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[edit] General Areas of Competency Needed to be an OAI Data Provider

While the OAI protocol has been termed 'low barrier', there are some general areas of competency which are essential to implementing a 'good' OAI data provider.

In general, these areas of competency are:

  • Ability to create quality, 'shareable' metadata

If your metadata is not understandable to OAI service providers, your metadata is unlikely to be useful within a larger aggregation. Organizations wishing to implement OAI data provider services should have a good understanding of metadata standards and should make use of them. See the Shareable Metadata Section for guidance on creating 'shareable' or 'interoperable' metadata. The NSDL Metadata Primer is also a helpful resource.

  • Working understanding of XML, XML namespaces, and XML schemas

An understanding of XML, XML namespaces, and XML schemas is fundamental to a successful OAI data provider. The NSDL XML FAQ from the NSDL Metadata Primer is a helpful resource for beginners.

This seems obvious, but often - particularly with the use of turnkey systems - would-be data providers do not really understand how the OAI Protocol works. There are a number of excellent guides to the protocol, but the protocol specifications and the implementation guidelines are generally readable.

The OAI Forum Tutorial (which also includes a very good XML schema section) and the Technical Specifications in the NSDL Metadata Primer are excellent resources for beginners.

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