Developments and Innovations in the Vireo 4.x ETD Submittal System
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The Vireo ETD (Electronic Thesis and Dissertation) Submission and Management System began service in the graduate office at Texas A&M in 2008. An open source software project, Vireo has now been deployed at over a dozen universities in Texas and almost as many outside of the state, and is used to process thousands of theses and dissertations every semester. Developed primarily as a collaboration of Texas A&M University Libraries and the Texas Digital Library, new features and changes originate from – and are approved by - the Vireo Users Group, a nation-wide community of practitioners from both libraries and graduate schools. This community effort has resulted in the release of new versions of the software on a continual basis. The current release in deployment is Vireo 3.0.5. As practices have matured, needs and expectations of students, administrators, and libraries of record have evolved and the community has become aware of the potential for more robust uses of the software. In Summer 2016, Vireo 4 will undergo its beta release and first deployments. This latest version involves a fundamental reimagining of the flexibility and power of the system. Customers of the Vireo software have come to recognize the diversity of needs among various schools, programs, and departments, and version 4 addresses these needs with highly customizable workflows that can be applied at any level from the institution to the specific degree. In a related initiative, input forms can now be customized with controlled vocabularies to enhance discipline-specific metadata and facilitate knowledge-capture from authors at the time of submittal. Finally, the software is being migrated to a modern web-framework using Spring Boot and Angular.js. The reimagined functionality has meant that the migration is more than a simple re-write, and required software developers to devise a novel, highly sophisticated data model to efficiently support new dynamic use cases. This presentation will discuss the workings of the Vireo User Group and the major changes this will mean for Vireo as a tool and for users. We will discuss the software development process, technical decisions made among the development team in conjunction with the Co-Chair of the Vireo Users Group, and the plans surrounding the 4.0 release.