Emerald Insight | Library Review | Enhanced OAI-PMH services for metadata sharing in heterogeneous environments
Use the link to access pay-per-view options for the article published in Library Review available from Emerald. The abstract reads as follows: "Purpose - Managers of repositories / digital collections face the challenge of exposing their data via OAI-PMH to multiple aggregators and conforming to their possibly differing requirements, for example on output metadata schemas and selective harvesting. The article proposes a toolset that enables individual digital collections owners to satisfy such requirements even in cases that their IT and software infrastructure is limited and does not support them inherently. Design/methodology/approach - – We have developed a software server that is able to wrap existing systems or even metadata records in plain files as OAI-PMH sources. We analysed the functionality of OAI-PMH data providers in a flow of discrete steps and used a software library to modularize the software for these steps so that the whole process can be easily customized to the needs of each pair of OAI-PMH data provider and service provider. The developed server includes a mechanism for the implementation of schema mappings using an XML specification that can be defined by non-IT personnel, for example metadata experts. The server has been applied in various real-life use cases, in particular for providing content to Europeana. Findings - It has been concluded through real-life use cases that it is indeed possible and feasible in practice to expose metadata records of digital collections via OAI-PMH even when the data sources do not support the required protocols and standards. Even advanced OAI-PMH features like selective harvesting can be supported. Mappings between input and output schemas in many practical cases can be implemented entirely or to a large extent as XML specifications by metadata experts instead of software developers. Practical implications - Exposing data via OAI-PMH to aggregators like Europeana is made feasible / easier for digital collections owners, even when their software infrastructure does not inherently support the required protocols and standards. Originality/value - The approach is original and applicable in practice to diverse technology environments, effectively addressing the indisputable fact of the heterogeneity of software and systems used to implement digital repositories and collections worldwide."