Date & Time

  • September 13th 15:00 UTC/GMT - 11:00 EST


We will use the international conference call dial-in. Please follow directions below.

  • U.S.A/Canada toll free: 866-740-1260, participant code: 2257295
  • International toll free: 
    • Use the above link and input 2257295 and the country you are calling from to get your country's toll-free dial in #
    • Once on the call, enter participant code 2257295


DCAT Disussion: DSpace standard Data model and DSpace-CRIS: exploring convergence

The goal of this month's call is to explore functional needs that may require modification of the DSpace data model.

Andrea Bollini (4Science) will give a short overview of how the DSpace data model was extended in DSpace CRIS and which functional needs these extensions serve.

A summary of the current DSpace datamodel: 

We aim to discuss if the current DSpace data model already offers sufficient support to express:

  • People associated with publications, their role on the publication and their affiliation
  • Projects and funders
  • Departments and organizational units within an institution.
  • ...

Preparing for the call

Bring your questions/comments you would like to discuss to the call, or add them to the comments of this meeting page.

If you can join the call, or are willing to comment on the topics submitted via the meeting page, please add your name, institution, and repository URL to the Call Attendees section below.

You can find an useful start to the discussion the following slides:



Meeting notes

Currently one of the main points of discussion is whether DSpace should obtain a more elaborate, and flexible, datamodel. The discussion balances on a continuum. On one hand, the datamodel currently used is very simple with a flat hierarchy. But this is also the datamodel's limitation. Certain relations can not be captured in this datamodel. So on the other side of the continuum is the datamodel's flexibility. The extend to which it can be adapted and relationships can be defined.

During this month's meeting, DSpace committer and architect of the DSPace CRIS System, Andrea Bollini explained how they altered DSpace's datamodel.

DSpace's default datamodel is more or less compliant with the Portland common data model. It has a flat, fixed structure. This can not deal with issues like disambiguations.

In DSpace CRIS, the datamodel is built out of several entities which are not entirely predefined. Although there are some already existing entities, administrators can create additional entities. The datamodel also allows to define relationships between entities. This means the model is not flat, but instead hierarchical.

DSpace CRIS is also interested in following the community and keep porting DSpace CRIS to newer DSpace versions. Even Though this implies some challenges. For example, there are more and more voices coming up to develop DSpace on top of it's own REST API. This means that both DSpace and DSpace CRIS' REST API's should be aligned.

In DSpace 6 there is a large difference in authorization due to the underlying changes (use of hibernate). This will also be the case when the new Angular 2 UI is implemented. This should however not be a problem for DSpace CRIS, as it is already using hibernate.

Call Attendees


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  1. Is anyone allowed to attend these meetings?

    1. Yes! DCAT welcome feedback and participation from anyone in the community.

  2. Thank you Bram Luyten (Atmire) for organizing the call and Andrea Bollini (4Science) for sharing the details of DSPace-CRIS data model. There wasn't much time for commenting, but I wanted to add that that bringing in the elements reflecting researchers' affiliation and organizational structure would meet many of the needs the University of Toronto has had for a while. As a large university without a single faculty profiling system or CRIS system, there is a potential for the repository to play a more central role in those spaces and be more attractive to faculty looking for something more than just a collection of items. There have been different approaches and workarounds to reflecting affiliation with existing tools via community/collection structure or item mapping (particularly for cross-appointed faculty) - none of which have worked perfectly well. Certainly looking forward to having this functionality in the coming versions!

  3. On behalf of those who could not join (or have issues with the dial in method) I kindly ask your for detailed minutes because this topic is very interesting indeed

  4. I would like to know where I can find the database model (MER) of Dspace-Cris.

    1. The ER diagrams of the most important part are available here Introduction#Logicalandphysicaldatamodel . They don't cover the whole datamodel but should be a good start point.

      The sql scripts to incremental build the database from the first version to the current release are here: