In our project in which we have to implement a DSpace solution, we're actually facing a major problem that might maybe concerns other people working in librairies.
We need to submit and preserve periodicals in DSpace in a structuralized form. Example :
In our library, the main database for metadatas is a catalog. An item can contains a "note" in this catalog and this note possess some descriptive metadatas.
In the example above, the Times magazine collection, while containing many pdf items, would possess only 1 note in our catalog. That means, after the transfer from the catalog to DSpace, that the DSpace Collection representing the magazine should be ideally the only object that should contains the metadatas, because we don't want to repeat those metadatas for each of the DSpace Items possessing the pdf files in the whole Collection. This is for performance reason because we have some collections possessing thousands of pdfs (like a newspaper of more than 100 years old and having a pdf for each day).
For our team, that means we are actually considering the solution of making a big change to DSpace so that :
1) a collection can have sub-collections (same idea here as Communities);
2) a collection can be mapped to the metadatas schema and therefore be considered as an "Item", so that its metadatas would be indexed in the same way. The collection would then be searchable through the dc fields (for example). In that case, if we make a search and it gives one of the item, possessing the pdf, as a result (full-text indexed pdf), we would get the dc metadatas from its "parent" collection, instead having those in the item's record.
As any people here have the same needs and has begin some works about it? We consider that this can be a very useful add-on for DSpace, resolving almost any kind of digital collections. However, we know that this will not be a simple modification...