[OAI-implementers] OAI identifier practices

Gary McGath gary at hulmail.harvard.edu
Fri Dec 21 10:59:49 EST 2007

Riley, Jenn wrote:
> Hello all,
> We're planning a big move to a new OAI provider, and will take this opportunity to provide a clean break from some questionable and unsustainable practices that have cropped up in our existing provider. We're wondering how to handle OAI identifiers in our new system, though. Identifiers in our local repository start with a /, e.g., /lilly/slocum/LL-SLO-000024. Would it be OK for our OAI identifier for this item to be:
> oai:oai.dlib.indiana.edu:/lilly/slocum/LL-SLO-000024
> ...or would that slash at the beginning of the local part be a problem? That is, would this be better?
> oai:oai.dlib.indiana.edu:lilly/slocum/LL-SLO-000024
> I didn't see anything in the Guidelines for Repository Implementers <http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/guidelines-repository.htm> or the DLF/NSDL Best Practices on this issue <http://webservices.itcs.umich.edu/mediawiki/oaibp/index.php/OAIidentifiersAndRegistrationSection> that indicated the slash would be a problem, but it's possible I missed something.

The syntax for the identifier is given here:

As far as I can see, a slash can occur anywhere within the 
local-identifier part, so you should be ok.

Gary McGath
Digital Library Software Engineer
Harvard University Library Office for Information Systems

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