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
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.