We’re very proud of EPrints’ open source commitment and the ecology of users, developers and businesses that has co-developed with the software in the past 17 years.
The “Managed Availability” is a delay in releasing the source code that allows us (EPrints Services, EPS) to keep a sufficient base of subscribing customers, to stay in business, and continue developing the code in terms of bug fixes and new features. It also ensures a way for proper governance of the code base.
We are committed to release version 3.4 as open source once EPS clients, our only source of funding for the expensive business of core development and maintenance, have had the opportunity to benefit from new developments.
EPrints Services is located in an academic department of the University of Southampton, not in a business services unit. We are not seeking profit, but we are seeking the right balance of commercial income and community benefits to allow EPrints to continue to serve the open access community into the future. The approach that we have taken has successfully used commercial subscription to sustain the ongoing development of EPrints for the benefit of the community as a whole in a tight funding environment.
Our apologies that we haven’t been clear enough about availability and the future licensing. In truth, we’ve been feeling our way forward in quite challenging funding circumstances for UK and global academia and academic libraries. Please let’s continue the discussion about how to make sure that we get this balance right.
The notion of Managed Availability is that rather than having an open beta or preview, that the software is released in a controlled way, until eventually it is at a point where it will become fully open.
If as a developer or as someone who manages their own EPrints repository you wish to work with 3.4, then you should get in touch.