Emerging Trends in OAI-PMH Application

Emerging Trends in OAI-PMH Application

Nadim Akhtar Khan (University of Kashmir, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7230-7.ch009
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Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) provides an application-independent interoperability framework based on metadata harvesting. It is an effective way of sharing metadata between gateway services. The chapter gives an overview of Open Archives Initiative and underscores development, structure, and basic working of OAIPMH for harvesting procedures. It also traces the emerging trends in the use of Open Archive Initiative-Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) by open access repositories to support interoperability among globally distributed information systems. The study was carried out by consulting the database of Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR), which is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. The study observed growth in the use and application of OAI-PMH protocol by OA repositories at a global level. Growth in the number of OAI-PMH complaint repositories provides an ample justification for its distinction among varied protocols to be utilized for resource sharing in knowledge society. However, developing and underdeveloped nations need to be made aware of the benefits of utilizing the harvesting capabilities of this protocol. The study provides an opportunity to understand the astounding growing trends in the use of the protocol in different setups.
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Open Archives Initiative

The Open Archives Initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. OAI has its roots in the open access and institutional repository movements. OAI is a simple, structured way for organizations to expose content for harvesting, or to harvest exposed content. Continued support of this work remains a cornerstone of the Open Archives program. Over time, however, the work of OAI has expanded to promote broad access to digital resources for eScholarship, eLearning, and eScience (Standards for Web, n.d.).


The Santa Fe Convention provides recommendations for interoperability among archives. The Convention is the result of a meeting of the Open Archives Initiative, which was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in October, 1999. The Open Archives Initiative (OAI) was launched in an attempt to address interoperability issues among many existing and independent Digital Libraries. The OAI has since received much media attention in the digital library community and, primarily because of the simplicity of its standards and has attracted many early adopters (Suleman & Fox, 2001). The Santa Fe Convention was attended by participants from organizations maintaining e-print archives for open access or providing services through integrated Search interfaces or citation linking mechanisms to such archives. The focus was on high-level communication among systems and simplicity of protocols. The convention presents a simple technical and organizational framework to support basic interoperability among e-print archives and as such was the first step towards interoperability of e-archives for facilitating the access to scholarly literature. The Open Archives Initiative provides a process for growth and development. The mechanism for establishing interoperability is three fold, i.e. definition of a set of simple metadata element, use XML as a common syntax for representation and transport and definition of a common protocol (Santa Fe Convention, 2001).


Open Archives Initiative Protocol For Metadata Harvesting (Oai-Pmh)

The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) is a low-barrier mechanism for repository interoperability. It provides an application-independent interoperability framework based on metadata harvesting. There are two classes of participants in the OAI-PMH framework:

  • 1.

    Data Providers are repositories that expose structured metadata via OAI-PMH.

  • 2.

    Service Providers then make OAI-PMH service requests to harvest that metadata as a basis for building value-added service (Open Archives Initiative, n.d.).

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