EPrints, DSpace or ESpace?

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Sat Mar 20 12:32:30 EST 2004

Peter Suber reports in Open Access News
    DSpace Federation now open to all   

   The DSpace Federation http://www.dspace.org/ is now open to
   everyone. The federation welcomes new members who can contribute
   through programming, testing, debugging, writing and reviewing
   documentation, or participating in any of the new domain-specific
   Special Interest Groups it is launching. For
   more detail see MacKenzie Smith's summary
   of last week's meeting http://dspace.org/conference/index.html of
   the DSpace user community.

Meanwhile, Eprints has not been idle either! The following is some shameless
promotion of Eprints, which lacks the promotional funding of DSpace. But please
note that there is no real competition between DSpace and Eprints! Neither
project is selling anything, and both are giving their software away. (In fact,
Les Carr of Eprints and MacKenzie Smith of DSpace are discussing how the two
projects can collaborate and coordinate their efforts.) 

Although both softwares are open-source and free, and both can do roughly
the same things (and both were even initially designed by the same
person!), Eprints' focus is much more targetted and specific: Eprints is
dedicated primarily to the self-archiving of universities' peer-reviewed
journal article output. DSpace is intended for a variety of institutional
uses, which also include digital content management, digital preservation,
online courseware and electronic publishing. Eprints, which started two
years earlier and is the most widely used OAI archive-creating software
worldwide, is giving first, second and third priority to promoting
Universities' Open Access Provision to their peer-reviewed research output.

Toward that end, here are the main Eprints milestones:

The GNU Eprints software itself, with Chris Gutteridge's continuous
upgrades incorporating features requested by the user community

Eprints runs an Institutional Archives Registry (not just for Eprints Archives)
It currently lists 143 archives (11 of them Dspace, 123 of them Eprints)
Please come and register your Archives too!

Eprints has also created an Eprints Handbook (funded by the Open
Society Institute) to help universities create OAI Archives and
to develop procedures and policies for filling them: 

Eprints also created and hosts the BOAI self-archiving FAQ:
as well as the BOAI Forum

Eprints's Steve Hitchcock and other Eprints staff and students have
generated the many OpCit projects and papers on citation linking and
analysis, self-archiving users surveys, etc.

Eprints' Tim Brody's citebase 
is a citation-link-based "google" for the OA literature, ranking papers
and authors by citation impact or download impact.
The download/citation correlator/predictor can also predict
eventual citations from today's downloads:

Eprints deposited in Eprints accordingly focus on the article's
reference lists and citation linking. Mike Jewell has created
paracite which seeks the full-text of cited articles on the web.

Eprints has also developed models for university self-archiving
policy that universities can consider adopting along with the Eprints
as well as the model Tardis project

Eprints's Mike Jewell has also created a standardized OAI CV that
universities and research funders can use in research evaluation
and performance assessment:

Eprints's Tim Brody has also created Celestial, a software that harvests metadata
from OAI-compliant repositories and re-exposes that metadata to other services
as well as an oai-perl library

Eprints staff have contributed to many conferences and workshops to promote
self-archiving in general (and Eprints in particular), e.g.:

Eprints runs three mailing lists for users: EP-General, EP-Tech and EP-Underground
as well as a demonstration server in which potential adopters can try
out the features of Eprints:

Eprints provides powerpoints to be used for the promotion of
self-archiving and Open Access Provision:

Eprints is conducting an extensive series of digitometric studies to
measure and document the dramatic degree to which open access enhances
research impact: 

Eprints is also one of the cornerstones of the ePrints-UK Project:
as well as a contributor to the JISC Romeo Project (on publishers'
policies on author self-archiving)

Stevan Harnad

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