[OAI-implementers] Clarification on deleted records

Leigh Dodds ldodds@ingenta.com
Wed, 10 Apr 2002 16:52:40 +0100


I'm not clear on the following wording in the specification, could 
someone clarify this for me?

"When returning a harvested record or identifier of a record, the  
ListRecords and ListIdentifiers service requests may indicate a status 
of "deleted".  This status means that an item has been deleted and 
therefore no record can be disseminated from it.   The length of time 
that a given repository keeps track of deleted items is not defined by 
the protocol.  Therefore, the only guaranteed method in the protocol 
for determining whether a record can be returned by a repository 
(its corresponding item still exists) is through the GetRecord service 

What I'm not sure about is why the only guaranteed method 
for determing whether a record can be returned is GetRecord.
The second sentence (reading "This status...") notes that if 
the status is deleted, then no record can be returned. So we 
already have a definitive answer don't we? 

Digging further I see that the GetRecord schema notes that a 
record *can* be returned with a deleted status -- which seems 
contrary to the above? 

However if an identifer doesn't exist then no record will be returned in 
the GetRecord response.

So is it the case that records for items with a deleted status will always 
be available (i.e. the metadata is can still be harvested) but 
after a period (determined by the archive) GetRecord may 
subsequently return no metadata.

Thanks in advance,


Leigh Dodds, Research Group, Ingenta | "Pluralitas non est ponenda
http://weblogs.userland.com/eclectic |    sine necessitate"
http://www.xml.com/pub/xmldeviant    |     -- William of Ockham