We have three distinct OAI (http://www.openarchives.org/) projects underway at the moment in the ADR. Briefly, the three projects are:
- Support the aggregation of openly accessible metadata records from all institution’s repository portals into a single consortially-scoped discovery point we’ve been referring to as MINeR as part of an early branding effort
- Support harvesting of any given institution’s openly accessible metadata by said library’s vendor-supplied nextGen library discovery tools (i.e. III’s Encore is emerging as one popular choice among the consortia’s members)
- Repurpose available OAI Dublin Core metadata to support the ingest, management, and discovery of member library content created as part of early grant projects, specifically those supported as part of the CDP’s early digital collection building support awards.
In the first two cases, we are the data providers, making our metadata available for harvest and re-use in other environments (one of which we intent to support by building on PKP’s OAI Harvester interface as a foundation. Once we gain a better foundation for our local OAI exposure activities, and cement the sharing with the vendor(s), we will encourage larger aggregators, like OAIster, to come harvest us, too. We are definitely of the approach “the more, the merrier!”
In the third case, we are actively harvesting, filtering, refining, and normalizing metadata from another resource – and really, from another, earlier time of collaborative efforts, which adds some interesting challenges to isolating specific elements like where to find the matching file name to join a record to a primary content file provided by the institution or how to validate a several-year-old URL used as an identifier. The immediate goal is to transform harvested DC records into the MODS/DC metadata components of a basic ADR METS-contained digital object.
To be on both sides of the OAI aisle is fascinating, if at times frustrating and time-consuming. We are simultaneously being challenged by our own choices to adopt an open sources repository interface and presented with a significant learning curve about how Fez approaches OAI – and how we can change that approach to meet our immediate needs and long-term anticipated needs, while we also are challenged trying to repurpose earlier efforts to do much the same…at times it’s like looking in a three-way mirror – What is reflecting where? What do we see? And, which – in any given view – is the primary object of focus? Doesn’t it kind of makes you want to ask, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall…Who’s OAI is the “fairest” of them all…?”