or08: Eprints 3.1

At the sucks-less-than-dspace Eprints track today. First up Eprints 3.1 and Future. Haven’t seen anything about 3.1 before this, v3 was released over a year a go so looking forward to seeing what is new.

9:10am: Les Carr is talking. reviewing v3 released last year. Talking about the large amount of work surrounding a repository (for all), which he experienced first hand running the soton ecs repository, and the work they have put in to help this. He found that when he contacted academics to point out problems he has fixed with their items/records they seemed pleased glad that someone was doing this. Last year they (eprints team) wanted to focus on ‘things on the ground’ to make things easier and not focus too much on rejiging the internals.

9:20: 3.1 more control for users. manage the repository without needing technical time (especially as University IT services often want to just set something up and leave it). showing Citation impact for authors.

Eprints 3 platform is built of two parts: ‘core’ backend, and plugins. Plugins control everything you see (I didn’t know plugins were used to this extent). A lot of the new things are just new plugins ‘slotted in’. Plugins can be updated separately which means upgrading specific parts of functionality is easy and doesn’t affect the whole system.

Lots of things moved from the command line to the web interface.

Administration: user interface for creating new fields and and configuring administrative tasks (sounds good).

Easily extend metadata, what gets stored, in a nice user interface.

9:31: live demo of adding new fields: ‘manage metadate fields’, you can edit them for each dataset e.g. document, eprints, users, imports. First get a screen showing all existing fields, a text field to enter a new field name (and something to show if you have any fields half created, to continue). Interface looks similar to creating an eprint item. select the different types of field e.g. boolean date, name, etc, lots of them, with descriptions of what they are, also one is a set where you can add a list of defined options, another is compound which can have various subfields. This is looking great.

9:38: next screen, loads of options: required? include in export? index? As name was selected on prev screen various options specific to the name field type. lots more. Has help (click on the ‘?’).

9:41: next screen set of questions about how this is displayed in the user interface, i.e. text user would see, help text. Again seems well designed. Editing XML in the past wasn’t rocket science but it was easy to forget steps or get syntax wrong, plus (certainly for v2) you had to do it with no items in the archive (not easy on a live repository!)

By default new fields appear in the MISC step (screen) of the deposit process for users. which can be changed by editing the workflow.

9:53: configuration (via web interface), fairly crude at the moment but looks to be useful (though not turned on for the demo repository), basically can edit things that are in cfg files. plan to turn this in to a full user interface in the future (not sure if for 3.1 or beyond).

9:58: running through some of the thins in the cfg files, such as how to make a field mandatory only for theses.

Quality Assurance. ideas of an ‘issue’ (something amiss) and an ‘audit’.

issue: stale, missing metadata. issues reported by item and also aggregated by depository.notification of issues can be emailed to authors. We cn define all this, i.e. what counts as an issue in the cfg files. can also check for duplicates (good as it will make my god awful script we use at Sussex obsolete).

Can have a nightly audit, and see if anyone has acted on the alerts and issues. reports can be generated for people.

10:07: batched editing. do a search and then batched change any fields for those search results. nice. running short of time so not demo’ing.

manage deposits screen (for users) icons on the right of each item of yours, to see, delete, move, etc. you change what columns you see on this screen by using icons at the bottom of the screen, can also move them around.

Impact Evidence: citation tracking, researchers can track citations counts and rank papers. volatile fields don’t change the history of a record. download counts from irstat.

Better bibliographies. can reorder, choose what to view, better control. this is very much needed as different researchers want their publication list in a different way. uses stylesheets.

Complex objects: all public objects have official URIs. expanded document-level metadata .

Versioning (based on VERSION project). ‘simple and useful’. pubished material ‘pre post or reprints’. unpublished materail, early draft, working paper. looks good.

10:19: Improve Document uploader. can upload a zip file of many files.

10:25 discussion about versions, e.g. how a user may add a draft (with limited metadata) and then go on and re-edit the item later on when they have a published version.

‘Contributers’ field. roles taken from dc relator names (225). large list of roles, may want to cut down.

A new skin, but not for 3.1 – i.e. record/abstract page will show a thumbnail of the item at the top, because the item is the important thing not the metadata (which is what is emphasised in the ui at the moment), i.e. in the same way that flickr shows the photo as the main thing on the page, and metadata at the bottom, good idea. new layout looks good.

Future: no time to talk: cloud computing, amazon eprints services perhaps (you just sign up to a IR on amazon and one is automatically created). On top of Fedora (saw folks on IRC talking about the same for Dspace the other day), or the Microsoft offering just announced. In a box (i.e. comes out the box as a pre-installed server) honeycomb.