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Research Objects Digital Library

Table of Contents


This document contains a specification of the services offered by the Research Object Digital Library. The main one is Research Object Storage and Retrieval Service (ROSRS). The main functionality of the service is to allow its users to store and retrieve Research Objects. Other services include the User Management Service.


The RODL is built on top of dLibra. dLibra provides file storage and retrieval functionalities, including file versioning and consistency checking. It has a built-in text search engine, fed by its own flexible metadata system, and it manages users and controls their access rights. Besides, dLibra allows organising stored objects into hierarchical structures and associating metadata at the level of object aggregations.


RODL services expose their functionality by means of a REST API. The API is accessed by software clients, which include applications that facilitate registering users and managing their access rights or support browsing the contents of RODL and connect it with other services. In particular, RODL is being used to extend the workflow preservation capabilities of myExperiment, where users can export their content to RODL as Research Objects. An interface for RODL in myExperiment is being developed so that the users can navigate through their Research Objects preserved in RODL and take advantage of its functionalities.

REST interface specifications

Children Display
pagedocs:REST Interface specifications

Wf4Ever models implementation considerations

RO model

Version 5 of RODL implements ?Research Object Vocabulary Specification v0.1. It implements all the concepts related to resource aggregations and annotations. It offers no support for folders (ro:Folder).

RO evolution

Version 5 of RODL does not implement the ?RO evolution model.


Apart from RESTful services, the Research Object Digital Library includes a web application for exploring the content of the digital library and testing the most up-to-date implementations of the Wf4Ever models.

Mapping between RO structure and internal dLibra data model

General structure

Until RODL 5, research objects belonged to workspaces and had versions. Starting from RODL 5, shorter URIs are used. For backwards compatibility, workspaces and versions are still used internally - workspace "default" and version "v1" is assumed.

Research Object



Group publication

Research Object


Version of Research Object

Publication with single edition which content is modified every
time the data or metadata of the Research Object changes

Resource file

For each modification of the file a new File Version is created. The deletion of files will be handled by excluding them from the "edition" in dLibra.


Whenever a manifest or annotation is created, it is scanned for statements about the research object itself. Such statements are added to dLibra as RO attributes, which are later used for indexing and search.

Software libraries used

The service is a servlet based application built using the Jersey framework.


Portal is built using Apache Wicket.

Deployment instructions

The source code is available at git://