Repository standards

Tore Hoel tweeted:

The most successful repository initiatives do not engage with LT standards EDRENE report concludes #icoper

pointing me to what looks like a very interesting report which also concludes

Important needs expressed by content users include:

  • Minimize number of repositories necessary to access

Of these, the first bullet point clearly relates to interoperability of repositories, and indicates the importance of focusing on repository federations, including metadata harvesting and providing central indexes for searching for educational content.

Coincidentally I had just finished an email replying to someone who asked about repository aggregation in the context of Open Educational Resources because she is “Trying to get colleagues here to engage with the culture of sharing learning content. Some of them are aware that there are open educational learning resources out there but they don’t want to visit and search each repository.” My reply covered Google advanced search (with the option to limit by licence type), Google custom search engines for OERs, OER Commons, OpenCourseWare Consortium search, the Creative Commons Search, the Steeple podcast aggregator and the similar-in-concept Ensemble Feed finder.

I concluded: you’ll probably notice that everything I’ve written above relies on resources being on the open web (as full text and summarized in RSS feeds) but not necessarily in repositories. If there are any OER discovery services built on repository standards like OAI-PMH or SRU or the like then they are pretty modest in their success. Of course using a repository is a fine way of putting resources onto the web, but you might want to think about things like search engine optimization, making sure Google has access to the full text resource, making sure you have a site map, encouraging (lots of) links from other domains to resources (rather than metadata records), making sure you have a rich choice of RSS feeds and so on.

I have some scribbled notes on 4 or 5 things that people think are good about repositories by which may also be harmful, a focus on interoperability between repositories and repository-related services (when it is at the expense of being part of the open web) is on there.

One thought on “Repository standards

Comments are closed.