Sustaining ePrints

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 12:51:56 +0000

On Tue, 15 Jan 2002, Bob Kemp <> wrote:

> This item is about an issue suggested to me by Chrisopher Gutteridge's
> recent eprints_tech post, where he mentioned whilst discussing ePrints
> v2 that "there is a HUGE amount of my life in that code". It reminded me
> of a question that cropped up in recent discussion here at Strathclyde
> about the longer term future of the ePrints software - how long will it be
> around if it's only one man in a university department dependent on short
> term funding?
> First I'd like to ask a couple of questions and establish the facts - I
> guess Christopher may be able to help here. As I understand it, the ePrints
> software development is currently funded as part of the Open Citation
> project. Is this correct? If so, how long will this last, and what
> strategies exist for the continuation of ePrints software development after
> the project's end?
> Then I'd be interested to hear what everyone thinks regarding what we can
> do as a community to support ePrints and ensure its longevity.
> Dr Bob Kemp
> Information Officer, Digital Information Office
> Centre for Digital Library Research
> University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0NS
> Phone: +44 (0)141 548 2379 FAX: +44 (0)141 548 2102

I have branched this more widely because the question is important:

OPSIS has been funded by JISC/JCEI/DNER (1) to continuously upgrade the
Eprints code, fixing bugs, adding enhancements, and keeping it
compliant with OAI upgrades, (2) to provide support for Universities
adopting it and (3) to open-source the code.

Eprints is funded by JISC/JCEI/DNER for a year as the OPSIS project, but it
is also receiving some support from its sister project, OPCIT (funded by
JISC/Elib as well as NSF for what is now the 3rd of 3 years).

Eprints has been doing very well so far and I don't think it should
have any difficulty in finding further funding. What ensures its
longevity is increasing collective utilisation (and hence commitment)
by the academic community worldwide. This means increasing adoption of
the Eprints software for institutional self-archiving by universities,
in the first instance, but, even more important, the exercise of
systematic and energetic measures by the universities to ensure that
their Eprints archives are filled by their researchers.

The longevity of Eprints is a legitimate concern. But creating an
ever greater momentum to fill university Eprints archives is an
even more substantive concern, and success in meeting it is the best
way to meet the first concern as well.

So I would say, yes, let those who have adopted Eprints and are relying
on it already make their voices heard on the importance of sustaining
Eprints, but, even more important, let them put as much concerted
effort as possible into filling their own existing archives, as well as
encouraging the creation of further archives. The very best argument
for funding sustained support is strong evidence of a growing portion
of our intellectual eggs being consigned to this collective basket.

  Eprints Registry:
  OAI Registry:
  Review of Eprints in ARL/SPARC E-News by CalTech:

    What can be done to help:

    7.1. Researchers: self-archive all present, future (& past) papers

        7.2. Universities: Install Eprint Archives, mandate them;
    help in author start-up

    7.3. Libraries: Maintain the University Eprint archives;
    help in author start-up

        7.6. Government/Society: mandate public archiving of public
        research worldwide

Stevan Harnad
Received on Tue Jan 15 2002 - 12:52:37 GMT

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