EPrints is an open access digital repository software, which is intended to create a highly configurable web-based repository.

The EPrints organisation also provides a number of services, including hosting, customization, importing legacy data, providing training and support, advising on policy development, assisting with advocacy and promotion, and providing project management.


University of Southampton

Licensing and cost

GNU General Public License (GPL) version 3.0 - free

Development Activity

EPrints 3.3.12 was released in July 2013. Development is ongoing as of writing; the development roadmap indicates plans for versions 3.3.13 and 4.0. 

Platform and interoperability

EPrints is written in Perl. Packages are available to allow easy installation on operating systems such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora Core, Debian and Ubuntu, but the source code may be installed on other UNIX-like systems including Mac OSX. Some, but by no means all, versions may be installed on Windows XP, Vista or 7.

EPrints is able to export data into BibTeX, refer, EndNote and other bibliography managers, as well as Google Earth, Similie TimeLine and other Web Services.

Functional Notes

The EPrints data model consists of three core objects: the EPrint, the Document, and the User.  Users have stated that this allows the creation of more complex hierarchies than with other repository software.

EPrints does not automatically support Handle.

Documentation and user support

EPrints Services offers fee-based support for repositories. The EP-Tech mailing list offers free support and discussion about EPrints, and is fairly active. The site also links to a bug-tracker. A separate Forum was set up for EPrints developers but does not appear to be well used.

The EPrints website offers extensive documentation via a wiki, including an installation manual, user guide, and training materials. While much of the information is up-to-date and clearly organised, several pages have not been updated recently and contain warnings that they are under development.


An installation script automates most of the installation processes.

Development for version 3 (initially released in 2007) included an extensive usability analysis, which resulted in substantial redesign of the metadata entry process. A key component is the new auto-complete function.

Expertise required

Installation and configuration greatly benefit from system administration knowledge, as well as a deep understanding of repository structures and workflows.

Standards compliance

EPrints is OAI compliant. It provides support for METS, Dublin Core and other DL interoperability formats.

Influence and take-up

The Registry of Open Access Repositories lists over 530 installations of EPrints, including many European archives and repositories. Organisations using EPrints include University College London Research, the Glasgow Theses Services, and the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation.

Last reviewed: 
24 November, 2014