IVDb... For Free!: Implementing an Open Source Digital Repository in a Corporate Library
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In 2011, Boston Biomedical Consultants, Inc. (BBC), a Boston-based consulting firm with a focus in the In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) industry, set an initiative in motion to create a digital archive of the information collected over its 35-year history in IVD consulting. Overseen by the Information Services Manager, BBC investigated open source programs to build and maintain a digital archive of the company's intellectual property without a large monetary investment from the firm. Using the DSpace Digital Repository Software, the In Vitro Diagnostics Database (IVDb) was created, archiving the company's library files and providing a searchable online database for staff use in project-based research. This process included developing an IVD-specific controlled vocabulary for cataloging, digitizing a variety of physical documents, purchasing and configuring a server to house the scanned documents and the DSpace software using Ubuntu Linux, and installing, customizing, and populating the system. The result has been a user-friendly, robust database that has proven to be a time-saver for the firm's staff and a valuable research tool created with little monetary investment (~$500 in hardware costs).