What is GNU EPrints?
GNU EPrints is generic archive software under development by the University of Southampton. It is intended to create a highly configurable web-based archive.
GNU EPrints primary goal is to be set up as an open archive for research papers, and the default configuration reflects this, but it could be easily used for other things such as images, research data, audio archives - anything that can be stored digitally, but you'll have make more changes to the configuration.
The system has been designed to encourage better quality data - that is to say accurate and unambiguous. Well defined metatdata can really help if you want to start exporting your archive data or making it interoperable with other systems.
Should I be installing EPrints 2, how much effort will it take?
This is version 2.3, it is considered ready for use. There are still some issues and bugs, but hopefully not too many or too major.
Setting up an archive may not (and should not) be a trivial task. The biggest single issue is actually deciding what you need and what policies the archive should have. As a first step we would suggest setting up a demonstration version using the default configuration and having your manager, or the committe who decide on what is needed, have a quick "play" with it and comment what features, data, colours should be changed, added or removed.
Previous experience has been that the initial set-up and configuration is quite a bit of work if you have complex requirements. It should be very easy if the only part of the default configuration you want to change is the colour!
We currently expect to release a few more versions of EPrints 2. We plan to make it as easy as possible to upgrade from earlier versions of EPrints 2.
What will it run on?
The EPrints software has been developed under GNU/Linux. It is intended to work on any GNU system. It may well work on other UNIX systems too. Other systems people have got EPrints up and running on include Solaris and MacOSX. There are no plans for a version to run under Microsoft Windows.