[OAI-implementers] Clarifications added to oai-identifier specification

Simeon Warner simeon at cs.cornell.edu
Fri Mar 10 11:01:03 EST 2006

Prompted by comments from Eloy Lafuente (copied below) I have added 2 
small clarifications to the oai-identifier v2.0 specification. The new 
version is online at:
the new version with changes highlighted in red is at:
and the old version is at:

The change from the v1.1 oai-identifier specification to v2.0 meant that 
namespace-identifier part of the identifiers (e.g. arXiv.org in 
oai:arXiv.org:hep-th/9901001) is no longer tied to the registration of a 
single repository. Uniqueness is attained from tying the 
namespace-identifier to DNS registration. I have also changed the 
validator service in accord with this understanding.

Thanks to Carl Lagoze for sanity checks.


>> De: Simeon Warner <simeon at cs.cornell.edu>
>> Fecha: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 18:07:01 -0500 (EST)
>> Para: Eloy Lafuente <eloy.lafuente at si.unirioja.es>
>> CC: <openarchives at openarchives.org>, "joaquin.leon at bib.unirioja.es"
>> <joaquin.leon at bib.unirioja.es>
>> Asunto: Re: One question about identifiers...
>> Hi Eloy,
>> I have noticed this problem with my own use of oai:arXiv.org:XXXX
>> identifiers for arXiv.org and multiple OAI servers. The problem is that
>> the specification was written with the notion that the identifier
>> was based around a "repository identifier" and thus tied to a single
>> repository. I see two options:
>> 1) do not check for unique registration of v2 oai-identifier
>> repositoryIdentifier value in the OAI validator (this should probably
>> be combined with a change in the specification to note that the term
>> repositoryIdentifier has been kept only for historical reasons, already
>> hinted at in section 2.4 of
>> http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/guidelines-oai-identifier.htm).
>> 2) require that only one repository using each identifier expose an
>> <oai-identifier> description block in the Identify response.
>> I don't think it makes sense for you to pick a dummy namespace.
>> On Mon, 19 Dec 2005, Eloy Lafuente wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I'm Eloy Lafuente, lead developer of http://dialnet.unirioja.es (and Spanish
>>> scientific resources portal).
>>> More than one year ago, we registered our:
>>> http://dialnet.unirioja.es/oai/OAIHandler
>>> With the identifier:
>>> oai:dialnet.unirioja.es:ART0000001 (for example)
>>> OAI server in your list of data providers. Such OAI provides access to a lot
>>> of full-text articles from scientific magazines and monographs.
>>> In the last months we have added a new type of resource to our system,
>>> Thesis. And we have built one separated OAI service in the same host:
>>> http://dialnet.unirioja.es/oaites/OAIHandler
>>> With the identifier:
>>> oai:dialnet.unirioja.es:TES0000001 (for example)
>>> Some minutes ago, I was trying to test and register this new OAI provider
>>> but the initial test fails because:
>>> "The requested OAI repository name 'dialnet.unirioja.es' is already
>>> registered to another base URL"
>>> Reading your documentation about OAI identifiers, it seems that we cannot
>>> reuse the same 'dialnet.unirioja.es' as namespace-identifier in the
>>> oai-identifier string (although, in our case, I think that it's REAL
>>> situation, because both repositories are in the same host/machine).
>>> So, the question is, how do we solve this? Is it ok to "invent" a slightly
>>> different namespace-identifier, say, 'tesdialnet.unirioja.es' in order to
>>> register our new provider? Is it the correct solution, knowing that, in the
>>> real world, the 'tesdialnet.unirioja.es' doesn't exist at all?
>>> TIA, cheers and ciao, Eloy :-)

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