[OAI-implementers] Questions about embedding/mixing metadata

Robert Robertson robert.robertson at strath.ac.uk
Tue Apr 14 11:01:59 EDT 2009

Hi Regina,

>From the way you've phrased the question on oai-implementers and metadata-librarians, it sounds like you've got some metadata elements that you want to use in addition to those Dublin Core elements used in the oai_dc schema.

The short answer is that you can't add other metadata elements into the oai_dc schema.
You can, however, have multiple occurrences of any element and you can add other schemas to be exposed by OAI-PMH. This could be a qualified dc schema of your  own or someone else's design or it could be from another standard entirely. The important thing about OAI-PMH is to remember that oai_dc is the mandated set you have to expose but you can expose as many others as you wish.

However, the bigger questions is:
Why do you want/ need to share this information?

There's plenty of metadata used for local purposes that it isn't effective or necessary to share - apologies if this is an obvious statement but many repositories conflate local metadata requirements with the metadata schemas they expose for harvesting.

Also - across most archives/repositories/digital libraries oai_dc is the only metadata schema widely supported and looked for by harvesters. Yes some services pay attention to what else is exposed and the situation is improving but there isn't really much of a common denominator to take advantage of more detailed or different metadata - unless there's a particular community/ organisation/ federation/ service that you're working with. This situation is improving and if you can easily expose other standards it is a good thing to do.

I hope that begins to answer your question, without knowing a bit more of the specific issues it's hard to suggest elements or schema.


R. John Robertson
skype: rjohnrobertson
Repositories Research Officer (JISCCETIS), Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement University of Strathclyde
Tel:    +44 (0) 141 548 3072
The University of Strathclyde is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC015263

From: oai-implementers-bounces at openarchives.org [mailto:oai-implementers-bounces at openarchives.org] On Behalf Of R Avila
Sent: 14 April 2009 14:46
To: oai-implementers at openarchives.org
Subject: [OAI-implementers] Questions about embedding/mixing metadata

I've got some questions about mixing metadata into oai_dc.  Can anyone help?

For instance, the rules for mixing metadata at the dublincore site here: http://dublincore.org/documents/dc-xml-guidelines/ -- do they apply to oai_dc as well?

I also have a few other questions I'll ask off-list.

Thanks for any help.

Regina Avila
ravila4321 at yahoo.com<mailto:ravila4321 at yahoo.com>

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