The Texas Digital Library (TDL) provides services to TDL member institutions and the faculty at these institutions. Each of the services supports the TDL’s goal of broadening access to the scholarly output of Texas colleges and universities.
The TDL provides repository hosting for member institutions. This service includes provision of hardware and storage and basic management of the repository software DSpace. With this service, all member institutions have the means to offer a repository service for their affiliates, improving the dissemination of institutional work. For a list of TDL Institutional Repositories, click here.
With Vireo, the TDL’s electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) submission and management system, students at member institutions can submit digital theses and dissertations via a simple online interface, while graduate offices can manage the ETD submission and approval process behind the scenes. The system deposits the ETDs in institutional repositories where they are readily available to other researchers. The ETDs also become available through the federated TDL Repository via metadata harvesting.
The Texas Digital Library provides preservation services through DuraCloud™ @TDL, a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution for digital preservation. By storing and managing content in multiple geographic locations and with multiple storage options available, members can control their costs, enjoy predictability for service, and rely on known, durable technologies and best practices for ensuring the integrity of the riches of their digital collections.
DuraCloud™ is an open-source technology that facilitates storage of digital content within cloud-based storage providers. It was developed and released under an open-source license by DuraSpace and is hosted by the Texas Digital Library for its member institutions
The TDL Repository provides a central access point for scholarly information created across the state of Texas. By aggregating resources from the many TDL member institutions, the TDL Repository presents a broad cross-section of academic publications, course materials, and research data, and makes it available to researchers around the world for browsing and download. Among its other collections, the federated TDL Repository contains records of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) submitted by participating member institutions, making these otherwise hard-to-find scholarly works available to a much wider audience.
Support for publishing fully online, peer-reviewed journals is offered by the TDL. This service includes a complete workflow system for article submission, peer review, and editing that is fully web-based and designed to facilitate the de-centralized collaboration of the peer review process. This less expensive alternative to traditional publishing provides additional opportunities for information-sharing, particularly within specialized disciplines and emerging fields of study. TDL journals are open access, viewable by the public at no cost. TDL member faculty and staff can request a new journal HERE or by emailing the TDL Helpdesk at email@example.com.
In keeping with its commitment to the use of open-source technologies, the Texas Digital Library employs Shibboleth federated authentication software for authentication and identity management. The Shibboleth System is a standards based, open-source platform that allows TDL to authenticate users by leveraging its member institutions’ authentication and identity management systems.
With Shibboleth, faculty and staff at participating TDL member institutions can log on to most TDL services using the ID and password they use at their home institutions. The home institutions (or identity providers) give TDL enough information about each faculty member to enable authorization. In this way, faculty members at TDL institutions do not have to create unique IDs and passwords for TDL services, and TDL can leverage the existing authentication infrastructures of its member institutions.
In October 2009 TDL announced a partnership with the Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN) to collaborate on networking projects in service to Texas researchers and academics. One key part of the collaboration has been the development of a statewide Shibboleth Federation managed by LEARN.
The Shibboleth Federation sets the policies and manages the relationships among TDL service providers and its members’ identity providers. In the LEARN Federation, LEARN mediates the relationships between TDL services on one side and member identity providers on the other, essentially “vouching” that the information provided by identity providers is trustworthy.
In its early years, the Texas Digital Library managed its own Shibboleth Federation. Since 2009, however, TDL has worked with LEARN to transfer all its members from the legacy TDL Shibboleth Federation to the LEARN Federation.
In addition to using federated authentication via Shibboleth, the TDL maintains its own identity provider and authentication service to allow access as appropriate to non-TDL members and members outside the TDL Shibboleth Federation.
For more information:
- TDL Shibboleth policies and information
- Shibboleth website
- Shibboleth Publications and Presentations
- The TDL/LEARN partnership
The TDL offers training courses on all its services for faculty and staff at TDL member institutions. Visit the training section of the website for more information.
Users can get peer-to-peer support through TDL User Groups and Working Groups.