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Policies Tool

Introduction  |  Purpose of this Tool  |  Non-Aims  |  Policies Covered |  Customisation  |  EPrints Software |  Demonstration 

Repository name *
Repository URL *
OAI Base URL *
  * Optional but recommended information.


In a survey for OpenDOAR in early 2006, Peter Millington discovered that about two thirds of Open Access repositories did not have publicly stated policies for the permitted re-use of deposited items or for such things as submission of items, long term preservation, etc. This complicates matters for organisations wishing to provide search services, which in turn reduces the visibility and impact of these repositories.


Peter Millington (2006) Moving Forward with the OpenDOAR Directory, 8th International Conference on Current Research Information Systems, Bergen, 11th-13th May 2006

Purpose of this Tool

To improve the situation, OpenDOAR has created this simple tool to help repository adminstrators to formulate and/or present their repository's policies. It provides a series of check boxes and pick lists for all the key policy options, which can be very quickly selected.

We have even provided recommended options for minimum compliance with the aims of the Open Access movement, and for optimising usage of your repository. For example, the minimum policy recommends allowing re-use of metadata for not-for-profit purposes, but prohibits commercial re-use. On the other hand, the optimum policy also allows free commercial re-use because the extra exposure this gives to your material probably outweighs any disadvantages.

Several output formats are provided, including: HTML (for inclusion in your website), plain text, and source code for EPrints software configuration files (see below). Other formats may follow. We welcome suggestions.


This tool is not intended to generate policy statements for legal purposes. The emphasis is on clear plain language for repository users. If your lawyers wish to be more specific, we recommend you put legal statements on separate web pages. This tool lets you include links to such pages, if you wish.

Policies Covered


The tool produces text and source code that you can copy and paste into your own web pages and files, and of course you can amend it if you wish. However, because we are encouraging repository administrators to use standard policies wherever possible, we respectfully suggest that you avoid making any major changes. Standardising text will help cross-repository services and others to make the best use of your repository's content.

For your convenience, the tool includes an option to use the name of your repository in the resultant text, instead of the phrase 'the repository'.

Because it is impractical to cover all possible options, we have tended to use generic terms and phrases. There may therefore be places where you wish to be more specific. For instance, one of the 'Types of material' under 'Content policy' is 'Theses and dissertations". Our host institution, the University of Nottingham, has separate repositories for PhD theses and undergraduate dissertations, so it would be appropriate to edit the generated policy statement accordingly. Similarly, the 'Preservation policy' mentions 'working with external partners'. You may prefer to give the names of your partner organisations.

EPrints V.2 or V.3 Web Page

This output option generates the source code for an EPrints static HTML page for your site's policies. This will be displayed using your normal EPrints template layout. For a real life example, please see the Nottingham ePrints Policies web page.

To use this option:

For example, if your repository is named 'etheses':

EPrints V.2

EPrints V.3

EPrints Software Configuration Files

The EPrints output option is suitable for both version 2 and the new version 3. The OpenDOAR policy output should be copy-and-pasted into the relevant EPrints OAI configuration file - (for version 2) or (for version 3). Be aware that the OpenDOAR output is not a complete configuration file - it is only the segment concerning policies. You should therefore locate the relevant comment headings and then replace the existing block of code with the Open>DOAR output. (We recommend that you back up the original first).

You can activate the new OAI configuration file in one of two ways:

You should check the results using an OAI-PMH Identify request (your OAI Base URL plus the parameter ?verb=Identify - which is case-sensitive)



For examples of how to use the OpenDOAR Policies Tool, please see our PowerPoint Presentation.

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