Carl Lagoze of Cornell University and Herbert Van de Sompel of Los Alamos National Laboratory announced the release of the beta form of the ORE specifications yesterday. Here is the full text of their announcement:
Over the past eighteen months the Open Archives Initiative (OAI), in a project called Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE), has gathered international experts from the publishing, web, library, and eScience community to develop standards for the identification and description of aggregations of online information resources. These aggregations, sometimes called compound digital objects, may combine distributed resources with multiple media types including text, images, data, and video. The goal of these standards is to expose the rich content in these aggregations to applications that support authoring, deposit, exchange, visualization, reuse, and preservation. Although a motivating use case for the work is the changing nature of scholarship and scholarly communication, and the need for cyberinfrastructure to support that scholarship, the intent of the effort is to develop standards that generalize across all web-based information including the increasing popular social networks of "web 2.0".
The beta version of the OAI-ORE specifications and implementation documents are released to the public on June 2, 2008. These documents describe a data model to introduce aggregations as resources with URIs on the web. They also detail the machine-readable descriptions of aggregations expressed in the popular Atom syndication format, in RDF/XML, and RDFa. The table of contents page with links to the following other documents is located at http://www.openarchives.org/ore/toc.
A forum for feedback on this beta release is at http://groups.google.com/group/oai-ore. This feedback and further consultation with the OAI-ORE community will be considered in the evolution of this beta release to a production release scheduled for September 2008.
Ben O'Steen has some comments about the differences between the last alpha and this beta. I haven't had a chance to go through this version yet, but hope to next week.