Because good research needs good data

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Date added 20 November 2006
Last edited 17 November 2009

Full Title

Open Archive Initiative - Protocol for Metadata Harvesting


The aim of the Open Archives Initiative is to build an interoperability framework for digital archives/institutional repositories in order to encourage scholarly communication.

Within the OAI system each archive is assigned a unique archive identifier, records within the archive are assigned persistent unique record identifiers and so the combination ensures relevant document(s)are identified.

The protocol uses XML to record metadata that distinguishes between data providers who represent the creators, and service providers who meet the requirements of end users. Essentially, the protocol means that OAI databases can interact with each other and other software agents. The metadata formed can be based on the Dublin Core metadata set or alternative forms, for example, MARC library records.

OAI-PMH is HTTP based with XML responses and uses the unqualified Dublin Core set, it is Web-friendly, and therefore firewall friendly.

Standards Developing Organisation



No information available.

Lifecycle Action

Access, Use and Reuse

Standard Frameworks

Digital Archive Standards
Digital Repository Standards

Standard Type

Interoperability Protocols

Current Version

Further Information

Alternative Current Versions


Previous Versions

Referenced Standards

Dublin Core
IETC RFC 2616, Hypertext Transfer Protocol - HTTP/1.1
IETF RFC 1807, A Format for Bibliographic Records
ISO 8601: Dates and Times