A report detailing how the use of ecological metaphors can help us understand better the interactions that take place between digital repositories and related services.
This work began in response to a perceived need to express something of how and why digital repositories and services interact. As a community of implementers and developers we have well understood technical models and architectures that provide conceptual mechanisms to promote interoperability. Articulating the details and challenges of actual interactions that occur, however, is not so widely understood and knowledge about them is not often shared. This is, in part at least, because we tend to share in the abstract through architectures and use cases and in these we focus on the technical. Articulating interactions or connections requires an engagement with and presentation of specific local details. Beginning to consider why particular interactions succeed or fail over time requires us to factor in more than the technical.