EPrints, DSpace or ESpace?

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 12:42:25 +0000

It is rather ironic that a choice between two free self-archiving
softwares should lately be holding up self-archiving!

    "Should I use http://www.eprints.org/ or http://www.dspace.org/
    as my Institutional Self-Archiving Software?

The short answer is: It doesn't matter! Use either one!

EPrints and DSpace are both free, both open-source, both OAI-compliant,
both interoperable, both equivalent in the functionality relevant to
self-archiving, and even both written initially by the same programmer
(Southampton's Rob Tansley)!

The two free software packages are of comparable
complexity, both built using established technologies. So
choose one http://software.eprints.org/#sites or the other
http://dspace.org/people/early-adopt.html and start self-archiving!
(And if you should change your mind about the software, you can switch
and migrate your archive's content from one to the other later.)

Because the real 1st, 2nd, and 3rd priority today is not
software-choice but *content*: *filling* those institutional
archives as soon as possible with all your institution's refereed
research output, so as to maximise its potential research impact
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/unto-others.html -- which
is otherwise being needlessly lost, daily.

Thus the only option to be avoided at all costs is "ESpace": an
empty or non-existent institutional archive! The best way to
ensure the filling of your institutional refereed research
archives is to adopt an institutional self-archiving policy
http://www.eprints.org/self-faq/#institution-facilitate-filling such
as http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~lac/archpol.html or even a national one:

The California Institute of Technology http://library.caltech.edu/digital/
is developing an institutional self-archiving strategy
for its Caltech Collection of Open Digital Archives (CODA)
-- a strategy other institutions may find worth emulating

So please do take your choice of the two free softwares; the differences
are trivial. And then get on to the far more important part: Filling
those archives, by self-archiving all your institutional research output!

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02):


Discussion can be posted to: american-scientist-open-access-forum_at_amsci.org

See also the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

the Free Online Scholarship Movement:

the OAI site:

and the self-archiving FAQ:
Received on Tue Feb 11 2003 - 12:42:25 GMT

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