[OAI-implementers] OAI Identifiers

Alan Kent ajk@mds.rmit.edu.au
Fri, 22 Feb 2002 14:27:43 +1100

On Tue, Feb 19, 2002 at 10:45:58AM -0500, Simeon Warner wrote:
> If I recall, when the oai identifier scheme was proposed it was felt that
> benefit of a layer of abstract permitting persisitence of ids even if URLs
> change outweighed the possible registration difficulties.

I think the abstraction is useful, but I am possibly interested in OAI
in other domains than digitial libraries, so registration might be
a bit more problematic (that is, they might not want to register
with a central service).

> Note that the
> schema says:
>     <!-- * A "repositoryIdentifier" that is a unique identifier for a -->
>     <!-- repository.  Its uniqueness will be tested as part of a -->
>     <!-- registration process.  The repositoryIdentifier is case -->
>     <!-- sensitive and may contain the characters [a-z]|[A-Z]|[0-9] -->
>     <!-- e.g. arXiv, VTETD. -->

If you allowed '.' in the name then sites (and maybe '-'?), then you could
at least use domain names. oai:mds.rmit.edu.au:1234. It would not be
mandated, but people would be reasonably confident of having a unique
name without collision. They can always tack something on the start
if they have to repositories on one site. But I am really suggesting
this as something a site could choose to do if it does not want to
go to the global registry.

Digitial Libraries might want to keep OAI in-house. The idea of central
registries just seems a pain if the protocol ever took off. Reusing
domain names registry processes would be an easy 'convention' to 
follow without having to go to the extreme of full URLs.

> Note also that OAI-PMH does not mandate this scheme and not all registered
> repositories have chosen to use it.

Yes, I noticed 'mit.ethese', 'UKOLN-ejournals', and 'NSDL-DEV-CU'.
Should I then fail to harvest these sites? :-)