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This article is about the software package. For the complexity class, see DSPACE.
DSpace transparent logo.png
Original author(s) MIT and HP Labs
Developer(s) DuraSpace
Initial release November 2002
Stable release 5.3[1] / 29 July 2015; 6 months ago (2015-07-29)
Development status Active
Written in Java
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Institutional repository software
License BSD licence
Website www.dspace.org

DSpace is an open source repository software package typically used for creating open access repositories for scholarly and/or published digital content. While DSpace shares some feature overlap with content management systems and document management systems, the DSpace repository software serves a specific need as a digital archives system, focused on the long-term storage, access and preservation of digital content.


The first public version of DSpace was released in November 2002, as a joint effort between developers from MIT and HP Labs.[2] Following the first user group meeting in March 2004, a group of interested institutions formed the DSpace Federation,[3] which determined the governance of future software development by adopting the Apache Foundation's community development model as well establishing the DSpace Committer Group.[4] In July 2007 as the DSpace user community grew larger, HP and MIT jointly formed the DSpace Foundation,[5] a not-for-profit organization that provided leadership and support. In May 2009 collaboration on related projects and growing synergies between the DSpace Foundation and the Fedora Commons organization led to the joining of the two organizations to pursue their common mission in a not-for-profit called DuraSpace.[6] Currently the DSpace software and user community receives leadership and guidance from DuraSpace.


DSpace is a set of cooperating Java web applications and utility programs that maintain an asset store and an associated metadata store. The web applications provide interfaces for administration, deposit, ingest, search, and access. The asset store is maintained on a file system or similar storage system. The metadata, including access and configuration information, is stored in a relational database and supports the use of PostgreSQL and Oracle database.[7] DSpace currently support two primary web interfaces: JSPUI which uses JSP and the Java Servlet API and XMLUI (aka Manakin)[8] based on Apache Cocoon, using XML and XSLT. DSpace holdings are made available primarily via a web interface, but it also supports the OAI-PMH v2.0, and is capable of exporting Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS) packages. DSpace supports the common interoperability standards used in the Institutional repository domain, such as Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, SWORD,[9] OpenSearch, and RSS. More recent versions of DSpace also support faceted search and browse functionality using Apache Solr.[10]


Some most important features of DSpace are as follows.

  • Free open source software
  • Completely customizable to fit customer/user needs:
  • Customize or theme the user interface - You can fully customize the look and feel of your DSpace website so it will integrate seamlessly with your own institution's website and can be more intuitive for your users. DSpace provides two main user interface options: the traditional (JSP-based) interface, and Manakin (XML-based) which provides various "themes" out of the box.
  • Customize the metadata - Dublin Core is the default metadata format within the DSpace application. However you can add or change any field to customize it for you application. DSpace currently supports any non hierarchical, flat name space, although it is possible to ingest other hierarchical metadata schemas into DSpace such as MARC and MODS. This requires using tools such as crosswalk and having some technical capability to map the transfer of data.
  • Configure Browse and Search - You can decide what fields you would like to display for browsing, such as author, title, date etc. on your DSpace website. You can also select any metadata fields you would like included in the search interface. All of the text within a given item and metadata associated with the item, are indexed for full text search if desired.
  • Local authentication mechanisms - DSpace comes with plugins for most university authentication methods, including: LDAP (and hierarchical LDAP), Shibboleth, X.509, IP-based. In addition, DSpace comes with its own internal authentication method, or can be configured to use multiple authentication methods at once. You can also build your own authentication plugin if you use a custom authentication mechanism.
  • Standards compatiblility - DSpace complies with many standard protocols for access, ingest, and export. The standards DSpace supports include: OAI-PMH, OAI-ORE, SWORD, WebDAV, OpenSearch, OpenURL, RSS, ATOM.
  • Configurable database -You can choose either PostgreSQL or Oracle for the database where DSpace manages its metadata.
  • Default language -The DSpace web application is available in over twenty languages. So if English is not your local language, you can customize the language which DSpace uses. You can also configure DSpace to support multiple languages, so that the language your user sees is the 'preferred language' set in their web browser.
  • Manage and preserve all types of digital content: The DSpace application can recognize and manage a large number of file format and mime types. Some of the most common formats currently managed within the DSpace environment are PDF, Word, JPEG, MPEG, TIFF files. Although out-of-the-box DSpace only auto-recognizes common file formats, files of any format can be managed by DSpace. DSpace also provides a simple file format registry where you can register any unrecognized format, so that it can be identified in the future.
  • Can be installed out of the box: DSpace comes with an easily configurable web based interface, which any system administrator can install on a single Linux, Mac OSX or Windows box to get started. [11]

Operating Systems[edit]

DSpace software runs on Linux, Solaris, Unix, or Windows. Linux is by far the most common OS for DSpace. [12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Latest Release
  2. ^ "DSpace: An Open Source Dynamic Digital Repository", D-Lib Magazine, January 2003 .
  3. ^ Final Report on the Initial Development of the DSpace Federation (PDF) (research report), Mellon, June 2004 .
  4. ^ DSpace Committer Group (wiki), Duraspace .
  5. ^ DSpace Foundation (press release), Hewlett‐Packard .
  6. ^ "DuraSpace", OAI implementers (mailing list) (press release), Open archives, May 2009 .
  7. ^ "DSpace Under the Hood: How DSpace works", Open Repositories (conference), DE: Uni Bielefeld, 2010 .
  8. ^ Phillips (November–December 2007), "Manakin: A New Face for DSpace", D-Lib Magazine .
  9. ^ Lewis (January–February 2012), "SWORD: Facilitating Deposit Scenarios", D-Lib Magazine .
  10. ^ DSpace Discovery: Unifying DSpace Search and Browse with Solr, DE: Uni Bielefeld .
  11. ^ http://www.dspace.org/
  12. ^ DuraSpace. DSpace Registry [0=field_country%3Aunited%20states&f[1]=field_institution_type%3Aacademic&order=field_country&sort=desc http://registry.duraspace.org/registry/dspace?f%5B0%5D=field_country%3Aunited%20states&f%5B1%5D=field_institution_type%3Aacademic&order=field_country&sort=desc]. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]