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The making of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting

Carl Lagoze (Senior Research Associate in Computing and Information Science at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA. He is also Director of Technology Strategy in the NSDL.)
Herbert Van de Sompel (Digital Library Researcher at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Library, Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA.)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 1 June 2003



The authors, who jointly serve as the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) executive, reflect on the three‐year history of the OAI. Three years of technical work recently culminated in the release of a stable production version 2 of the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI‐PMH). This technical product, the work that led up to it, and the process that made it possible have attracted some favor from the digital library and information community. The paper explores a number of factors in the history of the OAI that the authors believe have contributed to this positive response. The factors include focus on a defined problem statement, an operational model in which strong leadership is balanced with solicited participation, a healthy dose of community building and support, and sensible technical decisions.



Lagoze, C. and Van de Sompel, H. (2003), "The making of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 118-128.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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