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DSpace Request Copy Add-on Documentation

What is the DSpace Request Copy Add-on?

It was suggested by Stevan Harnad in 2006 that we develop a "request Reprint by email" feature for DSpace, similar to one that was then implemented in EPprints (ttp:// for deposits whose full-text access privileges are set to Closed Access or Restricted Access (RA) rather than Open Access (OA), in order to tide over any RA period with facilitated email access. The Request Copy Add-on is this feature developed by Minho University Documentation Services, initially for DSpace 1.3.2 and now also available for DSpace 1.4.

The purpose of this feature is to increase both the content deposited in Institutional Repositories (IRs) and its immediate usability by providing a way to accommodate the (frequently unfounded) worries of authors and their institutions about copyright infringement during any publisher embargo periods on public self-archiving, by creating a semi-automated mechanism whereby would-be users can request and authors can email an individual copy of a full-text deposited with access set as A.

This feature will be very important for advancing OA if universities and other research institutions adopt the Generic Model for an Open-Access Self-Archiving Mandate. In this model, depositing immediately (upon acceptance for publication) is mandatory whereas setting deposit immediately to OA is merely encouraged, leaving the decision up to the author.

Sale, A., Couture, M., Rodrigues, E., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2010) Open Access Mandates and the "Fair Dealing" Button. In: ''Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online'' (Rosemary J. Coombe & Darren Wershler, Eds.)

This is how 'Request Copy' feature works:

  1. In all non-OA items (we consider non-OA all DSpace items/files that have access different from Anonymous) there is a link to a 'Request a Copy to the author' Form, activated in the View/Open link and also on the 'Restricted Access/equest-a-copy' logo that we added at the side.
  2. The requester must enter his/her email address and name, and may add a comment, and press a 'Request-a-copy' button.
  3. An email is sent to the depositor (either one of the authors, or their designee). The text of the mail is configurable (in our case we made an express statement to forward the mail to the author(s) if the depositor is not author). The email message contains a token.
  4. Using that token, the author may reply, by just clicking in one of the two buttons available: 'Send Copy', 'Don't send copy'.
  5. After choosing the Send/Don't send reply, the author is presented with one of the two message models (also configurable and editable) for the reply. Finally, the author must hit the Send button, and the message (including the file(s) if the author chose the Send option) is sent to the requester.

Important Notes:

  1. We have called the functionality 'Request Copy', but in the code this add-on is always referred as 'RequestItem'.
  2. The buttons used in this add-on can be configurable and renamed (eg., Request Eprint, Email Eprint, etc.).
  3. The add-on was developed and tested for DSpace 1.3.2. It is not guaranteed that it will work on previous or subsequent versions of DSpace.


Language changes can easily be made by editing the file.


The files of this ADD-on and system documentation (including installation documentation) are available in Request-copy-1.1.tar.gz (1.4.x compliant). If you're running a DSpace 1.3.x installation you can download the previous version of the Add-on in

Download for DSpace 1.6.2: (addon version 1.0)

Download for DSpace 1.7.2: (addon version 2.1)

Download for DSpace 1.8.2: (addon version 3.0)

Available soon for DSpace 3.

XMLUI version

There is a  "translation" to XMLUI of this request copy add-on tested in 3.1 (must work in 1.8 changing installation directories). Documented and available to download in JIRA issue DS-1585




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