Good Afternoon, my name is Matthew Smith, and I work at the University of Southampton as a developer for ePrints soton. Just to be clear, this is the university repository, and not to be confused with the actual ePrints software, which is also developed at the University of Southampton.
The shelves project aimed to solve two problems, firstly to give users more control over what items show on their profile page and secondly, to allow collaboration projects to display ePrints. With regards to profile pages, one of the key issues with repositories is that one solution is not suitable for everyone. For example, social science requirements vary significantly from that of a physicist. There are two key areas that cause problems. Firstly, is quite generic such as “We don’t want any monograph displaying” The second problem can be more specific, such as “I have too many ePrints showing” Whereas this might not seem like such a big problem, it can have the effect of diluting the users ePrints with papers that they have loosely contributed too and can mean that important key papers that they have written are not sufficiently highlighted. The second issue of collaboration. When users from varying departments and schools collaborate on projects there isn’t an easy way to show combined ePrints that have been written for the project.
And now onto the solution, which as some of you might have guessed, are shelves. The shelves functionality stores a list of ePrints in a managed environment. The shelf can be managed by users, editors and administrators within our repository which can all be individually set for the shelf
User can add items onto a shelf by performing a search within ePrint and using the options presented on this results page. This is a quick way of adding items to a newly created shelf.
Alternatively they can add new items to multiple shelves whilst during the deposit process.
All items on the shelf can be ordered however the users wishes. There are also options to re-order by Title, Author and Date. Users can also hide items from the shelf without removing them completely.
Each shelf can be managed by administered, edited and read by restricted people. Or made publicly visible to be viewed by anyone.
The ePrints on a shelf can be exported in the standard way using any of the available formats.
An additional benefit, which we had not planned, was the idea of tagging ePrints. Adding an ePrint to a shelf is effectively the same as tagging the ePrint with a keyword. This can then be used to provide reports and hopefully, in the future, provide a range of statistics. Shelves is still very new within ePrints Soton and we are sure feedback will provide more uses of them in the future.
One problem that shelves doesn’t resolve is the number of steps involved to add a new ePrint. In fact it will add an additional step. This can be problematic for less it savvy staff.
Now the good news for those who liked the idea of shelves and if you use version 3.3 of the ePrints software. The Shelves functionality is due to be released as a Bazaar package. However timescales are currently unknown.
ePrints Shelves Project Matthew Smith [email_address] iSolutions / ePrints Soton