[OAI-implementers] Selective Harvesting and Datestamps

Martijn Faassen faassen at infrae.com
Thu Jun 9 08:05:18 EDT 2005

Hi there,

I'm implementing an OAI server and am wondering about the details of
selective harvesting in date ranges.

The spec says:

   modification - the response *must* include records, corresponding to
   the metadataPrefix argument, which have changed within the bounds of
   the from and until arguments.

Does this mean that records need to track their full history of modified
dates? Just tracking their last modified datestamp does not seem enough
to fully comply with this, as a record modified on 2005-04-10 and then
again on 2005-06-05 would not show up in the range 2005-03-01 - 
2005-05-01, as it would only be known it was modified 2005-06-05.

On the other hand, there seems to be no requirement that a modified
record gets exposed in its original, historical state; i.e. historical 
revisions of metadata do not need to be retained to comply. This means 
that in fact someone harvesting between 2005-03-01 - 2005-05-01 would 
see all records in the most recent state anyway, thus including the 
2005-06-05 change.

It therefore seems that for incremental date-based harvesting to work,
full historical information about modification dates is not strictly
necessary, as at the end of a full harvest throughout the full date 
range all the data *will* be correctly sent to the harvester..

Tracking a full history of modification dates for all records seems like 
an onerous requirement. Is this really the intent? Does it really hurt 
if only last-modified dates are retained? Am I misreading the spec?



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