EPrints Roadmaps for 2023/24

EPrints 3.4

Currently EPrints is on version is 3.4.5, released June 2023. EPrints 3.4.6 is due for release late 2024.

3.4.5 is an incremental release with updates which benefit searching, security, and user interface customisation.  For more details see https://wiki.eprints.org/w/EPrints_3.4.5

The next steps for 3.4 are: To fully support optional citation caching to speed up search results and listings pages.  Allow access data to be stored on disk rather than confined to the database.  Groundworks for 3.5, to ease transition for future upgrades.

EPrints Services hosted customers will continue to be migrated to the latest version by our continued upgrade projects.  Any security related updates are back ported and patched to existing services ahead of these upgrades.

3.4.6 is in the planning stages, for more details see https://wiki.eprints.org/w/EPrints_3.4.6

EPrints 3.5

EPrints 3.5 represents the next step forwards for our platform.  It will feature both user facing changes as well as some internal changes to improve maintainability and performance. The majority of changes are proposed for the EPrints Core, with specific support added to a flavour where appropriate.

Bootstrap will be integrated into the default theme, allowing for a more consistent look as well as improving usability. Use of the panelled summary page layout as standard, offering a flexible and responsive design. [Ed]

Screens will be easier to develop or customise with the addition of a new XML template-based layout, complimenting the traditional LibXML coding method.  Allowing for smoother and more maintainable administration and deposit tools. [Don]

An increasing number of non-traditional, non-text-based resources are added to EPrints repositories. 3.5 will better support the display of these more graphically lead items though an increased number of display options. [Ed, Justin]

Accessibility compliance and improved user experience for both external and internal pages.

Quick and easy deposit tools, allowing for a PDF or DOI lead deposit for less manual data entry. [Don, Justin]

Search will become more comprehensive with the addition of a Boolean query language. 

Boolean search operators (AND, OR and NOT) will allow users greater control with searches. For example, a search to find articles with the phrase “gas turbine” published in journals other than Nature could be performed with: title:”gas turbine” AND NOT journal:Nature

A new faceted/guided search will be available as standard, without the need for additional system modules. [Don]

Database optimisations; as a repository grows its database can become very large.  By default 3.5 will store the access data as files on disk, freeing up much of the database.  Also, some schema rationalisation will be implemented to keep the overall number of tables down. [Don, Dave]

To keep your repository secure from the outset, HTTPS will be used from the time of installation. With temporary certificates installed until official ones are available. [Dave]

Other changes: A move away from Prototype and JQuery, allowing more modern JavaScript to be easily integrated.  A move away from the Bazaar, supplying a tool to convert EPM to ingredients.  Citation caches to be enabled by default, speeding up search results, browse views and exports.  More comprehensive and default support for multiple dates and DOIs/IDs.

EPrints 3.5 will initially be shown as a technology preview demonstration.  Feedback on both the above Roadmap and the preview, once available, is welcome.  Once the shape and timing of 3.5 is confirmed it will be openly developed on GitHub.  Migration documentation for moving from 3.4 to 3.5 will be made available.

The lead developer and EPrints developer community liaison will be David Newman.

EPrints 3.5 development is led by EPrints Services based at University of Southampton. 

— EPrints Services [Dave, Ed, Don, Richard, Justin, Adeeba, Andrew]