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4th - Bath  |   Programme-Presentations-Notes  |   Abstracts  |   Participants

Abstracts of the Presentations

Open Archives Forum - Technical Validation

Birgit Matthaei (Humboldt University Berlin)

In context of the Technical Validation the Open Archives Forum developed many different resources:

A long-term Technical Validation Questionnaire that was started in spring 2002 will close after the Bath workshop. The objective is to provide an overview on status, experiences and future plans regarding the European OAI implementations. The focus of interest is on fundamental questions like: Is there a large common ground and therefore good conditions for cooperating and learning from each other, or are requirements so individual that necessarily many further isolated solutions will be developed? Do the existing instruments for implementation fulfill all requirements or should tools and protocols correspond more than before to the needs of different communities?

Furthermore the project provides information from those projects that have already dealt with the integration of existing technologies. An information space was created in form of a searchable web-based database on projects, software, implementations, and services, that allows interested parties to search for potential project partners, for metadata standards and for information about interoperability issues and to share project developments.

Apart from this offer for self-registration to encourage exchange, systematic inventories of repositories, services and tools were gathered, own experiences with the metadata harvesting pilot were reported or with the implementation of OAI Services focusing on different objectives as well as experiences made with available software tools.

The presentation offers a preview on some final results of the questionnaire about used software, implementation costs, offered spectrum and interoperability, experiences and expectations in different communities and in different countries. Compared with loops to aspects of the other resources a short summarising of the OA-Forum project Technical Validation workpackage will be presented to provide an overview of European activities on OAI in relation to worldwide activities.

Presentation   more  ppt-slides, 1248 KB

Introduction to the new OA-Forum online OAI-PMH Tutorial

Leona Carpenter

In the Open Archives Forum mid-project review, the introductory OAI tutorials provided in conjuction with the Forum's workshops were identified as an important output of the project, and the project was advised that 'the tutorial should become a strategic product of the project' and that the project should package the tutorial as a clear product' that would remain available beyond the term of EU project funding.

The only way to achieve this was to create an online tutorial. The tutorial would cover a range of topics at an introductory level, focussing on technical aspects of the implementation of the OAI-PMH, and based largely on the material presented at the Lisbon and Berlin pre-workshop tutorials.

The challenges addressed in developing an online version of the tutorial included turning presentation-style outlines into a continuous narrative, providing some level of interactivity to compensate for lack of access to tutors for questions and discussion, and ensuring that the tutorial can easily be maintained in order to extend the period of its usefulness and allow for the possibility of providing versions in languages other than English.

The tutorial is available now, and will be upgraded during September in response to review and other feedback.

Presentation   more  ppt-slides, 78 KB

Open Archives Initiatives Protocol for Metadata Harvesting - Practices for the cultural heritage sector

Muriel Foulonneau (Relais Culture Europe)

The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for metadata harvesting underlies an organisational model with data providers, service providers and aggregators. In the context of cultural heritage actors, those aggregators can represent an opportunity to match the missing competences in small institutions which need to expose their metadata.

Indeed, the protocol can organise value-added services based on the material created in memory organisations for ages to describe their asset. It can be used to make their resources accessible on the Web, to let other institutions set up cross-institutions and possibly cross-domain services, to allow their data to be re-used in various contexts. It is also becoming a standard way to exchange XML formatted data and to synchronise repositories for downstream services such as name authorities.

Still, the protocol does not remove the interoperability barriers and issues on metadata quality, on heterogeneous original descriptions, organisational issues such as data update, integrated access to aggregated and heterogeneous resources must be dealt with, within a proper partnership between data providers and the service provider.

The conditions of use, guarantees of quality on metadata, content, service and data provider's Websites shall be included in an agreement, whether a charter or a proper contract to ensure responsibilities of each partner, quality of its performances and legal issues related to cultural heritage content.

The development of OAI-based services in the cultural heritage sector seems to be led by several key services funded to set up a proper OAI framework. It appears easier for the service provider to directly set up an aggregator for those institutions for smaller institutions, with poor competences in ICTs.

Still, many areas and subjects are still to be tested, such as the use of OAI with large schemas, services based on data re-use, mixing information retrieval through both full text and metadata… especially, the management of aggregated resources is a challenge to service provider since they do not control the evolution of their collections.

The Community report on practices the Open Archives Initiative of Metadata Harvesting by cultural heritage actors is available on the OAForum Website http://www.oaforum.org/documents/. It studies the conditions for memory organisations to use the protocol, what they can do with it, the issues to take into account and the solutions already implemented or being considered.

Presentation   more  ppt-slides, 344 KB

The Intellectual Property Rights Issues Facing Self-archiving: Key Findings of the RoMEO Project

Elizabeth Gadd, Charles Oppenheim, and Steve Probets (Loughborough University)


Inspired by the Open Archives Initiative, the United Kingdom (UK) Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) established the FAIR (Focus on Access to Institutional Repositories) programme in 2002. One of the programme's objectives was to "explore the challenges associated with disclosure and sharing [of content], including IPR and the role of institutional repositories". To this end, the JISC funded a one-year project called RoMEO (Rights Metadata for Open archiving). RoMEO, which took place between 2002–2003, specifically looked at the self-archiving of academic research papers, and the subsequent disclosure and harvesting of metadata about those papers using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) by OAI Data and Service Providers [Open Archives Initiative, 2002a].

The RoMEO project aimed to develop simple rights metadata by which academics could protect their research papers in an open-access environment and also to develop a means by which OAI Data and Service Providers could protect their open-access metadata. RoMEO proposed to show how such rights solutions might be disclosed and harvested under OAI-PMH.

The RoMEO project was divided into two phases: a data-gathering phase and a development phase. The project team produced a series of six studies based on their work [Gadd, Oppenheim, and Probets, 2003a; 2003b, 2003c, 2003d, 2003e, 2003f].

More at http://www.dlib.org/dlib/september03/gadd/09gadd.html

D-Lib Magazine, September 2003, Volume 9 Number 9 - This article aims to provide an overview of all the activities of the RoMEO project and to report on its key findings and recommendations.

Presentation   more  ppt-slides, 234 KB

Theses Alive!: an ETD management system for the UK

Theo Andrew and Richard Jones (Edinburgh University Library)

The JISC-funded Theses Alive! project based at the University of Edinburgh, with pilot partners at Cambridge, Cranfield, Leeds, Manchester Metropolitan, started in November 2002. With the general aim of promoting ETDs, the Theses Alive! project is developing an OAI-compliant thesis archive and submission system for use in all participating universities. With this infrastructure in place our target is to enable e-theses to be published on the web to the extent that a minimum of 500 e-theses exist within the UK segment of the NDLTD after 2 years.

The project will also look at developing and implementing a metadata export system (crosswalk) capable of delivering our metadata to relevant metadata repositories for UK thesis information (e.g. the British Library, the Index to Theses service). In addition, we would like to help other universities by producing a 'checklist approach' to use as they develop e-theses capability.

The project started by evaluating the main open source software packages developed for the management of digital objects, specifically regarding e-theses management. This comparative evaluation is freely available from our website [http://www.thesesalive.ac.uk/archive/ComparativeEvaluation.pdf].

The Theses Alive! project is scheduled to 'go live' in December 2003 with the launch of our e-theses repository within the 'Edinburgh Research Archives'. In Spring 2004 we aim to test a submission system for the examination of e-theses within the University of Edinburgh. To do so we are not only looking at the physical act of building and populating an e-theses archive, but in doing so we will have to address the requirements of the university administrators, examiners, students and academics. This requires a new role for the Library/Information Services in that the service we are providing is not just simply a replacement for traditional interlibrary loan.

Presentation   more  ppt-slides, 3804 KB

Aquitaine Patrimoines & Cyberdocs

Rasik Pandey (AJLSM)

Aquitaine Patrimoines is a cultural heritage portal or service provider in OAI terms.

The portal attempts to pull together diverse cultural information sourced from libraries, media libraries, archives, museums, cultural heritage education centers, centers of documentation, etc. The data, harvested by means of the OAI protocol, describes various heritage resources concerning the Aquitaine region of France. The contributors and actors from international to local levels are interested in validating methodologies and technologies for sharing resources in a distributed environment as well as investigating the services which can be derived from these sources. The experiences encountered during the development of this portal brought to light the issues surrounding the creation an OAI service provider for cultural heritage purposes which ranged from technical to content concerns.


Cyberdocs is a free/open-source platform for publishing structured electronic documents. Cyberdocs was realized as a result of experiences from the Cyberthèes project, an information processing platform for scholarly publishing initiated by Presses de l'Université de Montréal in 1997. The platform consists of modules serving three purposes: conversion, management, and publication (including OAI Repository and Harvester implementations). The use of standard technologies and open-source software to create this platform provides various technical and organizational benefits which can be of value to a larger community. The future of the Cyberdocs project will focus on incorporation more resources to support various types electronic structured documents, greater support for multilingualism in interfaces, and encouraging the involvement of more interested parties; therefore, allowing the platform to grow and become more useful to a larger public.


Both of these projects incorporate SDX, an open-source system for searching and publishing XML documents, which is built upon the Apache Cocoon framework and incorporates the Apache Lucene search-engine.

http://sdx.culture.fr/sdx/ (documentation in English currently NOT available)

Presentation   more  ppt-slides, 114 KB

4th - Bath  |   Programme-Presentations-Notes  |   Abstracts  |   Participants


The Open Archives Forum (OAF) is an IST– Accompanying Measures project (IST- 2001-320015).
The partners of OAF are: University of Bath-UKOLN (United Kingdom), Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie della Informazione-CNR (Italy) and Computer- and Media Service (Computing Center) of Humboldt University (Germany).

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