Setting up a new repository

Most institutions already have an institutional repository in place, but the information below may still be useful if you have not yet established your repository.

Please note that the information has not been updated to reflect later versions of the repository software referred to, but it may still provide useful outline guidance.

If you decide to set up your own repository, then you have to install repository software of your choice and make it harvestable by EThOS.


There are several key issues to be taken into consideration when selecting a software solution for setting up a repository.

They are:
  • Availability: A range of suitable systems are available and developmental work is still ongoing.
  • Interoperability: To ensure cross institutional access and also to allow EThOS to harvest your metadata, the software system should comply with the most up to date version of the ‘Open Archives Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH)(external link)'.
  • Suitability: The software selected should be relatively simple to install across a range of hardware types and operating systems. The software should meet the needs of individual institutional policies with regard to the integration of e-theses with other material in the repository.
  • Sustainability: The creators or existing users of the software should demonstrate a commitment to the future support and development of the product.
Some of the most common repository software is listed below.


EThOS has developed guidelines on how to customise your DSpace metadata-entry pages for theses submission (for version 1.2.2 or later). This will help you to make sure that all required fields from UKETD_DC are entered in the correct format. Instructions for implementing customised e-thesis submission forms conforming to EThOS requirements, a predefined XML fragment for cutting and pasting, and an example of a working customised input submission form can be downloaded by following the link below.
  • DSpace custom input submission form for theses (for version 1.2.2. or above) (link to be added)
EThOS requires UKETD_DC metadata of your theses to be exposed via the OAI interface of your repository. A DSpace OAI Crosswalk plug-in has been developed for this purpose. You need to install this plug-in to expose your metadata in UKETD_DC format. You can download the plug-in with full instructions on how to install it by following the link below.
  • DSpace OAI Crosswalk (for versions 1.2.2 - 1.4.2) (link to be added)
Note: as of DSpace version 1.5.2, the UKETD_DC crosswalk is already included in the distribution files and can can be activated by uncommenting the line:
Crosswalks.uketd_dc=org.dspace.app.oai.UKETDDCCrosswalk in oaicat.properties


NOTE January 2014
A new version of the EThOS OAI-PMH plugin for EPrints was inplemented in January 2014. To download the new version of the plugin and replace your current version, please follow these instructions. This operation requires a level of technical knowhow and should be carried out by a systems administrator as follows:

  • Can connect to server using a suitable terminal application (eg. ssh or PuTTY)
  • Know where EPrints is installed (usually /opt/eprints3/ or /usr/share/eprints3/)
  • Know which user EPrints is installed under (usually "eprints")
  • Has appropriate rights to restart Apache web server
1) Connect to server as the "eprints" user (or connect as a different user and then change to the "eprints" user)

2) Go to EPrints directory

eg. cd /opt/eprints3

2) Download new version of plugin

eg. wget
https://raw2.github.com/eprints/eprints/3.3/perl_lib/EPrints/Plugin/Export/OAI_UKETD_DC.pm(external link)

3) Copy new version over existing plugin

eg. cp OAI_UKETD_DC.pm perl_lib/EPrints/Plugin/Export/OAI_UKETD_DC.pm

4) Restart Apache.

If you are starting from scratch, follow the links below for more information on EPrints and the installation guidelines.
EThOS requires UKETD_DC metadata of your theses to be exposed via the OAI interface of your repository and also requires you to provide a single point of collection (i.e. URL) for all your theses contents. So, in addition to the above general setup of EPrints, you need to perform some additional setups as required by EThOS, which will allow EThOS to harvest your EPrints repository successfully:

EPrints v2. There is an EThOS EPrints OAI Plugin for the institutions with an EPrints v2 repository. It allows the entry of metadata and theses conforming to EThOS requirements and their subsequent exposure in UKETD_DC via the OAI interface. You can download the EPrints OAI Plugin together with full installation instructions by following the link below.

EPrints OAI Plugin (file)

EPrints v3. The OAI interface to expose UKETD_DC is already bundled with the Eprints 3 distribution. However, it is still necessary to configure your installation to allow entry of metadata conforming to EThOS requirements. To this end you may find the EPrints v3 configuration notes helpful.


Fedora(external link) is a general purpose digital repository software developed jointly by Cornell University Information Science and the University of Virginia Library. Follow the links below for more information on Fedora and the installation guidelines.
EThOS requires your repository to expose UKETD_DC metadata of your theses via the OAI interface and also requires you to provide a single point of collection (i.e. URL) for all your theses contents. In order to meet these requirements, you may need to perform some additional setups to your Fedora repository in addition to the general setups.

See also:
Also in this section: