ACCESS | Asia 's Newspaper on Electronic Information Product & Service
December 2005 No.55  
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VTLS announces Vital 2.0 implementations 
Also gifts VALET to the academic community
 
 
VTLS Inc. has released VITAL 2.0. VITAL is used by institutional repositories to manage their digital collections. The Australian Research Repositories Online to the World (ARROW) Project, led by Monash University has just completed the acceptance testing of VITAL 2.0. This paves the way for the software to be installed at Monash University, University of New South Wales, National Library of Australia and Swinburne University. These installations are in progress. Other Australian universities are negotiating to acquire and install the software early in 2006.
VITAL 2.0 has been enhanced to provide the following functionality:
 
Web Submission - open-source web tools allow faculty and others to contribute metadata and datastreams which make up digital theses and dissertations. They may be submitted directly to the repository, or to an intermediary for review prior to ingestion into the repository. An expansion of this model including a range of additional resource types has been developed and is currently being tested.
 
GoogleTM Exposure - facilitates the discovery of VITAL resources by the larger internet community. The VITAL indexing module provides a means to 'publish' summaries of Fedora repository content for harvesting by Web search engines.
 
Audio Support - Provide for the ingestion of audio files (wav, mp3) including metadata extraction to Fedora using VITAL.
 
Video Support - Provide for the ingestion of video format (avi, mpeg) including metadata extraction and frame extraction to Fedora using VITAL.
 
Metadata Extraction Web Service - As a first step to preservation, provides a Validation/Extraction Web Service interface to JSTOR/ Harvard Object Validation Environment (JHOVE) and VTLS' TIFF extraction service.
 
Metadata Transform Web Service - allows data entered by content authors in MARCXML or ETD-MS to Dublin Core. Other crosswalks may be implemented.
 
Document Navigator - allows for viewing of multi page documents in PDF.
 
Batch Process - allows system administrators to ingest larger quantities of content into the VITAL repository via command-line tools and XML-based configuration files.
 
Fedora 2.0 Integration - updates VITAL to support new or changed features in Fedora 2.0. 
 
Language Support - supports the display of Arabic and Hebrew text with right-to-left directionality.
 
"VITAL 2.0 continues the track record of VITAL representing the leading edge of repository thinking and offerings." Said Carl Grant, President and COO of VTLS, "This is a direct result of our dedication to working closely with the ARROW Partners to define the state-of-the- art solution."
 
  Open source VALET for ETDs
 
Available free as open-source software, VALET is a Web submission solution for managing electronic theses and dissertations. VALET is a fitting product offering from a company that boasts a tradition of leadership in the industry. The software is now available for download from the VTLS website here
 
 
VTLS Inc. has been collaborating with the NDLTD project at Virginia Tech, the FEDORATM Project, and the Australian Research Repositories Online to the World (ARROW) Project, led by Monash University in Australia, to develop VALET for ETDs. This open-source product is simple, flexible, adaptable and easy to implement. A typical process allows for thesis submission by students, editing and approval by faculty, approval by the graduate school and final deposit into a FEDORATM-based, institutional repository. 
 
  VALET helps streamline the submission process
 
The institution can configure the number of steps in the process and the details of each step. The software minimizes errors and offers instant, form-based validation. It also offers multi-level security for students, faculty and administration. When a thesis enters the repository, the software automatically creates standardized metadata. It is pre-configured to allow users to choose Dublin Core or ETD-MS, but can support other metadata standards or schemas, such as MARCXML. VALET helps streamline the submission process while increasing the quality of the final ETD resource. While the initial version supports submission via a Web interface, the next version will also support submission via e-mail. 
 
FEDORATM is packaged with VALET. FEDORATM was conceived and designed at Cornell University with funding from DARPA and the National Science Foundation. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is funding the open source FEDORATM software, being developed jointly by the University of Virginia and Cornell University. VTLS created VALET in conjunction with the ARROW Project in Australia and used the digital theses programs at Virginia Tech and the Australian Digital Theses (ADT) Program as models. More on VTLS here
 
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