|Herbert Van de Sompel
Digital Library Researcher
Los Alamos National Laboratory
|Michael Lloyd Nelson
Old Dominion University
Senior Researcher, Information Science Program
Lecturer in Computer Science, UK National Centre for Text Mining
University of Liverpool
In September 2006, the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) launched the Object Re-Use and Exchange (ORE) effort, aimed at defining an interoperability framework that would allow leveraging the intrinsic value of scholarly digital objects beyond the borders of their hosting repositories, and turn these objects into the core of a Web 2.0 style scholarly communication flow. A major challenge in achieving these goals in a manner that fully leverages the Web Architecture relates to the compound nature of scholarly digital objects. Indeed, these objects typically are aggregations of multiple related resources that together form a logical intellectual whole. The Web architecture, however, only recognizes atomic resources, and does not natively support the aggregation concept.
As a result, a major focus of the international OAI-ORE Technical and Liaison Committees has been on defining a model for compound digital objects that is fully aligned with the Web architecture. The proposed ORE Model leverages concepts from the Semantic Web activities such as named graphs and linked data. It introduces the notion of a Resource Map that describes a finite set of resources (the resources in the aggregation), their types, intra-relationships, and relationships with resources external to this finite set.
Another focus has been on devising a serialization format for the ORE Model that is fully machine-readable and has a realistic chance of adoption. An Atom-compliant serialization – the Resource Map Profile of Atom – has been specified. In this serialization, an aggregation (e.g. a compound digital object) is represented as an Atom feed document. The ORE Model can also be serialized in RDF/XML, and a GRDDL-based approach to transform Atom feed documents into RDF/XML documents compliant with the ORE Model has been devised. Moreover guidelines have been put forward to support discovery of Resource Maps.
Around the time of this presentation, alpha versions of OAI-ORE specifications covering the aforementioned aspects will be published, and international feedback and experimentation will be encouraged. The insights gained from this feedback process will be taken into account for the publication of version 1 OAI-ORE specifications, which is planned for September 2008. This presentation will provide an overview of the ORE approach and will provide an opportunity to discuss the proposed direction with the presenters.
Open Archives Initiative Object Re-Use & Exchange is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from Microsoft Corporation and the National Science Foundation.