Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange

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“Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) defines standards for the description and exchange of aggregations of Web resources. The OAI-ORE specifications are based around the ORE Model which introduces the Resource Map (ReM) that makes it possible to associate an identity with aggregations of resources and make assertions about their structure and semantics. Version 1.0 of the specification was released on 17 October 2008” (Wikipedia, retrieved 12:15, 14 June 2010 (UTC))

“Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) defines standards for the description and exchange of aggregations of Web 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.” (Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange, retrieved June 14 2010).

Why use OAI-ORE ?

The ORE 1.0 User Guide and Primer, retrieved 12:15, 14 June 2010 (UTC), includes the following rationale:

In the physical world we create, use, and refer to aggregations of things all the time. We collect pictures in a photo album, read journals that are collections of articles, and burn CDs of our favorite songs. In this physical world these aggregations are frequently tangible - we can hold the photo album, journal, and CD. But, we also aggregate abstract entities - for example classification schemes aggregate abstract subjects into broader abstract groups.

This practice of aggregating extends to the Web. We accumulate URL's in bookmarks or favorites lists in our browser, collect photos into sets in popular sites like Flickr, browse over multiple page documents that are linked together through "prev" and "next" tags, and talk about Web sites as if they had some real existence beyond the set of pages of which they consist. Despite our frequent use of these aggregations, their existence on the Web is quite ephemeral. One reason for this is that there is no standard way to identify an aggregation. We often use the URI of one page of an aggregation to identify the whole aggregation. For example, we use the URI of the first page of a multi-page Web document to identify the whole document, or we use the URI of the HTML page that provides access to a Flickr set to identify the entire set of images. But those URIs really just identify those specific pages, and not the union of pages that makes up the whole document, or the union of all images in a Flickr set, respectively. In essence, the problem is that there is no standard way to describe the constituents or boundary of an aggregation, and this is what OAI-ORE aims to provide.

Data model

Resource maps can be created in various formats:

In education and research

If we understood right, packs, i.e. collections of items, both inside and outside myExperiment, are implemented with ORE in myExperiment.





  • Lagoze, Carl; Van de Sompel, Herbert; Nelson, Michael L.; Warner, Simeon; Sanderson, Robert; Johnston, Pete (2008). "Object Re-Use & Exchange: A Resource-Centric Approach", arXiv:0804.2273v1 [cs.DL]
  • Lagoze, C., Van de Sompel, H., Johnston, P., Nelson, M., Sanderson, R. and Warner, S. (2007). ORE Specification and User Guide - Table of Contents, Open Archives Initiative.

Credits and copyright

Parts of this article have been copied as is from the ORE User Guide - Primer whose contents are also available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.