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Ubiquitous digital library

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ISSN 0264-0473

Volume 27 Number 2 2009

The Electronic
The international journal for the
application of technology in
information environments
Ubiquitous digital library and
innovative community
Guest Editors: Jin Chen and Jing Guo


The Electronic Library

ISSN 0264-0473
Volume 27
Number 2

Ubiquitous digital library and innovative
Guest Editors
Jin Chen and Jing Guo

Access this journal online _______________________________ 199
Editorial advisory board _________________________________ 200
Guest editorial ____________________________________________ 201
The unique approach to institutional repository:
practice of National Taiwan University
Kuang-hua Chen and Jieh Hsiang __________________________________



A dynamic RSS information push service mechanism
based on ontology of user information needs
Chuanfu Chen, Zhiqiang Wu, Congjing Ran, Qiong Tang, Song Chen and
Xiaojuan Zhang ________________________________________________


Creating a bilingual library information environment
for foreign users
Fan Aihong ____________________________________________________


From information commons to knowledge commons:

building a collaborative knowledge sharing
environment for innovative communities
Ren Shuhuai, Sheng Xingjun, Lin Haiqing and Cao Jialin_______________


Innovation community: constructing a new service
mode for academic libraries
Lu Xiaobin and Guo Jing _________________________________________

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Building a virtual community platform for subject
information services at Shanghai Jiao Tong
University Library
Wei Pan and Xiaoyuan Lan_______________________________________


System architecture of Library 2.0
Xinya Yang, Qunyi Wei and Xiaodong Peng _________________________


Programming Library 2.0 that users need
Qiaoying Zheng and Shaoping Wang _______________________________


Surviving in the digital age by utilizing libraries’
distinctive advantages
Suqing Liu, Sansan Liao and Jing Guo______________________________


Digital libraries in China: progress and prospects
Leye Yao and Ping Zhao _________________________________________


Using RFID guiding systems to enhance user
Hsien Tang Lin, Chia Feng Lin and Shyan Ming Yuan ________________


Creating a virtual union catalog for Hong Kong
dissertations and theses collections
Irene S.M. Wong and Yiu-On Li ___________________________________


Changing of library services under e-research
Yajie Zhao_____________________________________________________


Book reviews ______________________________________________ 349
Scholarly Communication in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan
Edited by Jingfeng Xia
Reviewed by Ross MacDonald
Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and beyond: From Production to Produsage
Axel Bruns
Reviewed by Philip Barker
The Revolution with not be Downloaded: Dissent in the Digital Age
Edited by Tara Brabazon
Reviewed by John MacRitchie
Learning Commons: Evolution and Collaborative Essentials
Edited by Barbara Schader
Reviewed by Susan Cleyle
Interactive Information Retrieval in Digital Environments
Iris Xie
Reviewed by Philip Calvert
Marketing the Best Deal in Town: Your Library. Where is your Purple Owl?
Nancy Rossiter
Reviewed by Madely du Preez
A Short-cut to Marketing the Lbrary
Zusana Helinskey
Reviewed by Philip Calvert

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Dr Esharenana E. Adomi
Head of Department of Library and Information
Science, Delta State University, Nigeria


Chris Armstrong
Information Automation Limited, Wales, UK
Stephen E. Arnold
Arnold Information Technology (AIT), USA
Dr (Mrs) Asefeh Asemi
Department of Library and Information Science,
Isfahan University, Iran
Philip Barker
Professor of Applied Computing, University of
Teesside, UK
Marshall Breeding
Director for Innovative Technologies and Research
of the Vanderbilt University Library and Executive
Director for the Vanderbilt Television News
Archive, TN, USA
Frank Cervone
Director, Department of Library, Information and
Media Studies, Chicago State University, USA
Professor Ina Fourie
Department of Information Science, University of
Pretoria, South Africa
Dr Paul Genoni
Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University of
Technology, Australia
Dr Donald T. Hawkins
Information Technology and Database Consultant,
Information Today Inc., Medford, NJ, USA
Nancy K. Herther
Librarian for Sociology & Anthropology, University
of Minnesota Libraries, USA
Monica Landoni
Department of Computer and Information Sciences,
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Anne Morris
Reader in Information Processing and Director of
Teaching, Department of Information Science,
Loughborough University, UK
Lesley Moyo
Director for Library Research and Instructional
Services, University Libraries, Virginia Tech, VA,
Professor S.M. Mutula
Head of Department of Library and Information
Studies, University of Botswana, Botswana

The Electronic Library
Vol. 27 No. 2, 2009
p. 200
# Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Professor Zainab Awang Ngah
Department of Information Science, Faculty of
Computer Science and Information Technology,
University of Malaya, Malaysia
David Reid
Application Support Specialist, National Library of
New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand
Loriene Roy
Professor, Graduate School of Library and
Information Science, University of Texas at Austin,
Eva Semertzaki
Deputy Head of Library Section, Bank of Greece,
Athens, Greece
Dr Miguel-Angel Sicilia
Associate Professor, Computer Science Department,
University of Alcala´ Ctra. Barcelona, Spain
Professor (Mrs) Shashi P. Singh
Head, Department of Library & Information
Science, University of Delhi, India
Dr Mary M. Somerville
University Librarian and Director of the Auraria
Library, University of Colorado, Colorado, USA
Shiao-Feng Su
Assistant Professor, Graduate Institute of Library
and Information Science, National Chung-Hsing
University, Taiwan, ROC
Professor Pieter A. van Brakel
Head: Postgraduate Programmes. c/o e-Innovation
Academy, Cape Peninsula University of
Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Gunilla Wide´n-Wulff
˚ bo Akademi University,
Information Studies, A
Hong Xu
Head, East Asian Library, University of Pittsburgh,
Professor Chyan Yang
Institute of Business and Management & Institute
of Information Management, National Chiao Tung
University, Taiwan
Associate Professor Songhui Zheng
Director, Acquisitions & Cataloging Department of
Overseas Journals Library, Medical College of
Shantou University, Guangdong, China

Guest editorial
About the Guest Editors Jin Chen is Professor and PhD supervisor of Shanghai Jiao Tong
University, Director of Shanghai Jiao Tong University Library and the Institute of Information
Science & Technology (IIST). He has taken charge or taken part in more than 60 research projects,
including National Science & Technology Key Project, Shanghai Science & Technology Key
Importance Project and International Cooperation Project, etc. To date, he has published more
than 240 papers and four books and taken the position of Guest Editor on three occasions. He is
now the editor and referee of many domestic and international journals. Dr Jin Chen can be
contacted at: Jinchen@sjtu.edu.cn
Jing Guo is a Subject Librarian in Shanghai Jiao Tong University Library. She is also
undertaking a PhD in information science at the School of Information Resource Management in
Renmin University of China. Jing Guo can be contacted at: jguo@lib.sjtu.edu.cn

Guest editorial


This special issue of The Electronic Library (TEL) focuses on the “Ubiquitous digital
library and innovative community”. The topic, as well as the papers contained herein,
covers a broad range of the latest issues and developments in digital libraries, such as
the applications of new information and communication technologies, user interfaces,
networks, Web 2.0, innovative concepts and best practices within academic
communities. We thank The Electronic Library for producing this issue that allows
us to report and review the latest research and ongoing developments in Chinese and
oriental libraries with respect to their innovative practices and research into digital
libraries. So we are very happy to introduce this special publication which comprises
selected important scholarly communications of the 2008 Digital Library Conference
held in Shanghai and hosted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University Library (SJTUL).
In this issue, Kuang-hua Chen and Jieh Hsiang present the practical and unique
approach to construct an Institutional Repository at the National Taiwan University
(NTU). The system design is based on DSpace, but they modified many functional
modules of DSpace in order to fulfill the requirements of Chinese users.
In the ubiquitous computing environment, the challenge is how to formalize
ontology models applicable to it to describe user information needs, especially explicit
information needs. The paper by Chuanfu Chen and colleagues proposes a technical
solution for digital libraries to establish the information needs ontology based on a
comprehensive understanding of personalized user information needs and offer
information push service by Really Simple Syndication (RSS).
The authors acknowledge the support of Dr David Raitt, Editor of The Electronic Library, during
the whole process of putting this special issue together. Gratitude is also expresed to all the
referees involved, who reviewed all the papers and commented upon them: Miguel-Angel Sicilia,
Marshall Breeding, Sun Wei, Yi Jin, Lin Xia, Qin Jian, Zeng Lei, Zhang Jia, Ye Ying, Chu Jingli,
Fan Bingsi, Shen Guchao, Liu Wei, Jiang Airong, Yang Peichao, Xiao Dehong, Yan Jinwei, Xue
Fangyu, Zhu Qiang, Huang Min, Lin Haoming, and Huang Yongli. Finally, many thanks are due
to the special issue team members for their hard work: Li Li, Xu Jing, Ding Xiaoying, Ma Chen,
Ding Jianmin, Song Haiyan, etc.

The Electronic Library
Vol. 27 No. 2, 2009
pp. 201-203
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited



The number of international students and overseas faculty in many universities,
including China, has grown rapidly in recent years. How to help foreign users
overcome the language barrier and make a full use of the library is a realistic problem.
Aihong Fan describes the creation of a bilingual library information environment for
foreign users and introduces the practical exploration of Tsinghua University Library
and also gives some suggestions for the future.
Currently, Information Commons is a hot topic. Many papers at the conference
focused on this subject and proposed valuable research avenues. The paper by Ren
Shuhuai (Shanghai University Library) and his colleagues together with Lin Haiqing
(University of Auckland Library, New Zealand) assimilates the theories of knowledge
management, collaboration and Library 2.0, intended to integrate the digital library,
physical resources, virtual resources and human resources into one whole entity.
Xiaobin Lu and Jing Guo put forward a completely new mode called “Innovation
Community” especially suitable for academic libraries. They present an IC2 practice
case, aiming at supporting the cultivation of innovation ability, encouraging user
participation, joint construction, interaction and communication. On the other hand,
Wei Pan and Xiaoyuan Lan propose the virtual communities platform which gives
subject users a more convenient and more attractive environment to preserve their
research results and share their experiences based on the next-generation discovery
and delivery system (Primo) and the subject service virtual communities at SJTUL.
The paper by Yang Xinya and his co-workers puts forward the five-tier model of
service oriented architecture (SOA). According to the architecture, three application
systems are designed – LMS based on librarians, knowledge service system based on
patrons, and a knowledge search engine. The Library 2.0 system is constructed and
applied in Chongqing University library. The paper by Zheng Qiaoying and Wang
Shaoping proposes the programming idea and performance of Library 2.0 and provides
some of the major practices in SJTUL to illustrate Library 2.0 programming.
In the digital age, how can we make libraries adjust their traditional roles? Library
user surveys were conducted and are discussed in the article by Suqing Liu, Sansan
Liao and Jing Guo. Through exploring the changing user needs and expectations, and
utilizing the library’s distinctive advantages, then library resources can be much better
used and library users can be better served. Another useful survey is conducted by
Leye Yao and Ping Zhao. Their paper provides an overview of Chinese Digital Library
(DL) projects as revealed by various library web sites and it also illustrates the current
status of the DLs in China by offering insights into the digitization of resources,
technologies and services.
Tackling a different subject, Hsien Tang Lin’s co-authored paper provides details of
a guiding system to enhance user experiences in museums and art galleries by means
of RFID and Blogs. The system also builds a channel between creators of art works on
display and other visitors. With such functionalities, users have the opportunity to
acquire information, using a mobile device, about a specific object in a context-aware
Irene Wong and Yiu-On Li discuss the creation of a unique platform which is a free
and valuable reference tool for scholars and researchers around the world to
electronically cross-search the theses and dissertations of Hong Kong postgraduate
students. It also provides insights into how librarians can maximize the functionalities
of library integration systems to enhance cross-searching on OPACs. Such theses

contain a wealth of research and Yajie Zhao explores the way in which the e-research is
changing the nature between researchers and libraries, and suggests how librarians
can become more engaged with professional research under the e-research
The papers in this special issue provide a useful look at the increasing activity of the
academic community and the ubiquitous digital library. Although most of the papers
are from China, we nevertheless believe that all the innovative research and practices
detailed in the papers will be an enlightening experience for TEL readers throughout
the world. These papers were a source of interest in the 2009 Digital Library
Conference and we trust that readers of this special issue will embrace the ideas
contained within and help to replicate and spread them even further.
Jin Chen and Jing Guo
Guest Editors

Guest editorial


The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at


The unique approach to
institutional repository
Practice of National Taiwan University


Kuang-hua Chen
National Taiwan University Library, Taipei, Taiwan, and
Department of Library and Information Science,
National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC

Received 1 October 2008
Revised 20 November 2008
Accepted 30 November 2008

Jieh Hsiang
National Taiwan University Library and Department of Computer Science and
Information Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the practical and unique approach to construct an
institutional repository (IR) at the National Taiwan University (NTU).
Design/methodology/approach – In general, IR systems are used to preserve the research outputs
of academic organizations. The preserved contents as a whole will demonstrate the achievements and
influences of organizations. The NTU Repository (NTUR) project is the action which is the response of
NTU Library to the converging and emerging issues. The system design of NTUR is based on a
well-known open-source package, DSpace, but many of its functional modules are modified to fulfill
the requirements of Chinese users. The content acquisition of NTUR is carried out by a machine-aided
manual approach, which quickly accumulates the volume of registered digital objects in NTUR.
Findings – With comparison to other IR systems, it is found that a content-rich system with the
much friendlier user interface like NTUR could be constructed in an effective way. The
post-processing for search results – which is very unique feature of NTUR – could be also
implemented effectively.
Practical implications – Many investigations point out that an open-access IR system can decrease
the cost in dissemination of scholarly information and increase the impacts of research outputs.
Originality/value – The practical approach to the construction of an institutional repository at NTU
has been proposed. The approach can make NTUR quickly acquire a large volume of digital objects.
This makes NTUR a much more content-rich repository with comparison to other similar IR systems.
Keywords Generation and dissemination of Information, Digital storage, Academic libraries,
Open systems, Taiwan
Paper type Research paper

The Electronic Library
Vol. 27 No. 2, 2009
pp. 204-221
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/02640470910947566

The authors thank the members of the NTUR developing team at National Taiwan University
Library. They are: Su Chuan Chang; Mei-lin Kuo; Se-liang Wu; Zhe-an Wu; Yu-ting Chiang;
Ting-fai Ho; Cipher Kao; Chiu-chu Liu; Hsiao-ying Hung; Hou Ieong Ho; Shih-Li Chen; Feng-i Lin;
Ya-tzu Liu; Hsin-Yi Yeh; Yi-chun Liu; Bai-hsuan Lee; Ren-shiang Liu; Yun-jung Young;
Tsan-jiun Ho; Ya-fang Weng; Wen-chi Huang; Ying-fang Huang; Ying-lin Liu; Yu-Chieh, Lin;
Feng-ju Chen; Ching-hua Liao; Li-yun Chiang; and Yi-ling Tu.<br>This work is partly
supported by Ministry of Education, Taiwan under the grant numbers 95M1087, 96M1101, and
97M1069. This work is also partly supported by Excellent Research Projects of National Taiwan

Nowadays, it is mainstream to present various digital documents, videos, audios, and
multimedia via WWW browsers, since the browser is regarded as the de facto common
platform for Internet applications. In addition, the line between users and authors of
Web resources has been blurred and the roles of publishers have become less
important than ever before. The quick development of WWW is a challenge and also
an opportunity to universities or research institutes, which may create alternative
ways to publish, disseminate, and acquire scholarly information without the
intervention of publishers and aggregators. As a result, the cost derived from
publication and acquisition of scholarly information will be reduced and the time of
dissemination of scholarly information will be decreased as well.
The purpose of dissemination of information is to make information usable or
citable. Citation has been regarded as a good way to clarify the roles and positions of
researchers in the whole research structure. Although the reasons to cite other papers
are multiple, it is well recognized that at least some connections exist among cited
papers and citing papers. Bibliographic couplings and co-citations are two obvious
examples. Citation also demonstrates a very special function, i.e. the influence or
impact of papers, researchers, and research institutes. Academic evaluation has
become an important topic, especially, the evaluation for universities or research
institutes. Citation, therefore, has been used as a way to evaluate academic
performance. To increase citation times of research outputs will be a plus for academic
evaluation in research institutes. And an Institutional repository (IR) seems to be one of
the solutions to increase the citation times.
Although many definitions for IRs could be found in literature, the idea of an IR is
very simple. It is to deposit every part of researches from the very beginning to the
final publication for universities or research institutes. With the observation to
publishing research results in recent years, many researchers prepare their papers or
articles using word processors and submit them in digital form rather than printed
form. As a result, the volume of “born-in-digital” documents increases very quickly.
However, Lynch (2003) pointed out that we still have no good ways to preserve these
research results in their digital form. The idea of the IR may be a good turning point to
rethink the model, mechanism, and means for the preservation and dissemination of
scholarly information. From the viewpoint of universities or research institutes, to
encourage faculty to publish research outputs and to make dissemination of papers
effective are the better means to increase the citation times of published papers and
then to increase universities influences. IR systems as academic portals of universities
or research institutes, the preserved scholarly information as a whole will demonstrate
the achievements and influences, and make accessing scholarly information much
more convenient. Deploying an IR system seems be the best way to share research
results with other universities and institutes in the world.
The National Taiwan University (NTU), one of the important universities in
Taiwan, has been making many significant achievements in researches and has been
publishing a great deal of research results. It is necessary for NTU to fulfill a good
model to preserve and disseminate NTU’s research outputs. NTU has initiated a task
force for a National Taiwan University Repository (NTUR) project and has established
an operational IR system which is also called NTUR. In the meantime, the NTUR
system contains 56,769 items of various types of scholarly information including

The approach to



journal articles, conference papers, lecture notes, technique reports, etc. Among these
56,769 items, 29,329 items are bundled with full texts.
The purposes of this article are to discuss the necessity of constructing IR systems
from the viewpoint of dissemination and citation of scholarly information and propose
practical and unique approaches to constructing IR at National Taiwan University.
The approaches enable us to effectively construct IR systems and quickly acquire a
large volume of digital items. The structure of this article is as follows. Section 2 will
discuss the advantages of online papers in terms of dissemination and citation. Section
3 will briefly review the current status and development of institutional repository.
Section 4 will present our approaches to building and deploying NTUR, discuss major
modifications to original design of DSpace package, describe the ways we applied to
acquiring knowledgeable items, and explain the copyright issue in IR. Section 5 is a
brief conclusion.
Dissemination of scholarly information
Since Denis de Sallo published the first issue of the Journal des sc¸avans in 1665,
research output has been disseminated through journals for hundreds of years (Hallam,
1970, p. 406). This seems to be a default model for dissemination of scholarly
information. According to the statistics of ISSN International Centre (2007), there are
about 905,090 registered periodicals. This statistic reveals that a great number of
journals were created to disseminate scholarly information based on the traditional
model. Although the types of publishers and the types of publications have been
changed along with the passing of time, this model has basically not changed too
much. However, there are at least three problems in the default model from the
viewpoint of universities or research institutes. The first is that it is hard for a
university to know its own research results when taking a university as a whole; the
second is that it is difficult for a university to trace research results from the temporal
perspective; the third is the continuing increases in the cost of acquisition of journals.
In addition, this model is not efficient and effective from the viewpoints of
dissemination and citation of scholarly information.
In general, a scholarly information cycle for current processing of scholarly
information consists of creation, evaluation, publication, acquisition, indexing, storing,
retrieval, reading, and citation (Cleveland and Cleveland, 2001, p. 23). We could
examine the relations of each stage of information processing. Basically, from creation,
evaluation to publication takes a long time and suffers from a high cost when we apply
traditional model. Therefore, some reformations are adopted to speed up the processing
of publications of scholarly information. The introduction of electronic journals
(e-journals) is one such effort. At the present time, the number of e-journals continues to
increase according to the report of Glose et al. (2005). The increasing rate is about 25
percent in two years (see Figure 1 for details). That means most researchers believe
e-journals will help the dissemination of scholarly information, otherwise the number
of e-journals would not increase so rapidly.
Many contributors are involved in the scholarly information cycle including
researchers, publishers, librarians, and information systems. The roles of researchers
are multiple. They could be creators, reviewers, and readers. Therefore, citation
behavior occurs naturally between the creators and readers who become creators
themselves later on. Citation is regarded as the base of research development, since

The approach to

Figure 1.
The growth of online
electronic journal

almost all researches are based on the preceding researches. Researchers usually “cite”
the ideas and papers of pioneers. A citation includes two objects: one is the citing work;
the other is the cited work. Although there are many reasons for a citation (Weinstock,
1971), the cited work has something to do with the source work. In addition, citation
has been regarded as one of the important factors for evaluation of research institutes,
universities, and researchers. That is to say, the publication and dissemination of
scholarly information are not only for research purposes, but also for an increase of
influence of research institutes and researchers.
Let us take a look at the statistics of publication and citation of papers written by
researchers in Taiwan as shown in Table I. National Taiwan University is the top


Published papers
World rank

Source: Huang (2007)


Cited papers
Cited times
World rank


Highly cited papers
Ratio (%)


Table I.
Statistics of top
universities in Taiwan
from 1996 to 2006



Table II.
IR systems in Asian

Hong Kong
New Zealand

No. of IR systems



Note: The numbers in parentheses are collected via personal communication with researchers in the
corresponding countries
Source: Author-collected data from Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR)

university in terms of both published papers and cited papers. However, it only ranks 83 in
the world in terms of number of papers and ranks 231 in terms of cited times of papers,
respectively. The reasons might be many-fold. Two of the reasons may be these papers
are not broadly disseminated and not easily accessed. Actually, on the one hand, research
outputs in Taiwan are scattered in many different information systems without some
kinds of integrated information systems to present a whole picture of research
achievements and to feature searching and browsing functions to potential users. In
addition, many operational information services provide only metadata and abstracts
rather than full texts. On the other hand, there is no systematic way to deposit important
digital materials such as conference papers and technical reports, which are very
important for a few disciplines like computer science. As a result, for research institutes or
universities in Taiwan or other Asian countries, whose academic impacts are relatively
lower with comparison to American and European research institutes, to make their
research results freely available to public in form of full texts via Internet should be a very
good strategy to increase their academic influences and earn their reputations.
As mentioned above, the e-journals will speed up the processing of scholarly
information. However, the cost of acquisition of e-journals is not actually reduced,
because many publishers bundle e-journals and printed journals together. This creates
an obstacle in some sense for the general public to access scholarly information. In
recent years, two concepts, open access (OA) and Institutional Repositories (IR), have
had a great influence on dissemination of scholarly information. OA is the answer to
the third problem mentioned in the very beginning of this section. In contrast, IR is the
answer to the first and the second problems. In general, OA and IR are almost
mentioned together, but not necessary. OA depicts a model for scholarly information,
i.e. a model of freely online scholarly information available to general public. The major

goal of an IR, in contrast, is to demonstrate the research results of university or
research institute as a whole and the information system of IR is regarded as an
academic portal for university or research institute.
One research conducted by Lawrence (2001) pointed out the cited times of online
papers of computer science is 157 percent larger than those of offline papers. Another
research said freely available online papers will increase their cited times from 50
percent to 250 percent (Hajjem et al., 2005). If we further consider the cost of
dissemination for scholarly information, the traditional model is even less efficient and
less effective. Ginsparg (2001) reported ArXiv (http://arxiv.org) as a dissemination
system; it operates at a factor of 100-1000 lower cost than a conventional peer-reviewed
system. Of course, ArXiv is an open-access item repository. Bergstrom (2001) has
reported that the journals purchased by using 91 percent of budget only created 38
percent citations, but freely available online scholarly information and other resources
purchased by using the rest 9 percent of budget created 62 percent citations. These
statistics shows the following insights:
open access greatly decreases the cost in dissemination of scholarly information;
online papers greatly increase their cited times.
Freely available online papers contribute major part of citations
These insights together make clear the importance of open-access institutional
repositories for universities and research institutes. To sum up, open-access
institutional repositories can disseminate scholarly information of universities and
research institutes in an efficient and effective way. They will also reinforce influence
and magnify reputation of universities or research institutes. In addition, the published
papers are not only the outputs of researches, but also parts of a continuum of
scholarly communication. The continuum is composed of outputs of all activities in
researches. IR systems could be the appropriate information systems to preserve all of
the outputs and then record the research history accordingly.
Current development of institutional repositories
The Institutional repository has been recognized as an information infrastructure for
scholarly information from the viewpoint of research institutes. Many universities and
research institutes all over the world have started building their own IR systems.
Currently, though, only a small number of countries have official policies to support IR
development at the government level. However, the support is very active at the
university level. The following briefly discusses the current development of IR.
Europe and America
In the USA, over 40 percent of universities have put their own institutional repository
systems into operation. 88 percent of the remaining universities are thinking about the
construction of IR systems (Lynch and Lippincott, 2005). That is to say, over 90 percent
of USA's universities have taken or are taking serious steps to construct their
own institutional repository. Van Westrienen and Lynch (2005) have surveyed the
institutional repository in Europe and the USA. The results showed that almost every
university in Germany, Netherlands, and Norway has exploited IR systems.
Furthermore, some universities built more than one IR systems for different

The approach to


purposes. These statistics show the importance of IR has been fully recognized by the
advanced academic or educational organizations in the developed countries. Although
only a few countries have drawn up government-level policies, the promotion of IR, the
construction of IR systems and the application of using IR systems as platforms for
preservation and dissemination of scholar information have become a global trend.


Asian countries
Table II shows the current status of construction of IR systems in Asian countries. It
shows that the numbers of IR systems in Japan, India, Australia, Korea, Russia, and
Taiwan are more than in other Asian countries. The percentage of construction of IR
Systems in Asian countries is about 4-10 percent except mainland China. The
percentage in Hong Kong is higher than other countries, since the number of
universities in Hong Kong is relatively much smaller. It should be noted that the
statistics may vary in different investigations executed by different researchers. For
example, some investigations identified only two IR systems in mainland China (Oliver
and Swain, 2007). CNKI (www.cnki.net) in China is a special case among these IR
systems. CNKI is a centralized IR system for about 300 universities in China and the
number of universities is increasing. As a result, the specialty of each university could
not be known by simply using CNKI. However, taking the CNKI as the presentation of
integrated research outputs of China is very useful and helpful from a user’s
Although Table II shows the numbers of IR systems in Japan and Korea are 57 and
3, respectively, those numbers increase very quickly according to the reports of
DRFIC2008 conference held in Osaka, Japan. Most universities in Korea develop their
IR systems using a product of joint efforts, dCollection. As a result, the number of IR

Figure 2.
The growth of IRs in Japan

systems has increased rapidly to 215 (Lee, 2008). However, the major contents are
dissertations or theses, which are imported from existent digital libraries systems. The
same situation occurs in Japan, too. Figure 2 shows the growth of number of IR
systems in Japan. The National Institute of Informatics is responsible for the
development of IR in Japan, which reviews applications of IR projects, allocates
budgets, monitors performance, etc.

The approach to

In comparison to USA and European countries, the promotion and construction of IR in
Taiwan started relatively late. In the early stage, only seven universities started to
implement their IR systems. After NTU applied an IR project granted by the Ministry
of Education, it organized an IR30 task force which plans to install IR systems in 30
universities in one year. At present, 37 universities or institutes have joined IR30 task
force (complete list of participating universities available at: http://ir.org.tw/). Table III
shows a few universities which have installed their own IR systems. They are National
Taiwan University (NTU), National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), National Cheng
Kung University (NCKU), Feng Chia University (FCU), National Tsing Hua University
(NTHU), Kun Shan University (KSU), National Chengchi University (NCCU), and
National Sun Yat-Sen University (NSYSU). Among these universities, NCCU, NCTU,
NCKU, NSYSU, and KSU adopted NTUR which is enhanced by NTU based on DSpace
package. In contrast, FCU and NTHU have used DSpace system directly. However,
NTHU will also use NTUR in the near future.
NTU had decided to use DSpace beta version 1.4 implemented by HP and MIT as
the base to develop NTUR with modification and enhancement. DSpace has been used
by many universities, proving that it meets the common needs of many universities.
However, users in Taiwan have their own special requirements and these features are
not provided by the DSpace package. The NTUR system was launched in early 2007
and was presented to many presidents of universities in Taiwan for the purpose of IR
promotion. NTU also provided system documents such as Standard of Procedure,
Reference of System Specification, User Manual, System Manual, Training Courses,
FAQ, etc. All of these are for one main goal, namely to persuade universities in Taiwan
to construct their own IR systems and to pave a smooth way for them with the precious
NTU's experience.

No. of items with full texts/no. of items

Web site




Note: The numbers are subject to change
Source: Author-collected data from Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR)

Table III.
IR development in



Institutional repository at NTU
There exist several solutions for the construction of IR systems. We could purchase
turnkey solutions, develop totally new systems, use open-source packages, or design IR
systems by modifying open-source packages. Nevertheless, once it was decided to
construct an IR system, we have to analyze the requirements and features, consider the
available resources, and adopt the best solutions. With the observation on the current
development of IR in the world, the three major solutions to constructing IR systems
are shown as follows:
(1) Purchase commercial software or services: For example, Columbia University
purchases the services provided by ProQuest, i.e. the Digital Commons.
However, Columbia University has decided to use DSpace in the near future.
(2) Use open-source package: For example, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
uses DSpace. University of Southampton uses EPrints.
(3) Modify open-source package: For example, NTU modifies DSpace based on the
local requirements.
Each solution has its own right way which research institutes will take. Research
institutes intending to exploit IR systems have to consider the costs of each potential
solution including short-term cost and long-term cost. The NTUR developing team has
carefully surveyed each solution and considered resources available. Finally, the third
solution is adopted and DSpace is used as the base for NTUR. Among many available
open-source packages, the reasons we use DSpace are shown as follows:
DSpace is implemented using Java. This meets the policy of NTU Library for
system development.
DSpace is platform independent. It could be installed on Windows-based
systems or Linux-based systems. A lot of Java APIs are available. This makes us
much easier to modify original DSpace package.
DSpace has been adopted by more than 300 institutions (DSpace, 2008). From the
operational viewpoint, it has been proved its stability and effectiveness for the
large volume of data with variant types.
DSpace supports OAI-PMH. It is convenient to fulfill integrated search or
federated search later on.
DSpace integrates handle mechanism. The digital object registered in IR systems
has a unique URN. As a result, researchers could cite registered object in IR systems.
DSpace has complete frontend and backend. The time to develop a system based
on DSpace will be shortened.
As a matter of fact, DSpace has been continuingly developed by HP and new versions
of DSpace will be released ceaselessly. However, the NTUR developing team has
decided to use DSpace 1.4 beta version as the base system and will not follow the new
version of DSpace. That means NTUR developing team will develop the new features
based on DSpace 1.4 beta version and local requirements.
The NTUR system has the similar system architecture as DSpace 1.4 beta version
shown as Figure 3. It is composed of storage layer, business logic layer, and application
layer. Each layer consists of many functional modules. Those modules with thick line

The approach to

Figure 3.
System architecture of

are modified by the NTUR developing team and the rest modules with thin line are
remained unchanged as original DSpace’s design. In general, storage layer is
responsible for management of the registered items and submission of items; business
logic layer is responsible for administration, authorization and workflow of
submission; application layer is responsible for interaction between outer systems
and users. The following will discuss the major modifications to DSpace. Items
acquisition and copyright issue are discussed as well. All of these demonstrate the
unique way in which we have applied to constructing NTUR.
Web UI
In order to improve the degree of user friendliness, the NTUR developing team has
been adding new features for our potential users based on local requirements, e.g. the
post-processing for search results, the ranking for uploads and downloads, the
multi-language interface, and the identification of document formats. The NTUR
developing team will continue modifying the web-based user interface and hopes users
could use NTUR with ease and by instinct.
The homepage of NTUR system is shown as Figure 4. The top right corner shows
the links for switching among different language interfaces and numbers of “items
with full text/total items”, number of “visitors”, and number of “online users”. Users
could switch to one of multi-language interfaces on the fly while browsing items or
searching items. The message of numbers of “items with full text/total items” clearly



Figure 4.
Homepage of NTUR

declares the current items registered in NTUR. To our knowledge, NTUR is one of the
larger IR systems which stores items with full texts in comparison to other IR systems
in the world.
The right-hand side of NTUR’s homepage shows information about the top upload
and top download of communities and authors. This information will help users have
an overview of usage of NTUR’s contents. The center of NTUR’s homepage shows the
list of colleges with the number of their own items. In fact, the community settings in
NTUR system are departments rather than colleges. Displaying colleges instead is to
avoid a long list of communities in homepage. Users could drill down from each college
to see the details of communities by clicking on the “ þ ” symbol on the left of each
college. The left-hand side of NTUR’s homepage shows the feature of browsing
“Communities & Collections”, “Titles”, “Authors”, and “By Date” and information
about “News and Activities”. Clicking on the “Communities & Collections” will pop up
the details of communities and the corresponding collections as Figure 5 shows. When
clicking on the “By Date”, we will have a temporal perspective on the registered items
in NTUR. Examining these intelligent items along the time line, we will have the idea
about which and when research issues or topics have been the hot ones. Reviewing
items by this mode will help users, especially, scientific historians interested in NTU, to
trace the development of researches in NTU.
Another little but not the least modification to the user interface is that NTUR
promptly shows icons of registered items with the corresponding file format. For
example, Figure 6 shows PDF-format items with the designated PDF icon. Users will
know immediately the formats of retrieved items and can access items directly by

The approach to

Figure 5.
Snapshot of clicking on
“Communities &

Figure 6.
Snapshot of a search result



clicking on the icon without many clicks. The corresponding PDF document will be
displayed accordingly.
Media filter
A media filter is responsible for filtering out the contents of registered items. The major
modification for this part is to enhance the features of parser. An institutional
repository contains large volume of items with various formats. The majority of items
are in PDF format compared to other file formats. Therefore, it is very important to
process PDF files correctly. An open source Java PDF library, PDFBox, is bundled with
DSpace package. However, the functions of PDFBox are not good enough, especially
for Chinese. Therefore, while users search items or browse items, the contents may be
scrambled. This makes users confused and inconvenient. Generally speaking, PDF
files are created by using many different ways. For example, a PDF file could be
created from an MS Word file, Postscript file, Tex file, or the like. In addition, there are
too many solutions to created Chinese PDF files in the early days. This delivers a
challenge to process Chinese PDF files for an operational IR system. In fact, the
correction rate of PDFBox is about 0.3 for Chinese. Therefore, the modification to
media filter is a very important task.
Search features
In order to make users of NTUR have a much more structured view to the retrieved results
rather than just a list of items, the NTUR developing team has been focusing on the
post-processing features. Figure 6 shows a snapshot for search results. The search results
are post-processed based on “Category”, “Author”, and “Year” as shown in the left-hand
side of the snapshot. Category demonstrates the classifications of search results based on
communities and collections. Users could know the distribution of the search results and
have an idea about which departments have carried out the similar researches. While
clicking on “Author” as shown in Figure 7, users will have a view of which researchers
focus on the related research topics. The feature is very helpful for decision makers of
institutions to find the experts in their institutions. While clicking on “Year”, users will
have a view of the temporal distribution of search results. It is useful for users to trace the
development and to know the peak of related research from the temporal viewpoint.
As a matter of fact, it takes time to post-process the retrieved items. In order to make
users not wait too long, the NTUR developing team applies Ajax to make
post-processing efficient and to makes users enjoy new features at the same time.
Browsing features
The browsing feature designed by DSpace is to search designated items among all
items and to show them in the current “page”. In order to make this feature much more
efficient, DSpace applied sliding-window-like method which works like to drag the
user’s view to a particular section of data items. Therefore, there is no actual paging for
browsing items in the original design of DSpace. However, users are used to the paging
mode while they use the search engines or other search features of database systems.
The NTUR developing team has modified the browsing features by adding a clear
paging mode and the option of number of items per page. Please take a look at the thick
rectangle in Figure 6.

The approach to

Figure 7.
Result of clicking on

We would also like to make users to easily examine the full texts by just one click
rather than many clicks. That is to say, the retrieved items are not only paged, but also
associated with designated icons to denote their file formats of full texts. In contrast,
those items without associated icons have metadata only.
The NTUR developing team will release the package of NTUR system to help other
research institutes in Taiwan to deploy their own IR systems according to the project
granted by Ministry of Education, Taiwan. We have to consider the different situations of
various research institutes. For example, NTUR could be installed in Linux systems,
Solaris systems or Windows systems; the database management system could be the
open-source softwares; NTUR could be also compatible to the commercial database
management systems. In fact, PostgreSQL is bundled in DSpace package, but most users
and database administrators in Taiwan are not familiar with it. On the contrary, MySQL
is much more popular. As a result, we decided to replace PostgreSQL by MySQL in
NTUR. However, in order to make the NTUR effective when the volume of data becomes
larger and larger, the ORACLE database management system could be used as well.
The database schema of the original DSpace package is very simple. Only four
relations are designed by DSpace developing team:
(1) basic elements table;
(2) basic element relationships table;
(3) object browsing table; and
(4) other elements table.


In order to support many new added features for local requirements, the NTUR
developing team designs new tables, e.g. authority control table, term mapping table,
author-document table. In addition, new attributes are proposed for the existent tables,
e.g. attributes for users and communities, attributes for file linking, attributes for
access control, and attributes for other languages.


Content acquisition
In fact, the content acquisition plays the same important role as functionality
implementation in a successful IR system. Sometimes, the former is even more
important than the latter. After all, a powerful information system without useful and
meaningful information is not helpful. For an IR system, the content is obviously
crucial for its potential users. However, content acquisition is the most challenging task
in constructing IR systems. On the one hand, it is very difficult for staffs of IR systems
to ask faculty or researchers to submit or upload their research outputs to IR systems.
On the other hand, it is also very difficult to demonstrate its usefulness and influence, if
an IR system contains only a few items of knowledge. The best strategy is to present
an IR system with enough valuable items at its debut. The IR system with enough
valuable items itself is the best way to attract the potential contributors and of course
the users.
The content acquisition of NTUR in NTU is carried out by a machine-aided manual
approach, which could quickly accumulate the volume of registered digital objects in
NTUR. The NTUR developing team implemented search robot tools which could collect
digital items with desired file formats. The robots are triggered to collect research papers,
articles, technical reports, course slides, preprints and the likes from the intranet of the
NTU. In addition, we have made contact with the database providers who had preserved
and provided the published papers, whose authors are our faculty and researchers, and
discussed the way to get the copies back to our IR system. As a result, NTUR made its
debut with more than ten thousand items in early 2007. As a follow-up, the NTUR
developing team designed promotion brochures, hosted orientations for potential users,
cooperated with interested researchers and departments, and persuaded authorities to
draw up regulations for IR for long-term development.
The copyright problem is another important issue for a successful IR system. The
faculty or researchers hesitated to submit their research outputs to IR systems, since
they usually transferred the copyrights of their publications to publishers. Actually,
SHERPA/ROMEO project has surveyed this issue and designed a color system to
denote the status of publishers (www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo.php). The NTUR developing
team has considered this issue and further analyzed it from technical and legal
viewpoints. We advocate the “Separation of Copyrights”, i.e. copyrights could be
separated into three different concepts. The first is self-archiving right, the second is
full-text indexing right, and the third is access right (Hsiang and Hung, 2005). After the
authors transferred the copyrights to publishers, authors will still reserve some rights
according to the agreement between them. If authors have the self-archiving right, they
and the institutes they belong to have the right to preserve the published papers in
electronic form. If authors have no self-archiving right, authors and the institutes they
belong to still have the full-text indexing right at least. This is because a textual item
could be regarded as “a bag of words”. Indexing is a processing which just points out

which words the textual item contains, which has nothing to do with the self-archiving
right or access right. As a result, an IR system with full-text indexing allows users to
search the needed items and the system will redirect users to the information systems
which has the right to preserve these items. However, this does not mean the users
could read the full texts of these items. Whether the users could read full texts or not
depends on the access right which they may have or not.
According to the “Separation of Copyrights”, the NTUR developing team has carefully
developed various features of NTUR system, which conforms to the copyright policies of
different publishers and may directly show the full texts to users or may redirect users to
the information systems of designated publishers. Nevertheless, our IR system features
the full-text search capabilities to users, provides metadata for every registered item with
informative links, and, if possible, shows the full texts to users.
Although, NTUR works stably and features useful functions, there are still many
problems and challenges. We continue to think about the following issues: the
modification of system architecture, the management of system resources, the
effectiveness of information retrieval, the challenge of item acquisition, the mode of
item visualization, and the authorization of data items.
Institutional repositories have received much more attention from researchers and
research institutes globally. IR systems can preserve research outputs, demonstrate
research results, and reinforce academic influences. In addition, connection among
various IR systems in the world under a virtual umbrella will create global platform for
open access, reduce the costs in access of research resources, and speed up the
dissemination of scholarly information. Many investigations have concluded that
freely available online papers to the public will increase their citation times. The
advantages of constructing IR systems are very obvious to all of us.
National Taiwan University has fully recognized the aforementioned advantages
and built up the NTUR to serve our faculty and potential users from all over the world.
Currently, the number of registered items in NTUR is 56,769. Among these registered
items, 29,329 items are with full texts. It is one of the bigger IR systems in the world. In
addition to enhance the features of NTUR, the NTUR developing team has been
focusing on item acquisition and developing the best practice for this challenging task.
Hopefully, the experience of developing and constructing NTUR will be the good
reference to other academic institutes in Taiwan and in the world.
In order to demonstrate the research outputs of Taiwan as a whole, we plan to build
and deploy a virtually integrated IR system to serve as an academic portal for Taiwan
in the near future. Via this gateway, the general public and researchers all over the
world could easily access the research outputs of our country. Therefore, researchers in
Taiwan may make great contributions to research communities and increase their
influences on academic researches.
Bergstrom, T.C. (2001), “Free labor for costly journals?”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 15
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Unlimited, Englewood, CO.

The approach to



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Press-UNESCO Conference on Electronic Publishing in Science, available at: www.icsu.org/
Hajjem, C., Gingras, Y., Brody, T., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2005), Open Access to Research
Increases Citation Impact, Technical Report, Institut des sciences cognitives, Universite´ du
Que´bec a` Montre´al, available at: http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/11687/
Hallam, H. (1970), Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and
Seventeenth Centuries, Frederick Ungar, New York, NY.
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Educational Media & Library Sciences, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 173-89.
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Evaluation Bimonthly, Vol. 5, pp. 16-21.
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Lawrence, S. (2001), “Free online availability substantially increases a paper’s impact”, Nature,
No. 411.
Lee, N. (2008), Institutional Repositories in Korea, available at: http://ir.library.osaka-u.ac.jp/
Lynch, C.A. (2003), “Institutional repositories: essential infrastructure for scholarship in the
digital Age”, ARL, No. 226, pp. 1-7, available at: www.arl.org/resources/pubs/br/br226/
Lynch, C.A. and Lippincott, J.K. (2005), “Institutional repository deployment in the United States
as of early 2005”, D-Lib Magazine, Vol. 11 No. 9, available at: www.dlib.org/dlib/
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Further reading
Adachi, J. (2008), NII's Initiative for Institutional Repository over CSI: Retrospect of
2006-2007 and Prospect of Phase II, available at: http://ir.library.osaka-u.ac.jp/metadb/up/
Ghosh, S.B. and Das, A.K. (2006), “Open access and institutional repositories – a developing
country perspective: a case study of India”, Proceedings of World Library and Information
Congress: 72nd IFLA General Conference and Council, available at: www.ifla.org/IV/
Glose, M.B., Fletcher, L.E. and Bromberg, S.D. (2005), Fulltext Sources Online, Information
Today, Medford, NJ.

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