First in a series of blog posts highlighting the personas produced in our design process, each representing a typical user of Hydra-in-a-Box and embodying a number of use cases that our repository product, now in development, or the hosted service, now in planning, aim to fulfill.

The students return to campus this week for the start of Stanford’s fall quarter. It’s a busy time at the libraries, as staff gear up to engage with faculty and students in support of their courses, research and related academic pursuits. The digital repository plays an increasingly essential role in supporting these activities, too. Our persona featuring Aaron Maddox, a 2nd year Master’s student at a small private university, demonstrates this point clearly. This portrait also shows how the Hydra-in-a-Box repository can serve as both an institutional repository as well as a repository for the library’s digital collections. (You can download all six of the Hydra-in-a-Box personas and other project design documents from the DuraSpace wiki.)

Aaron uses the repository for three distinct purposes. His first goal is to discover and access material for his research. The scenario describes how he is able to accomplish this leveraging the power of a Blacklight/Solr-driven front end to find and download material, easily determining its rights status due to the standardized rights statement displayed in the metadata, and capturing a formatted citation that works with common citation management tools.

Student Persona

Aaron also uses the repository as a “proxy depositor”, to help manage content produced by faculty members of his academic department, showing how Hydra-in-a-Box’s flexible roles make it possible for busy faculty to delegate repository content management tasks. Finally Aaron uses the repository to deposit his own thesis, and the scenario suggests the critical functionality provided by a mediated deposit workflow that the repository supports to facilitate the review and approval of theses and other culminating student works by department administrators and faculty. (The Hydra-in-a-Box team has been actively supporting the development of mediated deposit functionality in Sufia, work currently in progress under the leadership of Oregon State University.)

Next up in the series, we will explore how Hydra-in-a-Box fits into the life of a Digital Projects Coordinator.