STARGATE : Static Repository Gateway and Toolkit. Final Project Report

Robertson, R. John (2006) STARGATE : Static Repository Gateway and Toolkit. Final Project Report. JISC, London.

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STARGATE (Static Repository Gateway and Toolkit) was funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and is intended to demonstrate the ease of use of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) Static Repository technology, and the potential benefits offered to publishers in making their metadata available in this way This technology offers a simpler method of participating in many information discovery services than creating fully-fledged OAI-compliant repositories. It does this by allowing the infrastructure and technical support required to participate in OAI-based services to be shifted from the data provider (the journal) to a third party and allows a single third party gateway provider to provide intermediation for many data providers (journals). Specifically, STARGATE has created a series of Static Repositories of publisher metadata provided by a selection of Library and Information Science journals. It has demonstrated the interoperability of these repositories by exposing their metadata via a Static Repository Gateway for harvesting and cross-searching by external service providers. The project has conducted a critical evaluation of the Static Repository approach in conjunction with the participating publishers and service providers. The technology works. The project has demonstrated that Static Repositories are easy to create and that the differences between fully-fledged and static OAI Repositories have no impact on the participation of small journal publishers in OAI-based services. The problems for a service that arise out of the use of Static Repositories are parallel to those created by any other repository dealing with journal articles. Problems arise from the diversity of metadata element sets provided by a given journal and the lack of specific metadata elements for the articles' volume and issue details. Another issue for the use of publishers' metadata arise as the collection policies of some existing services only allow Open Access materials to be included in them. The project recommends that the use of Static Repositories continues to be explored - in particular as a flexible way to expose existing sets of structured information to OAI services and to create the opportunity to enhance the metadata as part of the process. The project further recommends that the publishing community consider the creation or adoption of an application profile for journal articles to support information discovery that can search by volume and issue. Significant further use of the Static Repository technology by small journal publishers will require the future creation and maintenance of a community-specific Static Repository Gateway. Further use will also require advocacy within the publishing community but might initially be most effectively kick-started through the creation of OAI repositories based on metadata held by the commercial services which publish or mediate access to electronic copies of journals on behalf of small publishers.