Frequently Asked Questions for Archivio E-Prints

General information about the Archivio E-Prints
  What is an E-Print?
What is the Archivio E-Prints?
What types of documents are contained in the Archivio E-Prints?
Why was the Archivio E-Prints set up?
What are the objectives of the Archivio E-Prints?
What is the context in which the Archivio E-Prints was created?
What has the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) done?
What is the metadata policy used by the Archivio E-Prints?
What services does the Archivio E-Prints offer?
What are the advantages of using the Archivio E-Prints?
 
The Archivio E-Prints and copyright
  What is the copyright position for the documents deposited?
What is the relation between author and publisher?
Can published works be deposited?
Is deposit in the archive an alternative to traditional publication?
Can the documents deposited in the Archivio E-Prints be used for competition purposes?
 
Access and search in the Archivio E-Prints
  Is access to the archive free?
How do you search the archive?
 
Authors area
  How does an author register in the archive?
Why does the user record have to be completed?
What can an author do in his/her workspace?
How does an author deposit a document in the archive?
 
Quality and control of documents
  How is the quality of the documents contained in the Archivio E-Prints guaranteed?
Are the documents deposited in the archive subjected to control?
 
Notes for authors
  What type of material can be deposited in the Archivio E-Prints?
What types of formats does the archive support?
Which languages does the archive support?
What scheme is used for allocating subjects to the documents?
Can the author remove from the archive a document he/she has deposited?
 
Partners of the Florentine initiative and technical notes
  Who are the partners of the Florentine initiative?
Who houses the Archivio E-Prints server?
Which technologies are used and supported by the Archivio E-Prints?
What is the software programme used?
What is the GNU Eprints software?
How often is back-up performed?
 
Contacts
  Where to send comments and requests for information?

 


General information about the Archivio E-Prints

What is an E-print?

An e-print is an electronic document designed for the propagation of scientific information, i.e. the results of research in the academic sphere. There are various types of e-prints: technical reports, papers presented at conferences and articles, both in versions prior to those later printed (preprint), and in versions subsequent to those already published, for example in a journal (postprint).

What is the Archivio E-Prints?

The Archivio E-Prints is the Florence University institutional archive of electronic documents, and contains teaching and research work produced by professors, researchers and academics of the University.

What types of documents are contained in the Archivio E-Prints?

The Archivio E-Prints contains principally working papers, preprints, postprints (conference papers, articles in journals, chapters of books), teaching notes, technical reports and theses.

Why was the Archivio E-Prints set up?

The purpose of the Archivio E-Prints is to offer a service to improve and speed up scientific communication, to boost its utilisation and facilitate access.

The E-prints archive implements a free access policy, offering utilisation of the archived material free of charge.

What are the objectives of the Archivio E-Prints?

The most specific objectives of the Archivio E-Prints, in alignment with those of the Eprints movement (http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/%7Eharnad/Tp/nature4.htm) are aimed on the one hand at the authors who wish to deposit their material in the archive, and on the other at the users who want to search, access and utilise the documents contained in it. More specifically, the Archivio E-prints offers:

  •   to the authors, a broad and rapid dissemination of their works through the Web;
  •   to the users, agile search and retrieval and free utilisation of the documents with the guarantee of reliability provided by the institutional nature of the archive.

What is the context in which the Archivio E-Prints was created?

The creation of the Archivio E-Prints fits into the broader framework of the response to the need to boost and speed up the scientific communication of the University of Florence by adhering to the Open Archives Initiative (http://www.openarchives.org)

What has the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) done?

The Open Archives Initiative (OAI) has created an open protocol for metadata tags (metadata are the elements of information associated with a document, such as "date" "author" "title" etc.). Full-text documents may be in different formats and originate from different locations (or servers) but if they use the same metadata tags they become interoperable. The metadata connected with the documents are therefore archived along with the documents and can be extracted and recognised by the services which use them. In this way all the documents which use the same protocol can be searched and retrieved as if they were all in a single global collection accessible to all the users.

What is the metadata policy used by the Archivio E-Prints?

The Archivio E-Prints supports the protocol of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI), consequently allowing services outside the archive to harvest the metadata associated with the documents contained within it. This effectively means that the documents contained in the archive can be searched and retrieved even by interrogating other services; it is as if they were all in a single deposit along with all the other documents which utilise the same protocol. The general policy is that of enabling harvesting only of the metadata, and not of the full-text.

What services does the Archivio E-Prints offer?

The Archivio E-Prints enables the authors to self-archive, depositing their documents directly in the archive after a (free and simple) registration, following a series of simple, guided steps. It also guarantees them the long-term conservation of their scientific publications (preprint and postprint), as well as making them rapidly accessible all over the world, thus considerably increasingly the visibility of both the author and his or her scientific production.

The Archivio E-Prints also offers the chance of inserting new versions of a previously deposited document, as well as the option of "attaching" comments to the documents contained. It also enables users to perform agile and flexible searches, e.g. by author, title, subject, keyword etc. to access and download the documents free of charge in electronic format.

What are the advantages of using the Archivio E-Prints?

Rapid and broad dissemination of scientific production

The author who deposits documents in the E-Prints Archive will enjoy the benefits of a rapid and broad dissemination of the results of his or her research. Rapid because there's no need to await the normal publication times. Broad because the work will be accessible even to those users who do not have guaranteed access to this information; for example, in the case of an article, it can be accessed even by those users whose library does not have a current subscription to the periodical in which it is to be published.

Search and retrieval of information located in different archives

The user of the Archivio E-Prints can, in a single search, find and retrieve information from resources located on different servers. Effectively, the programme used for the Archivio E-Prints supports the protocol of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) and therefore enables the harvesting of data relating to the documents deposited in the archive by other services, which can interrogate at one and the same time different archives located in different places rendered interoperable by a shared protocol.

Institutional status of the information

The deposit of the document produced by the academic for teaching or research purposes, either before or after publication, also serves as an illustration of the research results of the department and the University to which he or she belongs, thus increasing its visibility and prestige.

Protection of the authenticity and integrity of the information

The biographical metadata describing the full-text provide important information about the time of deposit and the version of the document.

The Archivio E-Prints and copyright

What is the copyright position for the documents deposited?

The documents deposited in the Archivio E-prints of the University of Florence are protected by the copyright laws. The author maintains all the moral and economic rights over any work deposited in the archive, unless these have already been surrendered by the author to a publisher in the case of works already published.

What is the relation between author and publisher?

In the case of an author already involved with a publisher, then he or she has to come to an agreement with the latter to allow for the deposit of the document in an e-prints archive. Authors who deposit their works in the Archivio E-Prints take the responsibility for guaranteeing that such documents are not bound by any restrictions relating to electronic distribution. Authors and/or publishers have control of any translations and of the reproduction rights for the documents deposited. In any case the user of the documents deposited in the archive is informed that permission to utilise the documents is granted only for the purposes of individual research and/or study, and not for commercial purposes.

Can published works be deposited?

Published works can be deposited as long as it is clear that the publisher concerned has authorised the dissemination in electronic format. Some publishers leave the author the option of managing an electronic version of his or her work so that it can be inserted on a personal website or in an e-prints archive, considering these as non-commercial environments. Versions different from those published can be deposited without the need for the publisher's consent.

Is deposit in the archive an alternative to traditional publication?

The deposit of work in an e-prints archive is not designed as an alternative to traditional publication, but as a complementary method of disseminating scientific production.

Can the documents deposited in the Archivio E-Prints be used for competition purposes?

The documents deposited in the Archivio E-Prints can be used for competition purposes, since they are deposited in an official institutional archive with univocal identification. The judgement of such documents, however, remains bound by the regulations for the evaluation of qualifications and publications established by the Competition Committee.

Access and search in the Archivio E-Prints

Is access to the archive free?

Access to the archive is free in all senses. Users can freely search and access the full-text of the documents without having to register and/or identify themselves with the server. Those who wish to deposit their work are required to register by completing an online form. The registration is free.

How do you search the archive?

There are two search methods:

  1. Search, the option which searches the words contained in the bibliographic description of the documents. For example, the title or the author's name can be entered in the appropriate fields. The search engine enables both simple search and advanced search.

  2. Browse created on the basis of subjects or of the year assigned to the documents.

Authors' area

Before inserting his or her documents in the Archivio E-Prints, the author must register (registration is both simple and free). After registration the author will be given a username and a password to be used for access to the relevant workspace.

How does an author register in the archive?

In order to register in the archive as authors and deposit documents, send an e-mail to eprints@unifi.it specifying name, surname, position and academic structure. The administrator of the Archivo E-Prints will proceed to enter the author's name in the archive and will then communicate by e-mail the username and password for access to the authors' area.

Why does the user record have to be completed?

The first thing to do after registration is to complete the user record with all the details requested (fields marked by an asterisk are obligatory). It is important to fill in the user record because the details contained are used both for communications and for technical support in case of need. For further details on the user record, click here: user record

What can an author do in his/her workspace?

In the workspace the author can start the document deposit process; this can either be completed or set on hold to be completed at a later time. As soon as he or she accesses the workspace, the author will immediately see which documents are on hold: he or she can amend these as required and then proceed to the deposit operation, or can start the deposit process for a new document. For further details on the workspace click here: workspace

How does an author deposit a document in the archive?

Once registered, the author can access his or her workspace by clicking on the authors' area and then entering the username and password in the appropriate fields. At this point, to enter a new document, the author clicks on "new" and then follows the instructions visualised in succession on the screen, filling in the fields as instructed. Details of the steps can be viewed in the instructions ("deposit process")

The steps can be summarised as follows:

  1. Indicate the type of document you wish to deposit, selecting from the pulldown menu shown.

  2. Indicate whether this is a subsequent version of a document already deposited, or if it is a comment on another document. In both cases you have to enter in the appropriate box the identification code of the document concerned. This code can be found simply by interrogating the archive.

  3. Provide the bibliographic information requested relating to the document.

  4. Click on "Add Document"

  5. Indicate the format of the document and any details regarding users authorised to download the document.

  6. Indicate the method by which the document will be loaded in the archive. If you load a single file, choose "file upload" from the menu and enter 1 in the relevant box. After this click on "Upload". Once the file has been loaded, the system offers the option of checking it in a new window of the browser.

  7. If all is well, click on " process deposit of the Eprint now " the document is thus loaded in the temporary archive to await validation.

Quality and control of documents

How is the quality of the documents contained in the Archivio E-Prints guaranteed?

The Archivio E-Prints is the institutional archive of the University of Florence where professors, researchers and academics belonging to the University can deposit their works. The documents deposited in the archive when they are in the state of preprint (or reports, working papers etc.) are without refereeing, those which are deposited after publication are refereed within the framework of the publication.

Are the documents deposited in the archive subjected to control?

When an author deposits a document in the archive it is stored in a specific space known as the "Buffer"; subsequently an editor from the Firenze University Press will check the document in technical/formal terms and verify the completeness of the metadata describing the document. At this point the document can be accepted, or the author may be sent a request for the necessary amendments. In both cases notification of the result is forwarded to the author.

Notes for authors

What type of material can be deposited in the Archivio E-Prints?

Any kind of technical or scientific document, published or unpublished, which can contribute to increase, improve or advance scientific communication or support teaching activities, may be deposited in the Archivio E-Prints of the University of Florence. The types of documents which may be inserted in the archive include: articles for journals in preprint version or already published, working papers, conference papers, chapters of books, technical reports, teaching notes and theses.

What types of formats does the archive support?

Files in the following formats can be deposited: PDF, PostScript, HTML, ASCII (text), MS Word DOC and RTF.

Which languages does the archive support?

Most of the documents in the Archivio E-Prints of the University of Florence are in Italian, as are the descriptive metadata of the documents and the classification scheme.

What scheme is used for allocating subjects to the documents?

The Archivio E-Prints follows the classification scheme adopted by the Ministero dell'Università e della Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica in determining the list of scientific and disciplinary sectors (http://www.miur.it/UserFiles/115.htm) as laid down in the Ministerial Decree of 4 October 2000 http://www.miur.it/0006Menu_C/0012Docume/0015Atti_M/0220Settor_cf2.htm ). It was decided to adopt this scheme since it is widely used within the Italian academic community. The mapping of this scheme with that of the Library of Congress is scheduled.

Can the author remove from the archive a document he/she has deposited?

Removing documents from the archive is strongly discouraged, because this operation would interrupt all the links made to the document (such as comments made within the archive, quotations, reference to discussion lists etc.). The archive enables the depositing of the subsequent version of any document deposited, and the user is directed to the latest version. In case of necessity, the administrator may remove the document from the archive in response to a specific request.

Partners of the Florentine initiative and technical notes

Who are the partners of the Florentine initiative?

The Archivio E-prints was set up through collaboration between the Firenze University Press (FUP) and the Centro Servizi Informatici (CSIAF, Florence University IT Services Centre).

Who houses the Archivio E-Prints server?

The Archivio E-prints is housed on a server located at the Centro Servizi Informatici (CSIAF, Florence University IT Services Centre).

Which technologies are used and supported by the Archivio E-Prints?

The Archivio E-Prints:

uses: MySQL, Apache Webserver, PERL, mod_perl, XML, DOM, GNU EPrints,

supports: Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, VLit Transclusions, Valid XHTML, Valid CSS,

and is part of : The GNU Project.

What is the software program used?

The software used for the implementation and management of the Archivio E-Prints is GNU Eprints, version 2.2.1

What is the GNU Eprints software?

GNU EPrints is a free software developed by the University of Southampton in England. For further information visit eprints.org and software.eprints.org

How often is back-up performed?

The back-up is performed daily.

Contacts

Where to send comments and requests for information?

If you need the answer to a question you haven't found here, or if you want to make a comment or suggestion about how to improve the service offered by the Archivio E-prints, don't hesitate to contact us by sending an e-mail to eprints@unifi.it. The contact is Margherita Loconsolo: (margherita.loconsolo@unifi.it)

For problems of an exclusively technical nature, send an e-mail to eprints-tech@unifi.it, where the contact is Adriano Prenleloup.