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The Story

A new feature built into EPrints software could dramatically increase the rate of growth of open access (OA) content deposited in institutional repositories while, perversely it seems, allowing authors to opt out of providing OA. It's extremely simple, and if implemented carefully by the repository can produce immediate results without additional cost or resource implications.


This feature displays a "Request eprint" button on the abstract page of records with:

a) one or more restricted documents b) no documents

By clicking the button, users can submit their email address to EPrints. This generates an email to the author (or other recipient determined by EPrints - see below) requesting the restricted/missing items.

In the case of restricted documents, the email will contain 2 links:

  • Accept request (and optionally make the record Open Access from now on) - EPrints will email the documents to the requester
  • Reject request - EPrints will email the requester a rejection notice (the content of which can be edited)

At no point is the email address of the author (or other recipient) exposed without their consent.

Adding Request Eprint to your repository (2.3.13)

This feature will be part of the next release of EPrints. In the meantime, add the feature to existing releases by following these steps:

"Contact Email" field (optional)

To enable depositors to enter a contact email address directly.

Add an extra field to the eprint dataset in /opt/eprints2/archives/ARCHIVEID/cfg/

{ name => "contact_email", type => "email" },

Add a corresponding field to the database - see

Add the contact_email field to eprint types in /opt/eprints2/archives/ARCHIVEID/cfg/metadata-types.xml.

Add the following to the /opt/eprints2/archives/ARCHIVEID/cfg/phrases-en.xml or similar for whatever languages you support:

   <ep:phrase ref="eprint_fieldname_contact_email">Contact EMail</ep:phrase>
   <ep:phrase ref="eprint_fieldhelp_contact_email">Please enter your email address