Veridian Software has a great many features, many of which are quite obvious if you try out a few collections on our collections page. Below we’ve listed some of the slightly less obvious features, and some of those we think are most important. For more information about Veridian or if you have questions please contact us.
There are some central elements to Veridian that make it a compelling option for historical newspaper collections:
Scalable to very large projects - Veridian was initially designed for very large newspaper digitization projects, so the ability to scale well is one of the cornerstones of the design. A number of our projects have grown to several million pages, without any performance issues.
Stability and support for large user bases - Veridian has proven to be extremely stable, and able to confidently handle large numbers of daily users. One of our oldest and busiest Veridian-based collections receives more than 300,000 page views every day, and has been online for over six years, during which it has achieved significantly better than 99.9% uptime.
Based on METS/ALTO digital objects - Veridian is built specifically to support METS/ALTO digital objects, which is well established as the industry standard for newspaper digitization projects. Veridian supports METS/ALTO both with and without article segmentation and can also support both types of data within the same collection.
Multilingual - Veridian is natively designed to support multilingual collections, and uses Unicode throughout; for our user interface, the digitized content, and all search-related systems.
Customized and branded for the collection owner - One key business principle that differentiates Veridian from our competitors is that we focus on providing unique, individual solutions for each collection client, working hand in hand to create a bespoke collection rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. As part of our set up process on every collection, we customize the interface and features to meet each customer’s needs.
Easy content access
With digitized newspaper collections containing thousands to millions of pages, efficient search and browse functions are crucial to a positive user experience. Veridian focuses on providing a simple interface while allowing its users to quickly identify or retrieve relevant documents. Some of Veridian’s search and browse features include:
Search result summary and image snippets - Once a search is performed, Veridian displays search result summaries or image snippets to help users to quickly understand the relevance of search results.
Search facets and filters - Search facets give a summary of how the search results are distributed through the display of available metadata fields and the decade bar graph (added in the 2020/2021 update). Users can then choose to narrow down the search scope by adding search filters. For example, a search can be limited to a specific date range, or a specific newspaper title.
Date and title browsing - Veridian allows users to browse collections chronologically and by title, to easily retrieve what they are looking for.
Patron engagement and Crowdsourced User Text Correction (UTC)
We believe the best way to preserve a collection is to encourage more people to utilise it. Instead of providing a static unchanging collection (only serving information to the users), Veridian provides features that enable users to be more involved and contribute to a collection’s growth.
User Text Correction - this feature allows users to correct OCR errors as they come across them in the text. For newspaper digitization collections, which often contain a lot of OCR errors, this can work surprisingly well. Adding UTC means the searchability of the collection is gradually improved, but more importantly it can lead to the creation of an engaged online community around the collection. You can read more and see examples here, or check out these UTC features added in our 2020/2021 update:
Statistics - As well as showing helpful statistics such as how many lines of text have been corrected within a collection and lists of top text correctors, Veridian offers enhanced statistics including:
- Progress tracking, which makes it possible to see how close to ‘completely correct’ any article, page, issue or even entire publication or collection is.
- Displaying a list of recommended items to be corrected to meet your project goals.
- Showing the most recently corrected items and who contributed.
Dashboard - This brings together key information on one page to raise the profile of text correction and encourages users to get involved.
Guidelines - General guidelines for correcting newspaper text have been developed collaboratively, working with the Veridian user group to provide an initial reference for those wanting to get involved with text correction.
More Patron Engagement Features - As well as UTC, Veridian includes user features such as tags, comments, private lists and bookmarks, and social media features designed to encourage users to share and engage with your digital collection. In the 2020/2021 update, we also added a clipping tool so users can take clips of particular news articles or sections of a newspaper, to use in their own work or share with another user.
Privacy and user security
Veridian and the GDPR - We’ve applied the standards the GDPR sets across the board. By default, Veridian software is as compliant as possible and contains all the necessary tools to allow our customers to choose a level of compliance they’re comfortable with.
Opt ins - Users must now opt in to some features (most notably search history), that were previously enabled by default.
Strong password reinforcement - This is now enabled for new user registrations, or if existing users choose to change their passwords, so that passwords must have a minimum of 8 characters and contain at least one letter, number and other character.
Comprehensive access control
We are always mindful that a collection’s content is its most valuable asset. Veridian provides features to help our customers to manage copyrighted publications, as well as features that protect the public content from illegitimate scraping activities.
Veridian Access Rules - Veridian’s Access Rules allow online collections to be restricted in many different ways. Rules can be applied to restrict access (either to selected content or selected features) to just registered users, just users in a specific group (e.g. paid subscribers), or just those accessing the collection from a known IP address range (e.g. a physical library building). Access Rules are very flexible, and can be used to restrict the downloading of PDFs, limit specific newspaper titles, issues or pages to paid subscribers, enable or disable UTC for individual titles, or adjust access around copyright material or individual newspapers/pages.
Anti-Content Scraping - As we’ve seen a rise in collection scraping activity over 2020/2021, where PDF content is harvested from our collections for use on a subscription-based newspaper website, we now offer the following options:
- Enable reCAPTCHA on PDF downloading - Stops robots from downloading PDFs. We use the invisible reCAPTCHA version that doesn’t require users to click on the ‘I am not a robot’ checkbox.
- PDF downloads behind registration - Restricts PDF downloads to registered users.
- Adding the invisible reCAPTCHA version to the user registration process, if not already enabled.
In Veridian’s ongoing development we continuously work on keeping up with the latest web application best practices, while also utilising a modern and clean design that allows your content to shine, and can be customised and branded to suit the collection owner.
Responsive Design - Since the 2017/2018 update, Veridian collections can be viewed from all modern desktop and mobile platforms and web browsers, including Windows, Mac OS X, Apple iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, and iPods) and Android mobile devices. With internet usage from small screen devices eclipsing that of desktops, we re-designed the Veridian UI from the ground up to be as usable as possible on small screens, without losing any functionality for large screens.
VPAT / WCAG-AA Accessibility Compliance - Veridian is constantly evolving so our users can enjoy the very best in functionality and appearance. We also know that Veridian is used by many government/public institutions that need to conform to local or international web accessibility guidelines, and as such it has been carefully designed to comply.
At Veridian, we pride ourselves on the ongoing service we give to clients after your digital collection has been launched. As well as continuous development on your collection, we are always working on our software to polish and enhance, researching the latest technologies, gathering client feedback and incorporating both into the core Veridian platform.
Born-digital PDF Ingestion Support - As part of our ongoing collection development, we engage in continuous ingestion of METS/ALTO. In the 2020/2021 update, we added the direct ingestion of PDFs as a feature. This means that PDFs, particularly those born-digital, can be directly ingested into Veridian collections, providing more scope for the inclusion of contemporary publications without needing to convert to METS/ALTO.
Search Engine Optimization - We also provide extensive search engine optimisation (SEO) that dramatically increases the visibility and number of visitors to your digital collection. We’ve routinely seen visitor numbers increase 20 times over, once appropriate SEO is configured and the major search engines have indexed a collection.
Google Analytics Integration - Veridian also provides support for Google Analytics, making it easy to track and report on how many visitors your online digital collection attracts.
Veridian software gives extensive support for a range of APIs, including:
OAI-PMH - OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) allows metadata from Veridian collections to be incorporated into systems like the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Digital Commonwealth, WorldCat, and many more.
XML API - Veridian has an extensive XML API, exposing all the data in the collection (as well as search and browse features) as clean, machine-readable XML.
JSON API - This API is identical to the XML API but the output is in JSON format.
International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) support - Veridian has been developed to support both IIIF Image and Presentation APIs. Once implemented, your collection will join a global network of image suppliers who work together to make content available in a common, ‘interoperable’ framework.
Do let your Veridian engineer know if you have any questions about Veridian’s features, or whether a particular one could be implemented for your collection.