[OAI-implementers] Searching open archives

Baden Hughes badenh at cs.mu.OZ.AU
Sat Oct 30 01:58:54 EDT 2004

Hi Howard

> Can anyone tell me if there is a recommended means for searching an OAI repository? Z3.50, SRW...?

There's many ways to do this, but AFAIK, not a single recommended 
approach. Certainly the collections aggregated by OAI-PMH can be expressed 
in a range of alternative formats which lend themselves to existing tools 
eg Z39.50.

> How are most repositories cross-searched?

>From an end user view there's really 4 models:

1) individual data providers who also provide a search interface directly 
to their own collections, many of which are embedded with archive 
management suites;

2) there's a range of aggregation tools which offer search interfaces 
across all OAI data providers eg ARC, MyOAI, OAIster via web interfaces 
for each tool;

3) via an application instance, where the application itself is OAI-aware 
and connects either to a local collection or an online aggregator;

4) through interfaces like DP9 automated services like web search engines 
can also index the contents, allowing users to search "on the web" and find OAI data provider 

If you consider the list at http://www.openarchives.org/tools/tools.html, 
you'll see a range of these different tools available.

> Also are most repositories open to searching (by users, not harvesting) or do they require authentication?

Most are open access, ipso facto. I presume that there are some 
repositories which have access restrictions in various forms, but I 
haven't gone looking specifically.



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