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This DSpace REST API is a rebuild of the work done as part of the Google Summer of Code 2010 DSpace REST API project.

The aims of this projects are to provide a more structured API, improve response performance and reduce server load. Additionally a number of new features have been introduced, in particular more write endpoints are now available, enabling 3rd party developers to extend the usability of DSpace in different programming and interface environments.

If you would like to participate in the development of this API implementation, please feel free to sign up, or fork the code and make your changes via Github. The code is available at

Alternatively, you are welcome to merge any or all parts of this API implementation into your own projects.


The REST API Module

The DSpace REST API code is available at

There are currently two versions of the REST API that are actively maintained:

REST API for DSpace 5.x:

REST API for DSpace 3.x;

REST API for DSpace 1.8;

DSpace (REST API Version)

A customized version of DSpace has been created with REST API integrated as part of the distribution:

DSpace w/ REST API 3.x;

DSpace w/ REST API 1.8.x;


There are two ways to install and test the DSpace REST API. For both approaches you should have Apache Maven installed.

1) Install as an webapp (This way assumes you are running DSpace under Tomcat.)

  • Locate src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/web.xml (under directory you just downloaded DSpace REST API).
  • Find variable named dspace-config and alter it to point to current location of dspace.cfg file of your DSpace instance. 

  • [Only for REST API 1.8 version] Find variable named dspace.dir and alter it to point to current location of main DSpace configuration file of your DSpace instance.

  • Position into the root directory of the REST API and type mvn package. If everything goes well, in target directory will be packaged dspace-rest-[version].war. 
  • Deploy this file (changing the name to rest.war)  to your current Tomcat webapp directory. The application will be available under http://localhost:8080/rest/ by default.
  • If it shows error for missing some classes of jars, please download and place it to the WEB-INF\lib folder.

2) Install as a DSpace Module in a source code installation

  • Create a new directory for the REST module source code - dspace-src/dspace-rest.
  • Checkout the REST API source code into the new directory
  • Incorporate the new module into your project by adding a new <profile> element for dspace-rest in dspace-src/pom.xml and adding necessary dependency.

    For REST API 3.x version

    For REST API 1.8 version

  • Create a new directory dspace-src/dspace/modules/rest.

  • Add a sub-directory src/main/webapp and a pom.xml to the created directory dspace-src/dspace/modules/rest. The pom.xml file can be referenced as here. 
    REST API 3.x pom.xml (for 3.1, open file and change <version>3.0</version> to <version>3.1</version>)
    REST API 1.8 pom.xml
  • Add a <profile> to dspace-src/dspace/modules/pom.xml.

  • Once you rebuild your dspace-src code with mvn package and ant update, you will need to copy the compiled rest.war file produced in the target directory to tomcat's webapps directory.

3) Install DSpace with REST API integrated

Download Wijiti's version of DSpace then package and install as you would a standard DSpace instance.


  • Since for the new endpoints especially for POST item endpoint, it needs to invoke a static method(Item.create method) of Item class to create a new item for creating. But actually the Item.create method is default access modifier, so it can not be accessed by outside of the package which making rest api codes not compiled. In order to make the rest api codes compiled successfully as standalone webapp, we have copied the corresponding Item java source file into rest api codes and made the access modifier change as below. If rest api integrated with dspace codes, it's just need remove the Item java class from rest api codes and do below change for the dspace's codes.
    static Item create(Context context) --> public static Item create(Context context)

API Documentation

DSpace REST API documentation provides 3rd party developers with all the information they require to implement their own DSpace repository integrations.

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