For immediate release November 3rd, 2000


Open Archives Initiative launches alpha test of new specifications


Ithaca, N.Y .— On November 1st 2000, an alpha version of the new Open Archives specifications for metadata harvesting has been disseminated to a limited focal group. The alpha version of the new specifications is the result of an in depth revision of the Santa Fe Convention which took place at a meeting of the OAI Technical Committee, held at Cornell University in September 2000. The revision was inspired by the increasing interest in the metadata harvesting mechanism proposed in the Santa Fe Convention from communities outside of the originally intended e-print world. Beta-specifications should be available for a broader, but still restricted group, by December 2000. Publication of the new specifications is scheduled for January 2001.

The alpha specifications have been shared for comment with participants at the September Cornell meeting and with an alpha-test group. The alpha test group will focus on the implementation of the specifications, while they are under ongoing revision.The group will provide permanent input in the revision process and it will create showcases that aim at illustrating the applicability of the specifications in a wide variety of domains. Alpha-testing runs between November 1st 2000 and early January 2001. Testers will either concentrate on exposing metadata in a manner that is compliant to the new protocol specifications, creating services that harvest metadata from repositories that expose metadata in a compliant way or on the creation of compliant software. At the time of writing, the confirmed alpha-testers were:

The compilation of the specifications is coordinated by the Digital Library Research Group of the Computer Science Department of Cornell University. It is supported by the Digital Library Federation and by the Coalition for Networked Information.

Contact: Herbert Van de Sompel & Carl Lagoze