January Update

With the arctic winds blowing the threat of snow down to London, it’s time to catch up with what’s happened to OR during January before we’re all potentially stranded by a few flakes bringing the capital’s transport system to a shivering halt.

It’s been a busy month; we hit the ground running and haven’t stopped, with improvements to both the front and back end of the service.

Hopefully, you’ll have noticed a marked improvement in speed when using your repositories. We’ve focused on further improving many of the processes that drive the service, cutting down on memory usage and estimated that this work boosted performance by about 25%. Yesterday, we moved to new web servers with increased memory and processing power, which will not only improve efficiency even further, but also ensures that, in the long term, as your repositories grow and usage increases, there will be no loss in performance.

  • At the front end, we’ve mainly focused on three areas: the in-submission document conversion, EndNote and RefMan imports, and search, with the following enhancements released:
  • The submission form now recognises OpenOffice document formats (ODF) when added as bitstreams to a submission.
  • The document conversion tool will now convert Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) to their OpenOffice counterparts, as well as to PDF.
  • The search results can now be ordered in the same manner as the browse results offering:
    • ordering by relevance, title, issue date or submit date
    • setting the number of results displayed per page
    • ascending or descending order
    • limiting the number of authors displayed with each result
  • The advanced search now has a date restriction field, which will display only a range of dates that exist within the repository
  • Full text items in non Latin alphabets are now searchable. This means that if you have a document written in Arabic, if you search in Arabic and the document matches that search, the item will be returned in the search results.
  • The tool to download item metadata to either EndNote or RefMan remains available to admins only for the moment, as does the additional search enhancement to download a page of search results at a time to EN/RM. It’ll be released as soon as we’ve completed further testing.
  • We’ve also been working on the reverse, the importing of EndNote and RefMan library files, also still in testing.

Next month we’re looking forward to further progress with LDAP authentication, and the release of a nice little tool that will tell you which file types are in the repository, how many of them and which items they, are amongst other things. As ever, I’ll be posting more details in a few days. Have a great weekend.

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