What is EPrints?
EPrints 3 is generic repository building software developed by the University of Southampton. It is intended to create a highly configurable web-based repository.
EPrints is often used as an open archive for research papers, and the default configuration reflects this, but it is also used for other things such as images, research data, audio archives - anything that can be stored digitally.
The EPrints series began in early 2000 and is in use by over 200 sites!
Should I be installing EPrints 3, how much effort will it take?
Start by looking at http://demoprints3.eprints.org/ to get a feel for what the software does.
You can get a vanilla install up and running quite easily, installation notes on the wiki should help you over any snags relating to your operating system. You'll need a UNIX-like machine (linux is good), and a root password is helpful.
The task which will take longest is actually deciding what you want your repository to do (and not do). Many sites want to make significant customisations. EPrints creates a repository with a sensible default, but all our users want something slightly different.
Installing and configuring the software isn't too hard, and we're working on admin tools to make it even easier.
The time taken in running the archive day to day depends on your own policy. Do you want a very light touch on the data submitted or a formal review process on each item - that's up to you!
What will it run on?
We develop EPrints on Redhat Linux (both Fedora Core and Enterprise), but it is used on any number of Linux distributions, and other UNIX-like systems including OS-X. Thanks to support from Microsoft, it also runs on Windows Vista and XP.
EPrints doesn't require any unusual hardware. It's slightly easier to run on a dedicated machine, but that's not essential, and should not affect performance.
Don't forget to budget for a backup system, your data is valuable!