The University of Southampton

EPrints: "World's Best Practice for an institutional repository"

Published: 1 December 2005

Start any institutional repository (IR) with EPrints, recommends Professor Arthur Sale of the University of Tasmania (UTas), Australia. In a paper presented to institutions in New Zealand, Sale reports on the widely-used software packages for building IRs, favouring EPrints because of speed of set-up, ease of use, and minimal costs for running and maintaining a server. "It just works. No fuss. No maintenance. It's just too easy", Sale remarked in correspondence.

Although others advocate more complex ICT-based approaches to creating an IR, Sale warns that this will involve more significant manpower costs, and may be unjustifiable. "Can people fly flags and ring bells over conquering Everest when it turns out to be Highgate Hill?"

It is better to get up and running in a week or two, Sale argues, noting that: "All of the OAI-compliant software has the ability to do bulk transfers of the databases, should you wish to change in the future."

Not that such a scenario is likely. EPrints, the original IR software in 2000, has an active and growing developer team, and with its recently launched Services ( and Community ( support is ready to respond quickly to the needs of users.

Sale is not a passive observer of IR developments. Having been responsible for setting up the University of Tasmania's EPrints-based IR, he has written software add-ons, available for download, to provide authors with feedback on the usage of their papers in the IR.

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