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Monday, June 23, 2008
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


The Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse & Exchange (OAI-ORE): The Web Architecture as the Basis for Digital Object Interoperability

Herbert Van de Sompel
Digital Library Research & Prototyping, LANL Research Library

YouTube, Flickr, blogs, mash-ups and other Web 2.0 technologies are indicative of the contemporary web experience. There is a growing interest in appropriating these tools and modalities to support scholarly communication, research, and education. This requires the ability to leverage the intrinsic value of digital objects beyond the borders of the hosting repository. This presents a challenge among others because digital objects used in scholarship and education are typically compound. For example the multi-part “virtual data” objects envisioned by the National Virtual Observatory Project, and the “datuments” described in the chemistry community share the property that their components are distributed over multiple databases and web servers. In order to achieve Web 2.0-like capabilities for such compound objects, the OAI Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) effort proposes an approach that is fully aligned with the Web Architecture. It specifies a resource-centric interoperability framework that recasts the repository-centric notion of digital objects to that of a bounded, URI-identified aggregation of Web resources. In this manner, compound digital objects become more integrated with the Web, and thereby more accessible to standard Web applications and clients. A number of projects are underway that are exploring different ways that OAI-ORE can be used, with a strong emphasis on scholarly communication. Although this represents the initial target community, OAI-ORE can prove useful outside of scholarly communication environments. Indeed, Flickr Sets are nothing but aggregations of Web resources, and the Atom-based descriptions of aggregations (Resource Maps) proposed by OAI-ORE could be used to expose their identity and boundary in a machine-readable way to Web agents and applications.

Host: Eddy Timmermans, CNLS