People on the Move: A Fedora-based Open Access Repository To Provide a World of Information on Forced Migration


Ithaca, NY, September 12, 2007-Anyone who has put a web site together about an interesting topic has seen its content expand in proportion to interest and use. Good information tends to become more complex over time as web site displays, interactive features, new kinds of content, web services, and access to multiple data storage facilities are added. Management of even modest online information facilities can end up being perceived by users as a patchwork of access and preservation-elegant pieces cleverly stitched together without a plan for how the information will persist-a liability for those who may need it most.

The Open Access Repository System (OARS) Project has plans to migrate just such a collection of significant, well-used, and yet fragmented resources from the Forced Migration Online (FMO) Digital Library, a digital repository of scholarly resources based at the University of Oxford's Refugee Studies Centre, to an open source platform based on Fedora in the next two years. With funding from JISC , the OARS repository will be the largest on its subject area in the world representing a unique and expanding collection of resources highly valued by the user community it serves. The OARS repository will improve management, and will also interoperate with other global open access systems, as well as with the University of Oxford's institutional repository. The repository's long-term preservation will be ensured by compliance with JISC Information Environment open source software and open standards. Ultimately, the new repository will help create an information environment about forced migration that is discoverable and accessible to a much wider community of users and contributors.

Force Migration Online (FMO) contains regional resources, multimedia, journals handbooks and guidelines and working papers that address what happens when people have to leave their homes or homelands to escape from political or natural disasters. FMO uses the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) definition for forced migration: "A general term that refers to the movements of refugees and internally displaced people (people displaced by conflicts) as well as people displaced by natural or environmental disasters, chemical or nuclear disasters, famine, or development projects."
The Oxford Research Archive (ORA) team are also using the Fedora repository system for the construction of the University of Oxford's institutional repository. The ORA team has developed an open source management and search interface for Fedora. The OARS Project will develop a browser-based management and search interface for their Fedora-based repository based on the ORA work and in compliance with ORA open standards.

For more information on the OARS Project contact Mike Cave, Co-Director,, or Sean Loughna, Co-Director,


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