415 Library, MC-522
1408 W. Gregory
Urbana, IL 61801
Email: digicc [at] library.illinois.edu
The Open Archives Initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. OAI has its roots in the open access and institutional repository movements. Participants in the Open Archives Initiative are many and diverse. Each data provider has its own needs and methods for describing its resources; therefore, metadata from one data provider may look very different from metadata from any other data provider even when in the same metadata format. This diversity, however, makes it difficult for OAI service providers to aggregate metadata from multiple data providers together in a meaningful way. The more consistent the metadata harvested by a service provider is, the more robust services that a provider can build upon it.
The Digital Library Federation, of which UIUC is a member, has developed best practices for shareable metadata at the following URL: http://webservices.itcs.umich.edu/mediawiki/oaibp/index.php/ShareableMetadataPublic