[OAI-implementers] repository auto-discovery

Edward Summers ehs at pobox.com
Sun Nov 19 13:09:51 EST 2006

On Nov 19, 2006, at 5:51 AM, Dr R. Sanderson wrote:
> What I wouldn't like to see is further division of the environment  
> into 16 different autodiscovery links for any item. Already there  
> could very easily be:  OpenURL (the *standard* for this sort of  
> thing! ...), unAPI (... however there is much to be said for 1 page  
> specs),  OpenSearch, OAI, SRU, AssetAction, etc etc. Plus I'm sure  
> that the microformat people will invent their own sliiiiightly  
> different versions of all of the above, and so forth.  Semantics  
> are only useful when they're shared.

To my mind this is an argument for adding (or at least recommending)  
an autodiscovery mechanism for oai-pmh so that it can be shared.  
While it might sound insane, applications like Zotero and PiggyBank  
have embraced the notion that extractable metadata will be found in  
many different flavors and via different mechanisms...and that this  
is reality.

I was one (of many) folks involved in crafting the unAPI one-page- 
spec, and I think that it and COinS/OpenURL are certainly of use  
here. But at the end of the day it would involve some development  
work to make an oai-pmh repository available via unAPI (or any other  
protocol). Adding a <LINK> element to some HTML template file on the  
other hand would be a quick win...and doesn't require existing oai- 
pmh implementors to buy in to unAPI.

Given the deployment of oai-pmh in web accessible institutional  
repositories it would be an easy way of making repository metadata  
available to a whole new class of applications.


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