Participation and OAI Requirements
How will it work?
The Digital Commonwealth (DigiComm) brings together the metadata, or descriptions for the digital resources held at each member institution into a central database. The DigiComm gathers, or harvests metadata from participating institutions using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). All the metadata gathered from each contributing institution is stored in a centralized database. The DigiComm builds and maintains an interface to this database of aggregated metadata. The process gathers only the descriptions of the digital resources, not the digital resources/files themselves. For example, the information about a digitized photograph, such as title, date, and keywords, is harvested, but the image file itself is not.
How do I participate?
To have the metadata from your digital collections harvested by DigiComm, there are two requirements:
- Your institution must be a Digital Commonwealth member or belong to a group sponsoring member. Membership details.
- Your digital resource descriptions or metadata must conform to the OAI-PMH standard, be network accessible, and meet the minimum DigiComm metadata requirements.
How do I create high-quality, standards-based digital collections?
My institution is a Digital Commonwealth member. How do I contribute OAI-compliant metadata to the Digital Commonwealth portal?
- Shared Repository: Your institution participates in a shared repository for digital collections.
- In this case, your institution contributes its digital collections to a shared repository that is a DigiComm member and can produce OAI-compliant metadata. The metadata in the repository is then harvested by DigiComm. Shared repositories are often run and hosted by a consortium. Your options for participation in a shared repository will vary depending upon your institution’s consortial memberships. Click here for a list of known repositories in Massachusetts.
- In this case, your metadata can be automatically harvested by the
DC. Software known to produce harvestable, OAI-compliant metadata:
- Digital Commons
- In this case, your existing metadata and digital content management system must be assessed to determine the steps needed to make the data OAI-compliant and harvestable. As a DigiComm member, or as a member of a consortium your institution may be entitled to assistance with this process.
OAI-PMH Metadata Requirements
- Conform to the simple Dublin Core standard at the minimum, (see Preferred Metadata Standard).
- Be encoded in XML.
- Reside in a network accessible repository that is able to process OAI-PMH requests correctly.
OAI Implementation for Repositories
Repositories are defined as "data providers".
Open Archives documentation
Implementation Guidelines for Repository Implementers
Implementing OAI-PMH, Part 4 of the OAI Forum's online tutorial, OAI for Beginners
Best Practices for OAI Data Provider Implementations and Shareable Metadata