[OAI-implementers] Describing OAI sets

Sarah L. Shreeves sshreeve at uiuc.edu
Mon Jul 18 18:31:39 EDT 2005

(cross posted to dc-collections)

Over the past year representatives of the Digital Library Federation (DLF) 
and the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) have been working on 
developing best practices for implementations of Open Archives Initiative 
(OAI) data providers as well as for 'shareable' metadata.

This group has found that the issue of set descriptions has been an area 
where the implementer guidelines are not well fleshed out and where current 
practices are inconsistent and often do not meet service provider needs. 
There is also some confusion about what should be included in a set 
description: a description of the collection of metadata in a set, a 
description of the collection of resources referenced by the metadata in 
the set, or some combination of both?

We believe there needs to be:

1)	a clarification of the difference between a description of an OAI set 
and a description of a collection of resources;
2)	an application profile to specifically describe an OAI set; and
3)	a recommendation on the mechanism to convey both a set description and 
collection description, if applicable.

We have prepared a discussion paper which explores these issues and 
proposes a draft of a possible application profile for an OAI set. This is 
available at: 
http://comm.nsdl.org/download.php/624/set-description_ver6.pdf (pdf file). 
We are actively seeking comments and feedback and welcome anyone who might 
want to participate in the further development of this work. Please contact 
Muriel Foulonneau (mfoulonn at uiuc.edu) and Sarah Shreeves 
(sshreeve at uiuc.edu) with comments, questions, and feedback.

Many thanks to the members of the DLF/NSDL OAI Best Practices group who 
have commented already on this draft...


Muriel Foulonneau
mfoulonn at uiuc.edu

Sarah Shreeves
sshreeve at uiuc.edu

University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign 

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