Managing an institutional repository workflow with GitLab and a folder-based deposit system

Authors : Whitney R. Johnson-Freeman, Mark E. Phillips, Kristy K. Phillips

Institutional Repositories (IR) exist in a variety of configurations and in various states of development across the country. Each organization with an IR has a workflow that can range from explicitly documented and codified sets of software and human workflows, to ad hoc assortments of methods for working with faculty to acquire, process and load items into a repository.

The University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries has managed an IR called UNT Scholarly Works for the past decade but has until recently relied on ad hoc workflows. Over the past six months, we have worked to improve our processes in a way that is extensible and flexible while also providing a clear workflow for our staff to process submitted and harvested content.

Our approach makes use of GitLab and its associated tools to track and communicate priorities for a multi-user team processing resources. We paired this Web-based management with a folder-based system for moving the deposited resources through a sequential set of processes that are necessary to describe, upload, and preserve the resource.

This strategy can be used in a number of different applications and can serve as a set of building blocks that can be configured in different ways. This article will discuss which components of GitLab are used together as tools for tracking deposits from faculty as they move through different steps in the workflow.

Likewise, the folder-based workflow queue will be presented and described as implemented at UNT, and examples for how we have used it in different situations will be presented.