[OAI-general] OAIster Reaches 10 Million Records
khage at umich.edu
Thu Jan 25 11:08:03 EST 2007
**Apologies for cross-posting.**
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - OAIster Reaches 10 Million Records.
We live in an information-driven world-- one in which access to good
information defines success. OAIster's growth to 10 million records takes
us one step closer to that goal.
Developed at the University of Michigan's Library, OAIster is a collection
of digital scholarly resources. OAIster is also a service that
continually gathers these digital resources to remain complete and fresh.
As global digital repositories grow, so do OAIster's holdings.
Popular search engines don't have the holdings OAIster does. They crawl
web pages and index the words on those pages. It's an outstanding
technique for fast, broad information from public websites. But scholarly
information, the kind researchers use to enrich their work, is generally
hidden from these search engines.
OAIster retrieves these otherwise elusive resources by tapping directly
into the collections of a variety of institutions using harvesting
technology based on the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Protocol for
Metadata Harvesting. These can be images, academic papers, movies and
audio files, technical reports, books, as well as preprints (unpublished
works that have not yet been peer reviewed). By aggregating these
resources, OAIster makes it possible to search across all of them and
return the results of a thorough investigation of complete, up-to-date
Ann Devenish, Publication Services Project Manager at Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institute, notes that "Harvesting by OAIster is a primary
'selling point' when we talk to scientists and researchers about the
visibility, accessibility, and impact of their contributions in an
institutional repository. From their own experiences they know that a
search using one of the popular search engines can bring back thousands
(if not, millions) of results which will require careful and
time-consuming screening, with no guarantee that they will ever get to the
content they seek. A search of OAIster, across hundreds of open and
scholarly archives and millions of records, brings back results with the
key metadata elements that allow for quick identification of, and easy
navigation to, the content they seek."
OAIster is good news for the digital archives that contribute material to
open-access repositories. "[OAIster has demonstrated that]...OAI
interoperability can scale. This is good news for the technology, since
the proliferation is bound to continue and even accelerate," says Peter
Suber, author of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter. As open-access
repositories proliferate, they will be supported by a single,
well-managed, comprehensive, and useful tool.
Scholars will find that searching in OAIster can provide better results
than searching in web search engines. Roy Tennant, User Services
Architect at the California Digital Library, offers an example: "In
OAIster I searched 'roma' and 'world war,' then sorted by weighted
relevance. The first hit nailed my topic-- the persecution of the Roma in
World War II. Trying 'roma world war' in Google fails miserably because
Google apparently searches 'Rome' as well as 'Roma.' The ranking then
makes anything about the Roma people drop significantly, and there is
nothing in the first few screens of results that includes the word in the
title, unlike the OAIster hit."
OAIster currently harvests 730 repositories from 49 countries on 6
continents. In three years, it has more than quadrupled in size and
increased from 6.2 million to 10 million in the past year. OAIster is a
project of the University of Michigan Digital Library Production Service.
For more information about University of Michigan's OAIster Project, visit
http://www.oaister.org/, or contact Kat Hagedorn at khage at umich.edu.
OAIster/Metadata Harvesting Librarian
DLXS Bibliographic Class Coordinator
Digital Library Production Service
University of Michigan
email: khage at umich.edu
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