The Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange has released an alpha version of the ORE Specification and User Guide. Comments can be made on the OAI-ORE discussion group or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's an excerpt from the introduction:
The World Wide Web is built upon the notion of atomic units of information called resources that are identified with URIs such as http://www.openarchives.org/ore/0.1/toc (this page). In addition to these atomic units, aggregations of resources are often units of information in their own right. . . .
A mechanism to associate identities with these aggregations and describe them in a machine-readable manner would make them visible to Web agents, both humans and machines. This could be useful for a number of applications and contexts. For example:
- Crawler-based search engines could use such descriptions to index information and provide search results sets at the granularity of the aggregations rather than their individual parts.
- Browsers could leverage them to provide users with navigation aids for the aggregated resources, in the same manner that machine-readable site maps provide navigation clues for crawlers.
- Other automated agents such as preservation systems could use these descriptions as guides to understand a "whole document" and determine the best preservation strategy.
- Systems that mine and analyze networked information for citation analysis/bibliometrics could achieve better accuracy with knowledge of aggregation structure contained in these descriptions.
- These machine-readable descriptions could provide the foundation for advanced scholarly communication systems that allow the flexible reuse and refactoring of rich scholarly artifacts and their components [Value Chains].