Monday, 11 February 2008

Deposit by email

(This is a 'if I get time' implementation outline, based on my experiences with other online repositories such as YouTube and Flickr)
  1. User registers to let them deposit material by email.
    • This must be done to set up default licensing of the submitted material, and also to get their agreement to the standard deposit agreement. The submitter needs to be aware that if they choose this mechanism for a deposit, that it is, by its very nature, less rigorous as there is little opportunity for authentication.
  2. They are given an email template and a unique email address to post to:
    • The email template
      • should be a text/plain file, that can be opened and edited. The format should be forgiving (not XML then) and should be suitable for simple dublin core. I was thinking of a simple (keyword) : ([.*])\n type format, discarding anything which doesn't match.
      • Pass by reference should be acceptable for the submission of items.
      • For Pass by Value, the files should be attached to the email.
    • The email address target
      • for that individual will be of the form (random16letteralphanum) Email sent to this within a pre-determined timeframe will be anticipated to be from that person. E.g.
      • To help curb the inevitable problems faced by people who seek to type this in (rather than just click or copy and paste), avoid the letters I, O, L and the numbers 1 and 0. This should still be enough for a decent amount of randomised combinations.
      • A step to harden this process might be to lock down submissions based on the email they are sent from in addition to given them a unique target. But I have a feeling that this may not be necessary.
  3. An email is sent in reply either:
    • giving them their persitent, citable URL to this item (not plural)
      • [Thoughts: How about passing an ORE map to the system...? Might have some milage]
    • Stating why their submission didn't make it (likely a metadata issue.)

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