Liberal Arts Sprint for Institutional Repository (IR) development
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LASIR: Liberal Arts Sprint for Institutional Repositories

LASIR Documents

How to Join

What is LASIR?

LASIR is a collaborative project—created by the Islandora Collaboration Group (ICG) and funded by nine academic institutions and Born-Digital—that is working with the Islandora IR Interest Group to develop a robust suite of Institutional Repository (IR) features within Islandora to enable the platform to be competitive with the top proprietary and open-source IRs currently available. An IR is a type of digital access and preservation system that focuses on institution-generated scholarly content. LASIR will build upon existing code to further develop these key IR features:

  1. Search engine optimization (SEO) and Google Scholar integration
  2. Usage stats/impact factor/assessment, including system-generated visualizations of usage/content
  3. Enhanced author profiles for university and college faculty members
  4. A generalized and simplified self-deposit workflow
  5. Facilitate the ability to contribute to larger disciplinary networks
  6. Complete documentation that is accessible and thorough

Why is LASIR Needed?

LASIR will advance Islandora’s position as a versatile, highly attractive, and affordable platform that will be a viable open-source alternative to commercial solutions. Elsevier’s recent acquisition of bepress™ is causing a wide range of academic institutions to seek an alternative non-proprietary IR platform where they can openly manage and share their scholarly output (e.g., articles, theses, and conference proceedings). For example, the University of Pennsylvania Libraries posted a public press release stating their termination of partnership with bepress™. The appeal of open-source IR platforms is that users can have more direct input on new feature development, alternative integrations, and future roadmap plans for their IR—an opportunity that a vendor-controlled repository system, such as Elsevier’s, does not provide. Open-source projects thrive on a vibrant community of users. By enabling Islandora as a destination for institutions seeking an open-source IR platform, LASIR seeks to enrich and add diversity to the already thriving, vibrant community of users associated with Islandora. LASIR, along with the complementary ISLE (Islandora Enterprise) project, seeks to enhance the features of Islandora while also making it a more sustainable platform and reducing start-up costs for new users.


  • LASIR Phase I: $41,000 crowdfunded ($35,000 from nine academic institutions: Hamilton College, Hampshire College, Grinnell College, Middlebury College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Vassar College, Wesleyan University, Williams College; $6,000 in-kind labor from Born-Digital); met original goal of $41,000.
  • LASIR Phase II: Planning funding
  • LASIR Phase III: TBD

Project Sustainability

The LASIR Steering Committee will submit the resultant development via Islandora’s Licensed Software Acceptance Procedure (LSAP). The development will then become a core part of the Islandora 7x Release (Fall 2019) and will be supported and maintained by the Islandora community as part of the free and publicly shared open-source platform. Through this LSAP method, Islandora has already adopted a large number of externally contributed modules that are sustainably maintained by community members.

LASIR Steering Committee

  • Bryan Brown (Islandora IR IG Convener), Florida State University
  • Mark Christel (Co-Chair), Grinnell College
  • Joanna DiPasquale (Co-Chair), Vassar College
  • David Keiser-Clark, Williams College
  • Donald Moses, University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI)
  • Diego Pino, METRO
  • Wendy Shook, Middlebury College

LASIR Technical Leads

  • Bryan Brown, Florida State University
  • Joanna DiPasquale, Vassar College

Former Contributors

Funding Institutions: LASIR Phase I

  • Hamilton College
  • Hampshire College
  • Grinnell College
  • Middlebury College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Smith College
  • Vassar College
  • Wesleyan University
  • Williams College


  • 12/2017 - [Completed] ICG creates "Liberal Arts Sprint: IR Features Roadmap" working group
  • 05/2018 - [Completed] ICG creates LASIR Steering Committee
  • 05/2018 - [Completed] $35,000 crowdfunded from nine academic institutions to fund LASIR Phase I
  • 07/2018 - [Completed] LASIR Phase I begins
  • 11/2018 - [Pending] LASIR Phase I completion (full wireframes for new functionality; atomic visual designs of new functional components)
  • 12/2018 - [TBD] LASIR Phase II begins
  • 09/2019 - [TBD] LASIR Phase II completion