ReDBox / Mint

ReDBox and Mint are two complimentary applications designed to create, store, and provide access to research metadata. RedBox provides workflows and user interfaces for entering and managing research data descriptors, while Mint serves as a name authority and vocabulary system.

Provider

Australian National Data Service

Licensing and cost

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License - free

Development activity

Version 1.6.1 was released in May 2013, and the GitHub source code repository shows that development activity is continuing.

Platform and interoperability

Both ReDBox and Mint have been tested on Ubuntu, RedHat, Solaris, and Windows; the site states that the software will function on any ‘modern, general-purpose’ operating system. The software requires Sun Java JVM 1.6; the project recommends having at least 10Gb of storage space, with at 1Gb of RAM for both pieces.

The software is built on the Fascinator Platform. The Jetty server is included with the installations, and all documentation is based on that configuration; other container servers, such as Apache Tomcat, remain untested. The software can integrate with VTLS Vital and Fedora repositories, and also integrates Handle assignment.

Functional notes

ReDBox uses a filesystem storage mechanism as its default, under the assumption that actual research data, which often is quite large, will be hosted in a larger repository. The system does allow for the upload of non-metadata files such as supporting licenses and IP statements. It can, however, integrate with Fedora Commons, using Apache Solr to drive the portal interface.

RedBox attempts to follow Linked Data principles in its metadata creation, but needs the Mint to make this meaningful to outside repositories and data sources. The Mint can assign Linked Data identifiers to the materials, and can integrate information from external comma-separated files; this allows, for example, a repository to incorporate HR data to describe the researchers and grants attached to a dataset. The Mint has a number of common standard vocabularies ready to upload.

The two applications may be used as individual, separate systems.

Documentation and user support

The project site offers extensive documentation, including a user guide, a Developer wiki, and workshop materials. The site also links to an active Forum. Test sites are available for both RedBox and Mint.

Usability

The software is accessed through a graphical user interface.

Expertise required

Installation and configuration require solid knowledge of application design and technologies. Users should be thoroughly familiar with the metadata standards – both disciplinary and preservation-related – preferred by their organisation.

Standards compliance

The system adheres to Linked Data principles, and provides an OAI-PMH interface. The Mint can assign Handles.

Influence and take-up

ReDBox has among its users Deakin University; Flinders University; James Cook University; Swinburne University of Technology; University of Adelaide; University of Newcastle, Australia; University of Technology Sydney; University of Western Sydney; University of Tasmania; and Research Data Australia.

Last reviewed: 
8 July, 2013