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[EP-tech] Re: Use of e-print request button

Dear Michael,

Thanks ever so much for this very useful information on implemementing the e-prints Button for DSpace.

Could others please also send the corresponding information for implementing it for EPrints, where it originated?

That will cover most of IR space worldwide, and other softwares will be inspired to implement it too.

Many thanks,

Stevan Harnad

On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 5:25 AM, Michael White <michael.white@stir.ac.uk> wrote:

Hi Joseph,


Apologies for the delay replying – but I’m not sure if you got any other replies, so thought I’d chip in with my experiences of using “Request a copy” with DSpace (it looks like you are using DSpace, although we are still using the JSPUI not the XMLUI).


We implemented the DSpace “Embargo” and “Request a copy” add-ons back in their earliest days (around 2007) when we introduced our Institutional Policy that required immediate deposit of full text of Journal Articles to the repository on acceptance – obviously, due to Publisher embargoes, it isn’t really possible for a policy like that to be successful without a method to handle embargoes/copy requests . . .


As we have upgraded through the versions of DSpace, I have simply tweaked our existing implementation of the Request a copy add-on to make it work in the latest version (a process I have just completed for v3.1 this week!) – i.e. we are still running our own, locally customised version of the original version of the “Request a copy” add-on, so I can’t comment on the later releases of this add-on. I do know though, from a discussion just this week on the DSpace Tech email list, that colleagues at a Spanish institution are just putting the finishing touches to a release of the latest version of this add-on for the XMLUI interface . . . .


Of course, DSpace handles “Embargoes” out of the box now (in a different way to the original add-on we installed), so I’ve had to extend the Request a copy add-on to be able to deal with Embargoes implemented using the 2 different methods. Personally I believe that “Request a copy” is the other side of the Embargo coin, so I for one would really love to see the “Request a copy” functionality become part of the DSpace core at some point in the (not too distant!) future J


Another issue that we had to address pretty quickly with the DSpace add-on is that, by default, it sends the email request to the original submitter of the item – even since our earliest days, in many cases, articles were deposited by departmental admins or other delegated “proxy-depositors” on behalf of academics, which meant the eprint requests were going to the “wrong” person – the email does include a note to say that only an author of the original article can respond to the request so the request should be forwarded on but this was far from ideal. So I added a new metadata field to hold a “Contact Email Address” on a Publication record and extended the add-on to use this address if the Publication record had one, or use the submitter’s email if not – this has the added benefit that, if a member of staff leaves, we can simply update the “Contact Email Address” on their Publication records, and they will continue to get eprint requests – this is also very useful for embargoed PhDs (we have an eTheses mandate too), as Research Students have to submit using their University login (we have authentication linked to Active Directory which picks up their University email address), but Research Students usually leave just after submission, so it is great to be able to add an external email address in the “Contact email” filed so that they can receive requests after they have left.


Also, I removed the facility for the “request responder” to submit a request to have the item’s embargo removed, as embargo removal is handled automatically by the system.


Finally, we have recently integrated our Repository with our Research Management System, so submission of all Publication data (including “Contact Email”) is now via the RMS, and, when full text is attached, this is automatically pushed across to the Repository (subject to Workflow, policy checking, embargo setting, etc all carried out in RMS) – this means that all publications in our repository are now submitted by our RMS – therefore, without the ability to send eprint requests to the Contact Email in the metadata, all the eprint requests would be directed to the RMS’s DSpace account!


This RMS integration has caused one issue – updates to records in RMS automatically update the corresponding record in DSpace. Unfortunately the RMS updates by removing the original record and adding a new record with the same handle – for normal end users, they don’t see a difference, but the removal and addition results in the associated full text getting a new bitstream ID in the system. However the Request a copy feature uses the bitstream ID to note what has been requested and what should be sent if the request is responded to – so if an item is updated between being requested and that request being responded to, the bitstream ID of the associated full text has changed, and the attempt to respond to the request fails – this generates an Internal Server Error, and I get an email, so I know that it has happened, and, from the token in the request email, I can reverse engineer what was requested and “fix it”, but it is a bit of a nuisance – fortunately it doesn’t happen very often now that things are settling down in our RMS.


I can’t really comment on time savings for academics, but I know our academics are very happy with the service and it provides an easy mechanism for them to respond to eprint requests (and I’m assuming it involves less clicking and hunting around than responding to “traditional” reprint requests) . . .


Bottom line, I heartily recommend this add-on and believe we could not run our repository without the functionality it provides! J


I hope that is helpful and of interest.





Joint STORRE Manager


Michael White
eLearning Liaison and Development (eLD)
Information Services
S8, Library
University of Stirling

Email: michael.white@stir.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466877
Fax: +44 (0) 1786 466880



From: Repositories discussion list [mailto:JISC-REPOSITORIES@JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On Behalf Of Joseph Greene
Sent: 20 June 2013 10:28
Subject: Use of e-print request button




We are considering implementing an e-print request button to increase access, but also in the hope that we can save some time in certain areas researching publishers’ policies.


I wonder if anyone who has implemented the e-print request button in the last few years would comment on your decision to implement it, and if you have seen any time savings as a result?


Many thanks in advance,


Joseph Greene

Research Repository and Systems Librarian

James Joyce Library

University College Dublin

(353 0)1 716 7398

(353 0)1 716 7686








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