[EP-tech] Re: Authors' profiles instead of depositors' profiles

Brian D. Gregg bdgregg at pitt.edu
Thu Nov 19 16:06:40 GMT 2015


We had the same issue - MePrints was tied strictly to the depositor vs. the author/contributor.  Like you we have a significant amount of deposits handled by proxy users or accounts.  Obviously MePrints wasn't designed to handle this difference but a lot of archives use this same scenario.  Not everyone deposits their own works into the system.  And it's kind of good that they don't as we'd have lots of duplicate records wouldn't we?  The ONLY way we could figure out how to get this to work (and it is a stretch) is to use an identifier that would be included in both the "user" account as well as the author information in each record. By default it uses the depositing user email address and links that to the author/creator email address (not a good thing to link to in our opinion as email accounts change, aren't entered, etc.).   Our initial thought was to use ORCIDs to do this (add an entry in the User record, and add entries in the Author/Contributor record).  But reworking the MePrints plugins (Top Deposits, IRStats, etc.) to handle this appropriately is a very challenging task.  One that we eventually gave up on as we did not have the time and resources to make the changes needed.  We were then also worried about ongoing maintenance of this setup - another major downside.

The only way that I (actually we) believe EPrints will evolve to be able to handle this is to change the thinking about keeping authors/creators and users as separate entities, but instead combine these two entities such that the only difference between them is that a user has a username/password to log into the system.  The separate 'user' tables and the (eprint_creators, eprint_contributors, eprint_conductors, eprint_editors) tables (essentially any table that contains a person) should be combined into a single table (with attributes relating to their real roles added) so that something like MePrints could be handled appropriately.  This effectively creates a person table that is used not only for authentication into the EPrints system but also as an Author/Creator table.

I would argue that the difference between an 'author/creator' and a 'user' really just consists of the person having attributes that distinguishes the roles they are in and if certain attributes are set appropriately (like username/password) it would allow them to login to the system.  

Additionally, then a relationship could be made (as it is now with an author/creator) such as a single EPrint could be associated with many people unlike how it is setup now where only the depositing user owns the EPrint.  I'd still keep the depositing user field as the person who actually uploaded it and effectively controls the EPrint but when creators are added to the EPrint they are created in the person table (if they don't exist already) and associated with the EPrint and as such we could pull all of the related works for an individual this way.  

This is a major concern of ours and it has caused many of discussions here especially when we want to show author impact (bibliometrics) as there is no real good way (besides the email link hack) of finding all of the documents associated with a particular author in the system so that it could be handled appropriately by other outside systems or even other modules.  This issue alone has caused arguments between our Systems group and our Scholarly publishing department because there is no good way of pulling exactly the correct publications for an individual because there is no good solid link between users and authors/creators now.

It's good to see that someone other than us is having the same difficulty as we are trying to represent author's works but are constrained by the underlying system, at least we're not alone.  We hope that sometime in the future this becomes the new vision of users and authors in the EPrints system.  But unfortunately I think we'll end up moving to another system (one that accommodates this scenario) before this actually happens in EPrints.


Brian D. Gregg
Solutions Architect | Manager Systems Development
University of Pittsburgh | University Library System
Address: 7500 Thomas Blvd.  Room 129 Pittsburgh, PA 15208
Tel: (412) 648-3264 | Email: bdgregg at pitt.edu | Fax: (412) 648-3585

-----Original Message-----
From: eprints-tech-bounces at ecs.soton.ac.uk [mailto:eprints-tech-bounces at ecs.soton.ac.uk] On Behalf Of Field A.N.
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2015 8:24 AM
To: eprints-tech at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Subject: [EP-tech] Re: Authors' profiles instead of depositors' profiles

I'm not too experienced with MePrints, but you do need to have good user records to get it to work.  What exactly is it that you're trying to accomplish?

Adam Field
Business Relationship Manager and Community Lead EPrints Services
+44 (0)23 8059 8814

On 19 Nov 2015, at 13:18, Centro de Documentación wrote:

> Hi guys,
> Any clue about this topic?
> Regards,
> On Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 10:49 AM, Centro de Documentación 
> <cendocu at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Is there a way to change (easily) how MePrints works?
>> I would like to show authors' profiles instead of depositors'
>> profiles. In many repositories all the deposits are done by few 
>> eprints-editors on behalf of a large number of researchers.
>> Regards,
>> Cristian
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