Last night, Herbert Van de Sompel announced the availability of the draft specifications and user guide for Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE). This effort, under the auspices of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI), seeks to define a standard for the description and exchange of aggregations of web resources.
Here is the press release describing the event:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Open Archives Initiative Announces Public Meeting on March 3, 2008 to Release Object Reuse and Exchange Specifications
Ithaca, NY and Los Alamos, NM, October 31, 2007 – On March 3, 2008 the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) will hold a public meeting at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD to introduce the Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) specifications. The ORE specifications are developed in response to a significant challenge that has emerged in eScholarship. In contrast to the paper publications of traditional scholarship, or even their digital counterparts, the artifacts of eScholarship are complex aggregations. These aggregations consist of multiple resources with varying media types, semantics types, network locations, and intra- and inter-relationships. The future scholarly communication, research, and higher education infrastructure requires standardized approaches to identify, describe, and exchange these new outputs of scholarship.
Two previous posts on dltj.org have described the OAI Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) project and the theory behind what has become known as the ‘Web Architecture’. These two areas meet up now in this post which describes the issues surrounding the raw Web Architecture as applied to a web of scholarly communication and a basic outline of what the ORE project hopes to accomplish.
Problems With the Web Architecture
As you may have noticed, the web has evolved a set of common principles that are a mix of ratified standards and ad hoc practices. The notion of a Web Architecture was codified in a W3C technical report called “Architecture of the World Wide Web” http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-webarch-20041215/ or simply ‘Web Architecture.’ Those projects and protocols that align with the ‘Web Architecture’ are more likely to be picked up and used than those that do not. As a result, the OAI Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) project seeks to provide an infrastructure for web-based information systems that exploit and enhance the Web Architecture, and therefore overlay cleanly on the existing web.