OAIster is a union catalog of metadata linking to digital resources. The metadata is available through OCLC FirstSearch and OCLC Worldcat (searchable as a discrete database or with all Worldcat metadata). Metadata submission information is also available for data providers. OAIster provides access to digital resources by "harvesting" their descriptive metadata (records) using OAI-PMH (the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). The Open Archives Initiative is not the same thing as the Open Access movement.
From 2002 through 2009, OAIster was hosted at the U-M Library. The pilot service was originally funded through an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant. The original proposal was to establish a broad, generic retrieval service for information about publicly available digital library resources provided by the research library community. The service was built through a collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Their metadata harvester was used for the first two years of the project, after which we built our own. The open-source software that we used for the access system has been made available to all. Our final project report is available through the U-M institutional repository, Deep Blue.
OAIster staff at U-M publicized their efforts widely. Below are a few of the more important publications we'd like to highlight:
- Hagedorn, K., Chapman, S. and Newman, D. "Enhancing Search and Browse Using Automated Clustering of Subject Metadata." D-Lib Magazine (July/August 2007)
- Hagedorn, K., Willett, P. and Karels, L. "OAIster Reaches 10 Million Records." University of Michigan Libraries, Digital Library Production Service (January 24, 2007)
- Hagedorn, K. "OAIster: A 'No Dead Ends' OAI Service Provider." Library Hi Tech 21:2 (2003) pp. 170-181 [subscription required]
For questions about OAIster at U-M Library or to inquire about additional documentation, please contact Kat Hagedorn at email@example.com.