The University Libraries' Digital Data Services program provides software development services to the broader communities and partners of the University of Maryland. Services include application development, application hosting and consultation on software engineering practices.
Example Software Services
We have collaborated with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) for several years by providing developer hours to assist in building several of the applications they use to run the center. The SESYNC mission is to bring together the science of the natural world with the science of human behavior and decision-making to find solutions to complex environmental problems. They are funded by an award to the University of Maryland from the NSF. They have a small in-house technical staff, and funds to develop applications in support of their mission, but not the resources to hire and manage full-time developers. Our developers have provided expertise in Semantic Web and Ontologies and also in Java Enterprise and Ruby on Rails development.
The Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) is an Institutional Repository for 11 members of the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI), an existing consortial partner of the University Libraries. We provide this application as a hosted service along with development services including maintenance upgrades, institutional customization, and add-on features. To provide this service we leverage our development and hosting expertise with the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM), our own Institutional Repository, which uses the same DSpace open source software. The project began as a two-year pilot which transitioned to an ongoing service.
Reciprocal Borrowing is an open source application we have built locally and are hosting on behalf of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA). The application supports the reciprocal borrowing privileges to current faculty, emeritus faculty, students, and staff between BTAA member libraries. To provide this service we leverage our experience developing applications using the Ruby on Rails web framework and Shibboleth federated identity management.
We are in the middle of a three-year pilot project in which we are partnering with a local broadcasting company to explore the creation of cost-effective and scalable services to manage discovery and preservation of digital assets generated by broadcasting organizations. As a first step, we set up an automated content transfer system for their born-digital materials and have now set up an instance of the Avalon Media System for access to their digital content. We are currently exploring scalability and market viability for a potential commercial spinoff as well as novel services such as automated transcription and full-text search of their audio content.