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Creating Open Access Archives

Software  |  Metadata


There are a number of software systems which can be used to create Open Access eprint archives. The two most popular are software and DSpace. Both are free to download and Open Source. software is "dedicated to the freeing of the refereed research literature online through author/institution self-archiving." It was produced at the University of Southampton and is maintained there.

There are a number of sources of information on software - most available through its home page. Of particular interest is the documentation for the software and the technical mailing list with its archive. In addition an Wiki has been set up for the use of, and by, its user community.

To start using software, the site provides a handbook, with sections including a guide to starting self-archiving, managing an EPrints service, and installing an EPrints server for system administrators. The team have also set up a useful demonstration page, for interested parties to be able to see the process of depositing an eprint and a demonstration of some of the features of the EPrints.og system.

EPrints Version 3 was released in January 2007, providing a number of significant enhancements. These are discussed in a report on the technical preview in Ariadne.

DSpace is the result of a collaboration between MIT Libraries and Hewlett-Packard and offers similar functionality to software for eprints, but additionally is designed to accept other material, such as video, multimedia artefacts, etc

The main DSpace site supports a FAQ, and has information on technical issues, including guidance on installing the system.

Most SHERPA partners use software and it is the most widespread and popular repository software used world-wide. The approaches can be compared through examining a DSpace site and an site.

For some practical experiences from the University of Glasgow's Daedalus project, see:

Morag Greig & William J. Nixon (2005) "Setting up a repository: practical advice"


Metadata issues are fundamental to the design and the functioning of an eprints repository. Produced as part of SHERPA work, there is an introduction to metadata requirements for an e-print repository available which gives an introduction and summary of the issues involved.


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