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

Anne Mahoney amahoney@perseus.tufts.edu
Tue, 05 Aug 2003 09:49:38 -0400

Carl Lagoze wrote:
> 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

I agree with Thom Hickey, Matt Cockerill, and François Schiettecatte
that it's good to continue to require Dublin Core, at least for
repositories that wish to be harvested by general service providers.  If
a data provider gives me DC, I know what to do with that and can provide
an appropriate minimal level of service for it.  If it doesn't, then I
need to figure out the semantics of whatever format it is giving me, and
how that maps into the qualified DC that my own digital library uses

On the other hand, (a) if you aren't opening up your data provider to
the world at large, then surely the rest of us don't care what meta-data
formats you're using;

and (b) we should *strongly encourage* sites to support *more* than just
DC.  Various communities, such as the Open Language Archives Community
(http://www.language-archives.org), have already started developing
their own schemata.  Perhaps the OAI could advertise this kind of thing
more prominently, as an example of "recommended practice" or "best
practice" for a data provider.

Whether we keep Dublin Core as a requirement or downgrade it to a
recommendation, however, we should certainly keep "oai_dc" as a reserved

--Anne Mahoney
Tufts University
Perseus Project
data provider:  http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pdataprov
service provider:  incorporated in