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[EP-tech] Antwort: How can I help?



Hi Adam,

great to hear from you.

I think the topics you suggested are good proposals, and some ep-tech
members have already stressed the importance of updated documentation,
updated website, and webinars.

You as a technical and customer liaison, your important role IMO will also
be to gather, moderate or amplify, and summarize what EPrints developers
and administrators wish for the future, and forward it to developers at
Southampton. Possible means could be:

- use social media to enable EPrints developers and customers to connect
(e.g. region-wise). Provide a map of EPrints installations in academia and
industry.
- where does EPrints development want to go in the next few years? What are
the big stakes in the roadmap? Publish the roadmap?
- how does EPrints compare to other repository softwares feature-wise?
Where is it ahead, where should it catch up?
- what are the current and next big developments in the research community
where EPrints could contribute (e.g. linked open data, semantic indexing
(as far as it is allowed), interfaces to social researcher networks, data
archiving)
- inform how code contributions are to be integrated in the current EPrints
core, and how the community can contribute best. I have heard the EPrints
team is currently evaluating and trying to merge development branches.


Some feedback from the point of view of end-user experience and some
feedback on technology:

- Searching: It's not clear to the user why a search result matches to his
query, especially if the hit is in the hidden full-text. Faceted search
that will come with EPrints 4.0 will improve that a little bit, but in my
opinion hit-highlighting and showing text snippets around the matching
terms should be added. As Google does.
- in many aspects, the standard EPrints GUI still is very Web-1.0-ish and
conforms to a user experience we had 10 years ago. Current interfaces are
responsive and device-independent (for example, have a look at the
Bootstrap framework).  While of course every site is free to change this by
themselves, I think it would be better if the team at Southampton provided
some good templates we can build upon.
- mass-editing workflows, e.g. for correcting common fields in a list view
of records, would improve life of the review team considerably.
Export-import schemes and having to edit data outside Eprints (e.g. in
Excel) just show that the Eprints GUI is currently not able.
- underlying database model: The object-oriented model of EPrints is fine,
but the underlying relational DB scheme has deficiencies - as far as I
understand, there is currently no means for m:n-relations. These however
would be needed to link authority tables (e.g. of authors) to the eprint
table and remedy the problem of inconsistent, non-normalized attribute
values, which are caused due to the fact that there are only 1:n relations
in the DB scheme provided.


Best regards,

Martin Br?ndle (Zurich Open Access Repository, Software Engineer)

--
Dr. Martin Br?ndle
Zentrale Informatik
Universit?t Z?rich
Winterthurerstr. 190
CH-8057 Z?rich

mail: martin.braendle at id.uzh.ch
phone: +41 44 63 56705
fax: +41 44 63 54505
http://www.id.uzh.ch
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