Here's an excerpt from the SWORD Wiki that describes the project:
SWORD (Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit) will take forward the Deposit protocol developed by a small working group as part of the JISC Digital Repositories Programme by implementing it as a lightweight web-service in four major repository software platforms: EPrints, DSpace, Fedora and IntraLibrary. The existing protocol documentation will be finalised by project partners and a prototype 'smart deposit' tool will be developed to facilitate easier and more effective population of repositories. The project intends to take an iterative approach to developing and revising the protocol, web-services and client implementation through evaluative testing and feedback mechanisms. Community acceptance and take-up will be sought through dissemination activities. The project is led by UKOLN, University of Bath, with partners at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, the University of Southampton and Intrallect Ltd. The project aims to improve the efficiency and quality of repository deposit and to diversity and expedite the options for timely population of repositories with content whilst promoting a common deposit interface and supporting the Information Environment principles of interoperability.