[OAI-implementers] default metadataPrefix

Young,Jeff jyoung@oclc.org
Tue, 6 Mar 2001 17:53:12 -0500

I'd like to propose that the metadataPrefix element be made an optional
parameter. After all, oai_dc is a required format for OAI repositories, and
one could naturally assume this is the default metadataPrefix if it wasn't
explicitly stated in the request.

My reason for making this request is a little complicated. Here's a
hypothetical scenario, though, that I hope is easier to follow. I'd like to
store an OAI GetRecord URL in a web document so that anyone can come along,
click on the link, and get something useful in response. Since the
metadataPrefix is a required field, I must imbed it in the URL that I store
in my document. Unfortunately, I'd also like to process this same document
with automated tools, but this time I'm interested in getting my response in
oai_marc format. Now, I'm forced to parse the URL and change oai_dc to
oai_marc before I can use the link. If, on the other hand, oai_dc was
implied, I wouldn't have to specify it in my link. Casual users would see
the default oai_dc response, whereas my automated process would merely
append "&metadataPrefix=oai_marc" to the URL to override the default.

Any comments?

Jeffrey A. Young
Senior Consulting Systems Analyst
Office of Research, Mail Code 710
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
6565 Frantz Road
Dublin, OH   43017-3395

Voice:	614-764-4342
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Email:	jyoung@oclc.org