About TheOneRepo

Proof of concept

About our project to unify the world's green and gold open-access works.

The problem
The solution
Where we are now
Where next?
Get in touch

If you are a researcher or administrator and you want to explore the possibilities offered by the current build of The One Repo, please start your search here.

As The One Repo grows, researchers will have an increasingly powerful tool for discovering new work in their respective fields; administrators will have new ways to evaluate productivity; and participating institutions will benefit as the work of their scholars is made more broadly available to the global community.

The problem

Much of the world's scientific research is unavailable to most of the world's people, having been published behind paywalls. One solution to this, known as "Green Open Access", is for authors to deposit copies of their manuscripts in repositories. Most of these are institutional repositories (IRs), most often associated with universities.

The repository system as it exists today suffers from a suite of practical problems that impede its use:

These difficulties together mean that IRs have not provided the solution to the access problem that had been hoped.

The solution

This project, The One Repo, aims to solve the problem of IR fragmentation by providing a single point for searching all of the world's IRs.

It has been created by Index Data, a small, privately owned software house with a history of open-source software and a strong open-access ethos.

The One Repo aggregates records from numerous back-end databases -- primarily, but not necessarily institutional repositories -- and integrates them into a single easy-to-use UI. Not only that, but access to the underlying data is provided via a simple XML web-service, allowing third-party UIs and other applications to be created using the integrated database.

Harvesting works by any of these methods:

Where we are now

This site presents the current Prototype/proof of concept. It works, and can be used for research, but currently suffers from several limitations.

Most importantly, the present site supports very few databases -- about twenty rather than the thousands that we want to support. The underlying software scales well to very large numbers of databases, but supporting each new database requires an investment of time. The present set has been chosen to encompass a range of geographical locations, subject areas, repository frameworks, etc.

Although the present UI supports searching and narrowing search results by facets, there are several refinements that could be made.

The One Repo facilities can be accessed via XML web-services, and One Repo widgets can be easily embedded into existing applications such as library systems.

Where next?

As resources permit, our development goals for The One Repo are:

To support these developments, we are actively seeking funding. If you can help, please get in touch.

Get in touch

The principal contact for The One Repo is Mike Taylor, software engineer with Index Data and Research Associate with the University of Bristol. You can contact him by email to mike@onerepo.net, by Skype using the handle Sauropoda or on Twitter as @MikeTaylor.

See also: The One Repo blog.
and The One Repo whitepaper.