**Apologies for cross-posting.**
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - OAIster Reaches 10 Million Records.
We live in an information-driven world-- one in which access to good
information defines success. OAIster's growth to 10 million records takes us
one step closer to that goal.
Developed at the University of Michigan's Library, OAIster is a collection of
digital scholarly resources. OAIster is also a service that continually
gathers these digital resources to remain complete and fresh. As global digital
repositories grow, so do OAIster's holdings.
Popular search engines don't have the holdings OAIster does. They crawl web
pages and index the words on those pages. It's an outstanding technique for
fast, broad information from public websites. But scholarly information, the
kind researchers use to enrich their work, is generally hidden from these
OAIster retrieves these otherwise elusive resources by tapping directly into
the collections of a variety of institutions using harvesting technology based
on the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. These
can be images, academic papers, movies and audio files, technical reports,
books, as well as preprints (unpublished works that have not yet been peer
reviewed). By aggregating these resources, OAIster makes it possible to search
across all of them and return the results of a thorough investigation of
complete, up-to-date resources.
Ann Devenish, Publication Services Project Manager at Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institute, notes that "Harvesting by OAIster is a primary 'selling point' when
we talk to scientists and researchers about the visibility, accessibility, and
impact of their contributions in an institutional repository. From their own
experiences they know that a search using one of the popular search engines can
bring back thousands (if not, millions) of results which will require careful
and time-consuming screening, with no guarantee that they will ever get to the
content they seek. A search of OAIster, across hundreds of open and scholarly
archives and millions of records, brings back results with the key metadata
elements that allow for quick identification of, and easy navigation to, the
content they seek."
OAIster is good news for the digital archives that contribute material to
open-access repositories. "[OAIster has demonstrated that]...OAI
interoperability can scale. This is good news for the technology, since the
proliferation is bound to continue and even accelerate," says Peter Suber,
author of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter. As open-access repositories
proliferate, they will be supported by a single, well-managed, comprehensive,
and useful tool.
Scholars will find that searching in OAIster can provide better results than
searching in web search engines. Roy Tennant, User Services Architect at the
California Digital Library, offers an example: "In OAIster I searched 'roma'
and 'world war,' then sorted by weighted relevance. The first hit nailed my
topic-- the persecution of the Roma in World War II. Trying 'roma world war' in
Google fails miserably because Google apparently searches 'Rome' as well as
'Roma.' The ranking then makes anything about the Roma people drop
significantly, and there is nothing in the first few screens of results that
includes the word in the title, unlike the OAIster hit."
OAIster currently harvests 730 repositories from 49 countries on 6 continents.
In three years, it has more than quadrupled in size and increased from 6.2
million to 10 million in the past year. OAIster is a project of the University
of Michigan Digital Library Production Service.
For more information about University of Michigan's OAIster Project, visit
http://www.oaister.org/, or contact Kat Hagedorn at [log in to unmask]
OAIster/Metadata Harvesting Librarian
DLXS Bibliographic Class Coordinator
Digital Library Production Service
University of Michigan
email: [log in to unmask]