[OAI-implementers] Sets and multiple formats

John Weatherley jweather at ucar.edu
Thu Mar 9 16:14:07 EST 2006

We are reconsidering the way we define sets and the following question 
has come up: Does it make sense to define a set that includes records 
from two fundamentally different metadata formats or is it better to 
stick to one format per set?

For example, suppose a repository contains the following metadata 


Is it better to have a single set that includes records from both of 
the above, such as:


or better to split the sets by format:


Or is either approach equally OK?

I'm curious what others have done in this regard and whether there are 
any conventions that have taken shape?




The OAI protocol defines sets in the following way:

"The actual meaning of a set or of the arrangement of sets in a
repository is not defined in the protocol. It is expected that
individual communities may formulate well-defined set configurations
with perhaps a controlled vocabulary for setNames and setSpec , and
may even develop mechanisms for exposing these to harvesters. For
example, a group of cooperating e-print archives in a specific
discipline may agree on sets that arrange metadata in their
repositories based on a controlled subject classification."

I do not see any discussion in the documentation about the singularity
or multiplicity of metadata formats in respect to sets.

John Weatherley
DLESE Program Center
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
PO Box 3000
Boulder, CO 80307-3000
jweather at ucar.edu (e-mail)

(303) 497-2680 (tel)
(303) 497-8336 (fax)


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