The Open Archives Initiative – Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) is the foundation on which the IMLS Digital Collections and Content project and the companion Opening History aggregation are built.* Although small increases in the use of OAI-PMH were seen over the course of the project, less than a quarter of IMLS National Leadership grant projects provide item-level metadata using OAI-PMH [1, 2]. In some cases, the projects in the the missing 75% are legitimate – they are not collection with readily available item-level metadata (e.g. narrative exhibits, interactives/games, etc.). But this still leaves many projects/collections out of a broader network of resources. OCLC/RLG found a higher percentage (48%) of member organizations using OAI-PMH, but it is unclear how much of their metadata was shared this way . While recognizing that OAI-PMH has been successful at making millions of descriptions available, it’s worth pausing to wonder if 25-50% adoption is good enough.
In light of the rapid growth of LOD in the last few years, I’ve been wondering how a large-scale aggregation like IMLS DCC might fit into this environment. Here are a few questions to discuss at #LODLAM:
- What are the lessons from OAI-PMH that will be important for LOD-LAM?
- How is the lack of one, common protocol for sharing data a benefit and/or a danger?
- Will Linked Open Data be “low barrier” for some, but untouchable for many?
- Can/should we build LOD on top of existing OAI-PMH installations? (see [4, 5])
- Should we abandon OAI in favor of more web-friendly approaches? (See @edsu Digital Public Library as a Generative Platform)
- What are the lessons from the Museums and the Machine-Processable Web and Europeana for U.S. organizations?
- One of the reasons that OAI-PMH succeeded was through support of funders – what should funding agencies tell projects about implementing LOD?
- Palmer, C., Zavalina, O., Mustafoff, M. (2007) Trends in Metadata Practices: A Longitudinal Study of Collection Federation. pre-print available at: http://imlsdcc.grainger.illinois.edu/docs/JCDL07_final.pdf
- Jett, J.G. (2010). Supplementing OAI-PMH in the IMLS Digital Collections & Content Aggregation. Masters Thesis. Available at: http://goo.gl/SaWPE
- Ayers, L. , Camden, B. P. , German, L. , Johnson, P. , Miller, C. and Smith-Yoshimura, K. (2009) What we’ve learned from the RLG partners metadata creation workflows survey— Retrieved March 2, 2009 fromhttp://www.oclc.org/programs/publications/reports/2009-04.pdf
- Haslhofer, B., & Schandl, B. (2008). The OAI2LOD Server: Exposing OAI-PMH metadata as linked data. International Workshop on Linked Data on the Web (LDOW2008), co-located with WWW. Available at: http://events.linkeddata.org/ldow2008/papers/03-haslhofer-schandl-oai2lod-server.pdf
- Haslhofer, Bernhard and Schandl, Bernhard (2010) Interweaving OAI-PMH Data Sources with the Linked Data Cloud. Int. J. Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies, 1 (5). pp. 17-31. Available at: http://eprints.cs.univie.ac.at/73/1/ijmso2010_haslhofer_schandl.pdf
- C & NW RR, a general view of a classification yard at Proviso Yard, Chicago, Ill. (LOC). Courtesy Library of Congress on Flickr.
- unknown, “Nottingham School at the Interstates edge,” in Teaching & Learning Cleveland , Item #3229, http://csudigitalhumanities.org/exhibits/items/show/3229
* Disclaimer: these opinions are my own and may not reflect official opinions of the project or my colleagues.
This post has been cross-posted on Inherent Vice.