[OAI-implementers] OAI identifiers

Hussein Suleman hussein@cs.uct.ac.za
Sat, 13 Dec 2003 19:17:49 +0200


a random observation ...

i just looked at the schema for oai-identifier and realised that, yes, 
it will only work for "oai" identifiers (something i didnt realise 
myself until now). two of the fields seem to be required but with fixed 
values, while the sampleIdentifier embeds additional copies of the 
repositoryIdentifier, schema and delimiter.

in future, for network bandwidth, minimalism and normalisation reasons, 
lets try to avoid this unnecessary duplication ... i know people will 
say bandwidth is cheap but that argument only works if u're living in 
some countries of the world and definitely not in south africa :)

on a different note, Naomi made a comment about URLs being unusual as 
oai identifiers. i just wanted to add that it is not inconceivable to 
create an oai identifier by prepending "oai:<repositoryId>:" to a URL to 
denote the item describing a URL-accesssible resource. if i am not 
mistaken, PhysNet did (or still does) this. it is a neat trick to expose 
a collection of web pages as oai records, thereby enabling you to 
integrate web pages with other oai collections in local service providers!


Simeon Warner wrote:
> If you are not using oai-identifiers then you must not include an
> oai-identifier description block in your Identify response. The
> oai-identifier description container (defined by the schema
> http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/oai-identifier.xsd) is specific 
> to the oai-identifier scheme.
> From an OAI standpoint, your ARK's should be treated as opaque identifiers
> within your repository by any service provider that doesn't recognize and
> understand them.
> Cheers,
> Simeon.
> On Fri, 12 Dec 2003, David Loy wrote:
>>This is the first time I've written to this list.
>>I am trying to get a better understanding of identifier as used in OAI 
>>According to the standard (I'm using 
>>, a unique identifier is defined as a URI which by definition contains 
>>ftp:, http:, oai: etc.
>>We use an ark as our persistent URI (see 
>>My question is how to set up the description element of the Identity 
>>response to describe this non-oai identifier.
>>Any help would be terrific.
>>David Loy 
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hussein suleman ~ hussein@cs.uct.ac.za ~ http://www.husseinsspace.com