The Open Archives Initiative Protocol

As a cornerstone of Open Archives program, the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content.


The Definition

Usually referred to as simply, the OAI protocolOpen Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), currently in version 2.0, defines a mechanism for data providers to expose their metadata. It collects the metadata descriptions of the records in an archive so that services can be built using metadata from many archives. Dublin Core metadata record, which is used with OAI-PMH protocol, can describe physical resources such as books, digital materials such as video, sound, image, or text files, and composite media like web pages. In simple terms, the protocol allows people to harvest metadata from digital libraries, repositories or reading platforms.

The Meaning

Over time, Open Archives program has expanded to promote broad access to digital resources for eScholarship, eLearning, and eScience. Accordingly, the implementation of OAI protocol ensures the increasing number of users, and a more wide accessibility with increased benefits towards scholars, researchers, students, libraries, universities and other academic institutions.
With the OAI-PMH protocol and these means of exposing structured metadata, InTech as a Data Provider allows Service Providers such as citation indexes, scientific search engines, scholarly databases, and scientific literature collections to harvest the metadata from our repository and thus make our publications available to a broader academic public.
Some of the databases, repositories and search engines that provide services based on metadata that is harvested using the OAI metadata harvesting protocol are:

  • BASE – Bielefeld Academic Search Engine
  • The Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies
  • CiteSeerX
  • Citebase Search
  • Public Knowledge Project
  • Scientific Commons
  • Scirus

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