Using Internal IDs for Staff Browse Views

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Scenario

Your institution/organisation has a unique identfiers for your members/staff and you want to be able to use these to create a browse view listing each individuals publication list.

By default EPrints provides a browse view based on the given name and family name of those listed in the Creators field of an EPrints publication. This is not useful for most institutions/organisations for a number of reasons:

  1. Given name and family name is not necessary unique
  2. Some creators will not be members of your institution/organisation and therefore you do not want them listed.
  3. You have an existing ID that you want to be able to use programmatically to link to their EPrints publication list.

Solution

By default, when adding creators to an EPrint, as well as a field for given name and family name there is also a column for Email, this is just labelled as such but is actually named creators_id and therefore can be any unique identifier for the user. However, it is important that the unique identifier used is consistent, (i.e. it is always an email address or another unique identifier used by your institution/organisation). In general, it is best to retain email address as a unique identifier, as you may wish to use this to allow visitors to you repository to contact creators (authors), also you may want to record the email address of creators who are not part of your institution/organisation. Therefore for this solution, we will assume that another unique identifier will be used separate to email address.

Lets assume that your institution/organisation has a public members/staff ID that you want to use. To ensure that this members/staff ID is adding whenever this person is added as a creator, you can use Autocompletion. Autocompletion can be setup to use the users records within EPrints. This assumes that you have generated accounts for all your members/staff. This can often be done using LDAP.