PerX cluster summary

From DigiRepWiki


The PerX project is developing a pilot service which provides subject resource discovery across a series of repositories of interest to the engineering learning and research communities. This pilot will be used as a test-bed to explore the practical issues that will be encountered when considering the possibility of full scale subject resource discovery services.

The project has deliberately taken a broad definition of what constitutes a repository and the pilot service is currently being set up to cross search a range of repository types (e.g. Research Outputs, e-thesis, Learning Materials, Technical Reports, etc.) using a variety of techniques (ie. OAI-PMH, Z39.50, and SRU/SRW).

Issues to be investigated during the project include: the range and availability of digital repository sources; exploration of cultural barriers to the use of repositories in the subject community, functionality of software tools; advocacy to encourage participation of repository providers; maintenance issues; interactions with infrastructural shared services; enhancing metadata quality; embedding and reuse of resource discovery services; improving search and browse results presentation; service profiling for particular audiences, and service sustainability.


1. How do subject based services effectively identify suitable repositories? IESR scope is currently quite narrow and the OpenDoAR subject classification of repositories results in many repositories being classified under many multiple headings. Metadata repositories are also difficult to identify.

2. How do subject based services gain a subject perspective on multidisciplinary collections? Many repositories currently offer no effective means to subdivide collections on a subject basis and those that do, often use different classification schemes.

One possible scenario is that repositories are harvested/collected by resource type at a national level (e.g. e-prints by EprintsUK, e-thesis by Ethos, Learning Objects by JORUM etc). These national services subsequently enhance metadata (including the addition subject classification) from all UK repositories and act as data providers for subject based services.

3. How can potential future services be sustainable? Neil has asked us to think about how the work of our project might engage with the JISC investment in the 'integrating infrastructure' - we need more info on this 'integrating infrastructure' first.