[OAI-general] Re: [EP-underground] Sustaining ePrints

ePrints Support support@eprints.org
Fri, 18 Jan 2002 11:38:58 +0000

One issue in the design of eprints-2 is that it is geared up to allow
many (smaller) archives to be run on one physical computer. Which means
that a larger organisation could buy one "chunky" computer and then
provide eprints archives with seperate customisations, OAI exports (and
colour schemes) for various departments which don't have the resources and
expertise to do this themseleves. This should reduce the cost in parts (and 
system admin hours!) to get several archives going.

I can even imagine, long term, someone offering a "hosting" service for 
a fee where they actually administrate the archive and do the "hard stuff" 
plus own the computer and networking, and look after dull things like backups,
and upgrades. An "archive farm" if you will.

This would probably work out more cost effective than buying and installing
a machine and having learn the ins-and outs of the system for a single
archive. EPrints is free, so we don't have to grub for licenses by requiring
one copy per archive :)

My own server, running eprints-alpha-2, is running demoprints.eprints.org,
eprints.aktors.org + a couple of other test archives. Later, it will be 
running our department publications archive and an archive of Ted Nelsons 

The bottle neck is processor power, caused by larger datasets but mostly
by "hits". So large, popular archives should probably run on their own 

On Tue, Jan 15, 2002 at 02:01:17PM +0000, Bob Kemp wrote:
> Hi again,
> Thanks for the contributions from Chris, Mike and Stevan.
> Stevan says:
> >The longevity of Eprints is a legitimate concern. But creating an
> >ever greater momentum to fill university Eprints archives is an
> >even more substantive concern, and success in meeting it is the best
> >way to meet the first concern as well.
> I agree totally - it's a case of making a commitment and jumping in at the 
> deep end. However, there's an element of Catch-22 here. Eprints will be 
> sustainable if ePrints is successful. But ePrints will be (more) successful 
> if we can show it to be sustainable....we have to get over the initial hump.
> More specifically, the problem is that at local institutional level not 
> everybody is ready for an eprint commitment. We are going through a process 
> of education and persuasion in order to convince people that what we are 
> engaged in is a feasible and legitimate activity that will provide an 
> important long-term service. This involves a number of issues, and Stevan 
> for one has provided plenty of good arguments to deploy.
> What we're developing here is another argument, being able to point to the 
> underlying tools and say that these are going to be available, stable, and 
> supported for many years to come. Having these contributions from 
> Christopher, Mike and Stevan certainly makes it easier for me to make a 
> case here at Strathclyde, and I imagine this applies elsewhere.
> Cheers,
> Bob
> Dr Bob Kemp
> Information Officer, Digital Information Office
> Centre for Digital Library Research
> University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0NS
> Phone: +44 (0)141 548 2379              FAX: +44 (0)141 548 2102
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 Christopher Gutteridge                   support@eprints.org 
 ePrints Technical Support                +44 23 8059 4833