Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security migrates to Open Repository

March 26, 2021
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In less than 2 months, WODC, Atmire and Delta Kwadrant migrated Fedora collections to Open Repository.

The WODC (Research and Documentation Centre) is the knowledge centre in the field of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. The centre carries out independent scientific research for policy and implementation purposes; by itself or the WODC commissions the research.

In December 2020, the decision was made to migrate the WODC repository content from a Fedora repository infrastructure operated by TU Delft, to Atmire's Open Repository platform. After the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM), WODC is the second Dutch division of government adopting Open Repository.


Thanks to a carefully orchestrated migration, under the lead of Delta Kwadrant's Rogier Engel, the legacy MODS metadata profile was mapped on the Open Repository metadata profile. The actual migrations to production and test servers were carried out swiftly thanks to Open Repository features for importing spreadsheets, that link out to the associated full text.

Because the repository is hosted under a brand new domain: https://repository.wodc.nl, incoming clicks to the old repository URLs had to be redirected to the new pages. This was achieved on TU Delft infrastructure, based on a mapping between the new and legacy identifiers.

A flying start

Web crawlers like Google Scholar, Bing and other search engines typically need weeks, if not months, to discover and index pages of a newly established repository. However, due to the redirection of the old URLs, the new repository took a flying start with over 3000 downloads in less than 10 days of being live.

Government content = valuable Open Access content

Traditionally, repositories are typically thought of as the "Green" way for Academic institutions to contribute to the distribution of peer reviewed publications that are first published with commercial publishers.

However, the WODC repository is not an exception today. More and more government bodies, IGO's and NGO's are leveraging them to distribute content online, because the ultimate motive is common with the academic instances: for those taxpayer funded works that are relevant to the broader audience of taxpayers and beyond, open should be the default.

The WODC repository definitely ticks this box with relevant reports on topics such as migration, victim support and much more.

Lightning-fast onboarding with constructive thinking by and short lines with Atmire, combined with our experience of ETL migrations: it turned out to be a recipe for rapid success. We are proud of the result. Rogier Engel, Project manager at Delta Kwadrant
In projects like this migration, the clock is always ticking towards the sunset of legacy infrastructure. Even though this creates a state of urgency that is uncommon in other repository projects, it offers a unique opportunity for the Atmire team to revise and optimise onboarding procedures, to ensure that future clients benefit from everything we learn along the way. Putting pressure on a system or a procedure is the best way to uncover what can be improved. I am proud that Atmire can host collections like the ones of WODC, with so much relevance to society. Bram Luyten, Atmire
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