-prints archive at the University of Glasgow". Ariadne Issue 32 http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue32/eprint-archives/
[6] TARDIS (University of Southampton) http://tardis.eprints.org/
[7] Creating Change [at Glasgow] http://www.gla.ac.uk/createchange/future/
[8] RoMEO (Loughborough University) http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ls/disresearch/romeo/
[9] GNU Eprints 2.0 http://software.eprints.org
[10] DSpace http://www.dspace.org
[11] Caltech ETD-db Resources for Developers http://etd.caltech.edu/developer/
[12] E-Theses Project (Robert Gordon University) http://www2.rgu.ac.uk/library/e-theses.htm
[13] Whitaker, Graham "Greek Myths", Ariadne http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/about/myth-new.html

Author Details

 William J. Nixon
Deputy Head of IT Services / Project Co-ordinator Glasgow University Library, Hillhead Street, Glasgow, UK
e: w.j.nixon@lib.gla.ac.uk
| http://www.lib.gla.ac.uk | http://www.gla.ac.uk/daedalus