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Current Developments and Future Trends for the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting

Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Publication Date
  • Commercialization
  • Internet
  • Libraries And The World Wide Web
  • World Wide Web


The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) has been widely adopted since its initial release in 2001. Initially developed as a means to federate access to diverse e-print archives through metadata harvesting and aggregation, the protocol has demonstrated its potential usefulness to a broad range of communities. Two years out from the release of the stable production version of the protocol (2.0), there are many interesting developments within the OAI community. Communities of interest have begun to use the protocol to aggregate metadata relative to their needs. The development of a registry of OAI data providers with browsing and searching capabilities as well as accessibility to machine processing is helping to provide a scalable solution to the question of who is providing what via the OAI protocol. Work is progressing on the technical infrastructure for extending the OAI protocol beyond the traditional harvesting structure. However, serious challenges, particularly for service providers, still exist. This article provides an overview of the current OAI environment and speculates on future directions for the protocol and OAI community.

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