CERN Document Server Software

Vesely, Martin CERN Document Server Software., 2002 . In 1st Open Archives Forum Workshop, Pisa (Italy), May 2002. [Conference paper]


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English abstract

The presentation gives an overview of implementation approaches of the OAI-PMH protocol and its application potential within communities that are involved in projects where metadata exchange and document handling are essential. The experience gained within the e-prints community is presented, particularly the implementation in the CERN Document Server Software (CDSware), featuring as it does both the service and the data provider aspects foreseen in the protocol. In general, the OAI-PMH protocol offers a framework for metadata exchange between repositories in a distributed, structurally and syntactically heterogeneous environment, and allows the repositories to practise metadata exchange in a uniform way, taking advantage of the widely deployed web infrastructure that makes it applicable at a significantly lower cost. Services provided within the OAI framework can be characterized as information products created either by a suitable assembly or correlation of metadata gathered from various data providers or by other eventual value-added activities. The core service of the CERN Document Server (CDS) within the OAI framework is the search engine for documents in particle physics and related disciplines using value-added metadata. Today the CERN repository contains more than 550000 metadata records containing mainly original CERN records that may be of interest to potential service providers as a source of scientific and engineering documents in the field of particle physics and related research at CERN. There are also records harvested from other repositories, enriched, maintained and updated periodically by the library staff. In the centralized model that we use today every involved institute submits its contribution of metadata records to the master repository and then harvests the entire contents back. We discuss possible potential of the protocol for an application in decentralized or distributed systems with different topologies based on hierarchical and reciprocal harvesting. We conclude by discussing protocol features that require customization on the application level rather than on the level of the protocol itself. In order to practise the metadata exchange some policy concerning optional issues has to be agreed within the community. Several issues that we consider essential for broader interoperability within the e-prints community (and most likely also within other communities) are pointed out, such as (i) the http error-prone data flow control, (ii) dealing with the semantic heterogeneity of OAI sets, (iii) the relation of OAI identifiers to the value-added records, and (iv) information loss caused by an exclusive support of the default metadata format.

Item type: Conference paper
Keywords: Open Archive Initiative, OAI, CERN, CDSware
Subjects: L. Information technology and library technology
Depositing user: Andrea Marchitelli
Date deposited: 11 Apr 2005
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 11:58


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