[OAI-implementers] Reconsidering mandatory DC in OAI-PMH

Hickey,Thom hickey@oclc.org
Tue, 5 Aug 2003 09:09:24 -0400

As an aggregator of metadata for theses and dissertations, I would hate to
loose the requirement of providing DC.  It seems as though the provider of
metadata is in the best position to do the mapping from their format into
DC, rather than having everyone who harvests have to go through the

Yes, there are times when it does not make a lot of sense, and we are
bringing up a number of repositories that are not standard bibliographic
metadata, but even there, it does provide a minimal level of functionality
that is useful in examining OAI repositories.  The added overhead involved
is minimal compared to the benefit we receive.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Carl Lagoze [mailto:lagoze@cs.cornell.edu]
> Sent: Monday, August 04, 2003 3:49 PM
> To: oai-implementers@oaisrv.nsdl.cornell.edu
> Subject: [OAI-implementers] Reconsidering mandatory DC in OAI-PMH
> Dublin Core has been the mandated metadata format in OAI-PMH since the
> initial release of the protocol. The purpose of this 
> requirement was to
> promote interoperability among data providers. It was the subject of
> considerable discussion in the formulation of both the 1.0 and 2.0
> specifications and we think that it is time to reexamine this
> requirement in light of two factors:
> 1. There is increasing interest in using the protocol for applications
> other than sharing metadata to promote resource discovery 
> [1][2]. Dublin
> Core is targeted mainly as metadata for resource discovery and is,
> therefore, inappropriate for these other applications.  It might make
> sense to loosen the Dublin Core requirement to a recommendation, and
> thus reduce any barrier to these broader applications.    
> 2.  The linkage between Dublin Core and OAI-PMH has been 
> over-emphasized
> at the expense of the utility of OAI-PMH for dissemination of richer,
> and perhaps more useful, structured data.  In some cases data 
> providers
> with richer metadata (e.g., MARC, IEEE LOM) have been forced by the
> requirement to dumb-down rich metadata to Dublin Core and have then
> failed to provide the original metadata.  As a result, the community
> looses the benefits of rich data and is left with the reduced 
> semantics
> of Dublin Core.
> We need to choose between the competing goals of protocol 
> stability and
> generalization.  Although removing the Dublin Core 
> requirement would not
> negatively impact existing or future data providers, it may impact
> service providers whose applications depend on the existence of a
> uniform metadata format.
> We would like to open this subject for community discussion. While the
> technical aspects of this change are minimal it does have considerable
> political impact. Please give your feedback on the following proposal:
> 1. Change the Dublin Core requirement to a recommendation.
> 2. Leave oai_dc as a reserved metadataPrefix
> 3. Move the oai_dc part of protocol document to Implementation
> Guidelines
> We invite members of this list to contribute their thoughts on this. 
> [1] http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july03/young/07young.html
> [2]
> http://agenda.cern.ch/askArchive.php?base=agenda&categ=a02333&

Carl Lagoze
Michael Nelson
Herbert Van de Sompel
Simeon Warner

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