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[edit] OAI Static Repositories

The OAI Static Repository protocol provides a low-barrier solution for data providers to make their metadata collections available to the world. The data provider writes an XML file in a specific metadata format, which is made OAI-PMH harvestable through an OAI Static Repository Gateway, operated by a third party. The data provider merely needs to contact the OAI Static Repository Gateway owner and provide direction to the HTTP-accessible XML file.

[edit] Building an OAI Static Repository

Patrick Hochstenbach and Herbert van de Sompel have written a tutorial on how to develop an OAI Static Repository, using LANL Gateway software.

An example of an OAI Static Repository is here.

The Data Provider needs to follow these steps:

  • Create a valid XML metadata file (updated as necessary), using a particular metadata format and UTF-8 character encoding
  • Make it available via HTTP
  • Create an XML Schema for any custom metadata formats
  • Register at a Static Repository Gateway

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has a Static Repository Gateway which can be used by permission. Email Tom Habing to request being added to the Gateway. Los Alamos also has a Gateway, which currently contains many test repositories. They provide the opportunity to add your Static Repository directly, without human intervention.

The source code for both the Los Alamos and the UIUC static repository gateways are open source.

[edit] Tips

Static repositories can support multiple metadata formats. As with all OAI repositories, oai_dc is required, but other formats are encouraged. Make the required additions to the <ListMetadataFormats> section of the static XML file, and add another <ListRecords metadataPrefix="my_format"> section containing all of the records in the alternate metadata format.

In general, the size of a single static repository XML file should not exceed 2.5 million bytes. This is the same recommend maximum size for a single resumptionToken worth of data when using the standard OAI-PMH. This is the maximum size of XML file that can be conveniently handled by some XML parsers. However, certain Gateways may have different limits, either higher or lower, so check with the Gateway to be certain of their limit.

OAI Static Repositories do not allow sets. Current best practice is to provide multiple static XML files, and therefore multiple Static Repositories, for distinct collections a data provider may have.

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