Authors: Steve Van Tuyl, Josh Gum, Margaret Mellinger, Gregorio Luis Ramirez, Brandon Straley, Ryan Wick, Hui Zhang
Abstract: In this paper we present a retrospective of a 2.5 year project to migrate a major digital repository system from one open source software platform to another. After more than a decade on DSpace, Oregon State University’s institutional repository was in dire need of a variety of new functionalities. For reasons described in the paper, we deemed it appropriate to migrate our repository to a Samvera platform. The project faced many of the challenges one would expect (slipping deadlines, messy metadata) and many that one might hope never to experience (exceptional amounts of turnover and uncertainty in personnel, software, and community). We talk through our experiences working through the three major phases of this project, using the structure of the Greek Tragedy as a way to reflect (with Stasimon) on these three phases (Episode). We then conclude the paper with the Exodus, wherein we speak at a high level of the lessons learned in the project including Patience, Process, and Perseverance, and why these are key to technical projects broadly. We hope our migration story will be helpful to developers and repository managers as a map of development hurdles and an aspiration of success.
Citation: Van Tuyl, S.; Gum, J.; Mellinger, M.; Ramirez, G.; Straley, B.; Wick, R.; Zhang, H. (2018). Are we still working on this? A meta-retrospective of a digital repository migration in the form of a classic Greek Tragedy (in extreme violation of Aristotelian Unity of Time). Code4Lib Journal. 41 (2018-08-09). https://journal.code4lib.org/articles/13581
Source: Code4Lib Journal