What is a digital repository?
Digital repository solutions are becoming increasingly popular within organisations but when talking about these solutions to people unfamiliar with the concept, there are often similar questions asked. We've listed a few of these to (hopefully) shed a bit of light on these.
What does it do?
Our repository system’s primary focus is storing, classifying and delivering organisational resources (media, documents, presentations, learning content etc.). Think of it as your organisations own personal library containing all your organisations content. The resources can be accessed through a friendly user interface by browsing and searching (including searching document content), and by a powerful suite of web services that link external or third-party systems. Content access, upload and download can all be controlled by user rights and quality assurance workflows are built in to ensure that the right content is uploaded.
What are the benefits to my organisation?
Think about all the information your organisation has collected and created and where it sits. This will often be in folders on servers, C drives and even in personal email inboxes. Now say you even have access to the right area where that information is held how do you know that the PDF entitled 'X' contains information relevant to the bid you are preparing or that the video file entitled 'Y' will be useful for the presentation you are creating. What if instead all this information could be stored, discovered and accessed through one system. No more recreating content that someone has created already, no more losing knowledge because an employee has left - everything becomes much more efficient.
Is this like SharePoint?
There are some similarities but SharePoint was not really designed to act as a library for discovering resources etc. (for example it can't search the content of a document as a digital repository can). Its been designed more for sharing resources rather than searching and discovering them. SharePoint is very good at what it does but its a bit like comparing apples and oranges.
What are the main features?
There are many and these can be configured to suit the particular requirements but the list below covers the main ones:
- Keyword/phrase search
- Metadata search
- Store and retrieve named searches
- Resource content search
- Show similar resources
- Subscribe to RSS feeds
- Preview resources
- View full metadata record
- Export resources
- Comment on and rate resources
- User customisable resource tags
- Report problem/abuse
- Contribute resources
- Can handle any type of files - Most commonly images, documents and audio-visual files
- Metadata creation and editing
- Resource review functionality
- Classification creation and editing
- PDF conversion for .doc resources
- Workflow editor
- Defining collections within the repository
- Set access permissions for specific groups of users
- Configurable System Roles
- Group Administration
- Various authentication options
- All functions accessed by web browser
- Metadata harvesting
- Search from learning management platforms
- Support for wide variety of Metadata and packaging specifications
If you're interested in learning more please do not hesitate to get in touch to find out how a digital repository can help your organisation.