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EPrints.org Information for Cornell Open Archives Tech Meeting

Stevan Harnad harnad at cogito.ecs.soton.ac.uk
Wed Sep 6 05:04:54 EST 2000

      For: Cornell meeting of the Technical Committee of
      the Open Archives initiative, September 7-8 2000

The EPrints.org software

The Open Archives Initiative is providing a framework for the extensive
interoperability of archives of scholarly research literature (and
potentially other digital materials too). For this initiative to become
a widespread reality, the participation of large numbers of individuals
and institutions is required.

In order to be able to participate, what institutions need is working,
interoperable, configurable software that is freely available and easy
to set up. It is this need that the EPrints software was developed to

EPrints is a feature-rich open archive software system that is as
simple to install as any normal application. It runs right "out of the
box" with a comprehensive default setup that should serve most people's
needs. However, it has also been designed to make it extensively
and flexibly re-configurable for customized needs; almost any aspect of
the archive's operation can be adapted to suit a particular

This means that the archive can be used by institutions, individuals,
journals or any other organisation wishing to interoperate with Open
Archive services.

This adaptability is achieved by using a modular design methodology.
The system is divided into two main components: The core archive
component, which provides the functionality required for all open
archives, and the site-specific component, providing details about
exactly what is stored in the archive, how it is presented and how it
may be searched. The system is supplied with a richly featured site-
specific component that requires minimal changing (handled by an
installation script) to set up a fully working, interoperable open
archive. When updated revisions of the software become available, the
core archive component can be upgraded, and the site retains its
identity and data in the site-specific component.

The many aspects of the software that can be configured by an
institution include:

- The types of record that can be stored in the archive, and what
  metadata fields to hold with each;

- The types of document file (or other data) that can be stored with
  each record;

- The validation checks that are performed on each incoming record, to
  minimise adminstrator effort;

- Which metadata fields should be searchable by users;

- What metadata to present records to the open archives protocol (i.e.
  how the internal metadata maps to the open archives metadata);

- Full control over the "look and feel" of the archive (in any

The software also has the following features:

- "Out of the box" Open Archives interoperability;
- Simple but very powerful submission interface;
- Local browsing and searching features;
- Inter- and intra-linking potential (papers, versions, 
  comments, responses, citations)
- Moderation buffer for incoming submissions;
- Site maintenance can be performed by a WWW interface;
- E-Mail subscription service for users.

Of course, it is simple to add extra functionality to an archive in the
site-specific component of the software.

FUTHER INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE AT:     http://www.eprints.org/

AN ARCHIVE RUNNING THIS SOFTWARE IS AT: http://cogprints.soton.ac.uk/

 Robert Tansley                    Tel: +44 (0) 23 80594492
 IAM Research Group                Fax: +44 (0) 23 80592865
 Electronics & Computer Science    http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~rht96r/
 University of Southampton
 Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

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