“naturally more expressive digital object focus”

October 13th, 2006 by Ross Scaife

This Object Reuse and Exchange initiative looks like a project to keep an eye on:

The Open Archives Initiative (OAI), with the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, announces a new effort as part of its mission to develop and promote interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) will develop specifications that allow distributed repositories to exchange information about their constituent digital objects. These specifications will include approaches for representing digital objects and repository services that facilitate access and ingest of these representations. The specifications will enable a new generation of cross-repository services that leverage the intrinsic value of digital objects beyond the borders of hosting repositories.

The goals of ORE are inspired by advances in scholarly communication and the growth of scholarly material that is available in scholarly repositories including institutional repositories, discipline-oriented repositories, dataset warehouses, and online journal repositories. This growth is significant by itself. However, its real importance lies in the potential for these distributed repositories and their contained objects to act as the foundation of a new digitally-based scholarly communication framework. Such a framework would permit fluid reuse, refactoring, and aggregation of scholarly digital objects and their constituent parts – including text, images, data, and software. This framework would include new forms of citation, allow the creation of virtual collections of objects regardless of their location, and facilitate new workflows that add value to scholarly objects by distributed registration, certification, peer review, and preservation services. Although scholarly communication is the motivating application, we imagine that the specifications developed by ORE may extend to other domains.

ORE is funded by Mellon for two years beginning October 2006. It is coordinated by Carl Lagoze of Cornell University Information Science and Herbert Van de Sompel of the Los Alamos Research Library….

OAI-ORE will co-exist within the Open Archives Initiative with the Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), the widely deployed standard for exchange of metadata. We expect that the naturally more expressive digital object focus of OAI-ORE will complement the narrower metadata focus of OAI-PMH….

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