Charge of the DSpace Community Advisory Team (DCAT)

The DSpace Community Advisory Team (DCAT) represents the interests of repository managers and administrators across the globe and, indirectly, DSpace end users. DCAT is a permanent Working Group that advises other DSpace project governance and leadership groups (e.g., DSpace Steering Group). The Team solicits feedback through community-wide discussions, surveys, etc. to help ensure future software releases address the needs of the community. DCAT submits an annual report to the DSpace Steering group that makes the report public after review.

A specific area of focus for DCAT is defined annually by DCAT and the Steering Group.

"Community Engagement" is the focus area for 2023/2024.

DCAT Membership

DCAT members are primarily individuals who function as DSpace repository managers at their institution. Members have an interest in advancing the development of the DSpace software and expanding the DSpace user community. DCAT aims to have global representation in order to provide broad support to the DSpace user community. DCAT members generally devote approximately 5-10 hours per month to the Team.

DCAT Chair

The DCAT Chair is responsible for facilitating the Team. This includes:

  • Building consensus among Team members to set the group’s priorities

  • Establishing meeting agendas and running meetings

  • Reporting and communicating results of these meetings

  • Serving as an ex-officio non-voting member of the DSpace Leadership Group

  • Establishing sub-teams to work on various projects    

DCAT is currently chaired by Kimberly Chapman  (University of Arizona Libraries)

DCAT Meeting Frequency

DCAT holds open monthly teleconference meetings. The DCAT Chair distributes the agenda at least one week in advance. 

For more information and meeting notes visit DCAT Meeting Notes.

Regular DCAT Member Activities

Most of the DCAT members partake in these regular activities:

  • Contribute to recommendations for the DSpace Steering Group, DSpace Leadership Group, and DSpace working groups on DCAT perspective and community feedback

  • Participate on DCAT projects requested by the DSpace Steering Group, DSpace Leadership Group, and DSpace working groups

  • Champion particular feature requests or bug reports. This may include but is not limited to facilitating community-wide discussions on new feature requests, fleshing out minimum requirements and trying to identify potential a project team, interested stakeholders and developers.

  • Participate in mailing lists or discussion forums to share knowledge and best practices

  • Attend monthly DCAT teleconference

Other Possible DCAT Member Activities

Some DCAT members are engaged in additional activities:

  • Collaborate on projects, tools and resources, including the DSpace Documentation, which serve the community

  • Organize physical or virtual user group meetings

  • Attend the DSpace Developers meetings

  • Survey the DSpace community to solicit comments and suggestions on developments for the software (archived surveys)

  • Network regularly with other DSpace users locally and internationally

  • Network regularly with the larger repository community, to stay abreast of initiatives and developments elsewhere from which DSpace could benefit.

Mailing List

Members of DCAT use a Google Group mailing list for their communications. Anyone from the community is welcome to join.


DCAT is a reconstituted version of its predecessor, the DSpace Global Outreach Committee.

More information

Meeting Notes

DCAT Meeting Notes

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  1. As a follow up to the 10/14 discussion, I would like to propose a future meeting topic. I would like to hear how other institutions manage test data and test instances of DSpace.  Every few months, we overwrite our test instances with production data.  I would like to find a more systematic approach to managing and refreshing test systems.  Currently, we restrict access to our test instances to our university community.  I am curious to know if other institutions have made their test instances publicly available.

    1. That sounds good. Our test environment is described in "How We Went from Worst Practices to Good Practices, and Became Happier in the Process",