To appear in:


D-Lib Magazine
October 2000

Volume 6 Number 10

ISSN 1082-9873

In Brief


Eprints.org Software for Creating Institutional and Individual Open Archives

Contributed by:
Robert Tansley and Stevan Harnad
Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton, United Kingdom
<rht96r@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
<harnad@coglit.ecs.soton.ac.uk>

At the 2nd Open Archive Inititive (OAI) meeting in San Antonio in June <http://www.dlib.org/dlib/june00/06inbrief.html#FOX> a participant said:

"Open Archiving will not get off the ground until the day I can go to a website, download open-archiving software, then say MAKE ARCHIVE, and an interoperable, OAI-compliant archive is up and running, ready to be filled."

At Southampton, we took this to heart, and using our experience with our CogPrints archive, built the generic eprints.org software that fits this bill. A public beta version has just been released and has taken over operations at the CogPrints site <http://cogprints.soton.ac.uk/>. The operational release will be open source (and over 100 prospective users worldwide are already signed up).

The eprints.org software is a feature-rich, easily installed, eprint archive system. It runs right "out of the box" with a comprehensive default setup that should serve most institutions and individuals' needs as it stands. It has also been designed to make it extensively and flexibly re-configurable for customised needs; almost any aspect of the archive's operation can be adapted to suit a particular requirement.

The archive supports the OAI protocol, allowing it to interoperate with other open archives and open archive services, and to be readily upgraded to keep up with OAI revisions.

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 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 software also has the following features:

It is simple to add extra functionality to an archive in the site-specific component of the software. This means that the archive can be used by institutions, individuals, journals or any other organisation wishing to interoperate with Open Archive services.

Further information is available at: < http://www.eprints.org/>.

An archive running this software is at: <http://cogprints.soton.ac.uk/>.

Related papers include: