the Santa Fe Convention for the Open Archives Initiative

Officially released on February 15th 2000

The Santa Fe Convention is discontinued. Please use the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting instead.

Welcome to the Santa Fe Convention. This convention is the result of a meeting of the Open Archives Initiative which was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on October 21-22 1999. This convention has been endorsed unanimously by all the participants at the meeting, who represented organizations maintaining or planning e-print archives intended for open access and organizations interested in providing services, such as search interfaces or citation-linking, based on the data in those archives. The convention presents a simple technical and organizational framework to support basic interoperability among e-print archives. Participants have expressed the intention of implementing this framework to allow for interoperability experiments in the course of the year 2000. Maintainers of existing or forthcoming e-print archives that were not represented at the meeting are strongly encouraged to join this effort by implementing the framework for their archives.


Scholarly authors can make electronic documents available to a global audience by submitting them to e-print archives. At the time of writing this convention (January 2000), the number of established e-print archives is small. One is, the Los Alamos e-print archive created by Paul Ginsparg, which has become a crucial hub for communicating research findings in physics. We anticipate the creation of many more e-print archives in the coming years. Such archives will be distributed across the Internet; some will be oriented to particular scholarly disciplines, others based on institutional affiliation. For e-print archives to become an established mechanism for scholarly communication, some level of interoperability among them needs to be supported. This convention is a first step towards such interoperability. As our experience with the matter develops, more issues may be addressed, new conventions may be created and existing ones may be enhanced. The Open Archives Initiative provides a process for growth and development.

The Santa Fe Convention presents a technical and organizational framework designed to facilitate the discovery of content stored in distributed e-print archives. It makes easy-to-implement technical recommendations for archives that when implemented will allow data from e-print archives to become widely available via its inclusion in a variety of end-user services such as search engines, recommendation services and systems for interlinking documents. In addition, the convention introduces an organizational framework for making information available about archives that adhere to the technical recommendations of this convention and about trusted parties that build end-user services for data originating from such archives.

We invite you to implement the recommendations made in this convention for your archive to contribute to the creation of a more effective scholarly communication mechanism.

Documents that make up the the Santa Fe Convention

The Santa Fe Convention incorporates the following documents:

the Open Archives home page

get in touch with the Open Archives Initiative by contacting

  last updated January 20th 2001