The Open Archives Metadata Set

NOTICE: Draft Version, Not for Distribution or Copying

The Open Archives Initiative provides a convention for interoperability among archives.  Archives provide access to records.  The word document is purposely avoided and the notion of a record is purposely imprecise. Some archives may just provide access to metadata, others may also provide access to metadata and full content in some form, others may provide other services associated with the metadata and content such as access to the full content in various manifestations (formats) or structural decompositions (e.g., individual pages, chapters, and the like).

This document describes the elements of the Open Archives Metadata Set.  The semantics of this set has purposely been kept simple in the interest of easy creation and widest applicability.  The expectation is that individual archives will maintain metadata with more expressive semantics and the Open Archives Dienst Subset provides the mechanism for retrieval of this more expressive metadata.

Notes on the remainder of this document:

Title [M]

A name given to the record.

Date of Accession  [M]

The date when the record was entered into the archive.  It is assumed that in most cases this date will be created automatically by the archive rather than entered by a human user.  

Display ID [O] [R]

A URL (Universal Resource Location) identifying a human readable page that provides access to the possible manifestations (e.g., PostScript, TeX) of the record.  For archives that have only one manifestation per record, this URL may point to that single manifestation.

Full ID [M]

The full identifier for a record in an archive.  This full identifier is the concatenation of the following components:

  1. A unique archive identifier consisting only of alphanumerical characters [a-z, A-Z, 0-9]. Registration of this identifier is done as part of the Open Archives registration process for data providers, described in Step 6 of the Santa Fe Convention.

  2. Any printable non-alphanumeric character that will act as a delimiter (e.g., / : #)

  3. An identifier for the record that is unique within the archive.

The combination of these components produces a globally unique full identifier for each record in the nature of a URN.  An example of a Full ID is archive11/xxx4.

Author [M] [R]

The author or corporate author who is responsible for creating the intellectual content of the record.  Each author may also have an optional institution affiliation. 

Abstract [O]

Text summarizing the contents of the record.

Subject [O] [R]

The topic of the content of the resources expressed as keywords, key phrases or classification codes.

Comment [O] [R]

A free-text value that contains information outside the scope of other defined elements that adds to the discoverability of the record.

Date for Discovery [O] [R]

A date relevant to the record that may aid the user trying to find the document.  A common example of such a date would be an original publication date of a record that was placed in an archive at a later time (i.e., its date of accession is later than its date of publication).  

DTD for Open Archives Metadata Set

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