Sorin: A new research workflow management tool from St. Edward’s University

Gibbs, Casey
Kosarek, Alex
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Texas Digital Library

St. Edward’s University’s Munday Library has spent the last year developing a new open source web application, Sorin, that combines several common research- and instruction-related activities into one simple, intuitive experience for searching, organizing, taking notes, and collaborating. Sorin offers library communities a simple and user-friendly way to assemble catalog and open web resources into collections that can be collaboratively edited, annotated with rich text, shared with other users, published to the open web, and exported to external platforms such as Google Docs. Sorin combines features for managing citations, pdf, and other file attachments, notes, and bookmarking or importing other users’ collections for easy access to essential reference collections, such as readings lists, syllabi, bibliographies, or research guides. Sorin offers a self-contained, extensible, and fully-functional user experience for library services. Frankly, it’s crazy for a team the size of Munday’s (or any size) to develop an application from scratch, but by doing so, we have significantly buttressed our ability to stay synchronized to our users’ evolving expectations and needs, and to protect ourselves and our users from platform obsoletion and vendor lock-in. Though significant work still remains on expanding the range of other platforms Sorin interoperates with, the core architecture is simple, extensible, and rock-solid, and we have open-sourced it to encourage other organizations to experiment with it -- and, we hope, team up. Please join developers Casey Gibbs and Alex Kosarek for a demonstration of the application and a discussion about:

  • Some of the roles Sorin can play in academic settings
  • The technology it’s built on (preview: Elixir and React!)
  • Our development and user testing processes
  • Adoption of the platform at St. Edward’s
  • How your organization can try out the software and get involved
  • What happens next. [Presenters] Casey Gibbs is the Digital Services Manager at St. Edward’s University’s Munday Library. He has previously worked at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. He’s into Proust, esoteric programming languages, and his family. Alex Kosarek, a full-stack web developer, loves making things. If he’s not coding, he is building things out of wood or spending time with his family.
Presented by St. Edward's University, 1C | Technology & Tools, at TCDL 2019.