Workflow Automation: The Key to Increasing Digital Capacity at Your Cultural Institution

Workflow Automation: The Key to Increasing Digital Capacity at Your Cultural Institution

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OAI server and client

Expose your data to the outside world

Libraries only rarely operate purely on their own: they are usually connected in a network, they have partners, they participate in solutions (collections, [union] catalogues, …) that are maintained elsewhere. As such, they need to exchange (bibliographic) data on a regular basis. This need exists in all libraries, but is probably most prominent in academic libraries that want to expose scholarly information. The goal is often to expose not only metadata but also full text of e.g. journal articles, conference proceedings, reports, PowerPoint presentations, dissertations, and others.

The ability for libraries to make the full breadth of information easily and readily accessible to their users is a key requirement in today’s learning environments. The Open Archives Initiative addresses this issue by enabling the exposure and harvesting of scholarly communication through the Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Through OAI-PMH support in Vubis Smart and V-smart, libraries can easily expose their databases and e-print archives without the need for third-party software.

OAI has two complementary components: a server (to expose data from V-smart to the outside world) and a client (to harvest data from the outside world and incorporate it in V-smart).

Two complementary components

Server

OAI server uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) to expose V-smart bibliographic records: “OAI-PMH provides an application-independent interoperability framework based on metadata harvesting.” (read more here).

The service works as follows. Records exposed by OAI server are organized into sets. For each set a specific savelist is created in V-smart. The (metadata) records are exported using V-smart export profiles and can be exposed through OAI-PMH as Dublin Core, MARC21 and MarcXchange. Other formats can be generated on the fly by specifying an XSLT transformation in the export profile. OAI clients may harvest the OAI server to build new services based upon your records.

Client

Following the principles described under the server option, it is also possible to harvest data that is maintained elsewhere and store it in your local V-smart application.
Support for harvesting OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) repositories is integrated into V-smart. The client issues OAI-PMH requests to OAI-PMH data providers and uses the metadata as a basis for building/updating local V-smart databases.

The service works as follows: V-smart schedules a harvest task from a repository (a web server that acts as the data provider) that supports the OAI-PMH as a means of exposing metadata. The metadata is harvested, parsed, imported and merged in the V-smart database using specific configurable import profiles. This enables you to import records via a selective harvesting mechanism into V-smart using standard V-smart tools.

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