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Enabling access to open-access repositories using metadata harvester: Harvester System for University of Ruhuna

Fernando, I.D.K.La. and Hettiarachchi, Nb.

a. b.

Assistant Librarian, Main library University of Ruhuna, Matara, Sri Lanka. Senior Assistant Librarian, Main library University of Ruhuna, Matara, Sri Lanka.



As a research institute, University conducts a massive amount of research annually in various disciplines. Even though University library spends LKR 05million+ to facilitate researchers with online and printed proprietary journals annually, It is not cover all the journal requirements completely. Proprietary journals provides a limited access to its information depending on the subscription package. Open-access is free access to the publicly funded academic knowledge that includes actual research publications, research data, and variety of other digital media and objects (European Commission, 2008). Open-access journals are free to download and use their contents with proper acknowledgements (Charles, 2006).

Present study used the latest version (OHS-2.3.2) of the PKP open harvester system that installed on Ubuntu Linux 12.04.1amd64 LTS. OHS system uses MySQL 5.5.28 as the relational database, PHP5 5.3.10, and Apache2 2.2.22 as the HTTP server. HP PortLiant ML350 G6 server with redundant power and network supplies were used to install the base system. through both web and mobile platforms.


Limited access of proprietary journals tend the user to shift towards searching for openaccess archives. Keeping information of different multidisciplinary open-access archives is a difficult task Searching on different open-access archives apart is a difficult and time consuming task

Figure 02 : Home page of Harvester System University of Ruhuna



Provide a single online interface to search across pre-defined multidisciplinary openaccess repositories worldwide time and place independently. provide a low-cost solution for the journal requirement of the University

Implementation of a metadata harvester that keeps records of various digital materials hosted in different multidisciplinary open-access archives worldwide.

HaSURu -Harvester System University of Ruhuna was developed to provide access to open-access archives (Figure 02). URL: In the initial state HaSURu harvesting from 120 data providers and having an article base of 600,000+ and updating automatically in each second (Figure 05). The system will harvest from OAI registered repositories in the world (Figure 04). MySQL replication system will keeping automated fail-safe backups Implementation of this valuable service cost only the initial hardware cost for the server, backup server and UPS units. HaSURu with multidisciplinary academic knowledge can be access through both web and mobile platforms.
Figure 03: Individual archive from an external data provider
1 3 4 2

1.Archive name 2.Materials contained in the archive 3.Link to the original material 4.Search box

Figure 04: Archives linked through HaSURu

1.External data providers 2.Archive name 3.Number of materials hosted 4.Total number of data providers 5.Number of pages

5 4

Harvester is a client application that issues OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) requests and collects metadata from other online repositories (data providers, Figure 01) worldwide (Lagoze & Sompel, 2008). Metadata Are "structured data about data" or descriptive information about an object or resource whether it is physical or electronic (Greenberg, 2010). Each digital material that hosted in data providers (repositories) is incorporated with metadata (Greenberg, 2010).

Figure 05: All records in HaSURu

1.Indexed records 2.Link to original archive 3.Total number of records

Future research

Developing a unique theme and plugins to HaSURu Link all the OAI registered open-access repositories with HaSURu Invite other Universities to join with the HaSURu Cloud.