The transfer of the OAIster database to OCLC's WorldCat is now complete, and OCLC will offer a free OAIster-only database view in 2010 to complement integrated WorldCat Access.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
The University of Michigan and OCLC today announced that they have successfully transitioned the OAIster database to OCLC to ensure continued public access to open-archive collections, and to expand the visibility of these collections to millions of information seekers through OCLC services.
OAIster records are now fully accessible through WorldCat.org, and will be included in WorldCat.org search results along with records from thousands of libraries worldwide that add their holdings to WorldCat. OCLC plans to release a freely accessible, discrete view of the OAIster records in January 2010 through a URL specific to OAIster. OAIster records will also continue to be available on the OCLC FirstSearch service to Base Package subscribers, providing another valuable access point for this rich database and a complement to other FirstSearch databases. OCLC will continue to develop and enhance access to open archive content.
"Adding records for open archive collections is a natural complement to WorldCat and will drive discovery and access of these collections for a broader community of scholars," said Chip Nilges, OCLC Vice President, Business Development. "OCLC is committed to building on the success of OAIster by identifying open archive collections of interest to researchers and libraries, and ensuring that open archive collections will be freely discoverable and accessible to information seekers worldwide."
"Integration of OAIster inside WorldCat.org is the result of many years of looking for a better home for OAIster, where its resources can be searched alongside other valuable, scholarly resources," said Kat Hagedorn, OAIster/Metadata Harvesting Librarian at the University of Michigan. "I am eagerly looking forward to its increased usefulness in the world of search and discovery."
OAIster is a union catalog of digital resources hosted at the University of Michigan since 2002. Launched with grant support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, OAIster was developed to test the feasibility of building a portal to open archive collections using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). OAIster has grown to become one of the world's largest aggregations of records pointing to open archive collections with more than 23 million records contributed by over 1,100 organizations worldwide.
"The University of Michigan approached OCLC about managing future operations for the OAIster project to ensure its long-term viability," said John Wilkin, Associate University Librarian, University of Michigan Library, when the partnership was announced earlier this year. "OCLC plays a pivotal role in the business of metadata creation and distribution. Situating OAIster with OCLC helps to create an increasingly comprehensive discovery resource for users."
OCLC plans to release a freely accessible, discrete view of the OAIster database in 2010 that will be updated regularly. This will allow WorldCat.org searchers to view only items harvested through OAIster.
"OCLC has been very responsive to issues and needs brought up by the OAI community," said Ms. Hagedorn. "The creation of a free, separately accessible view of OAIster within OCLC is an example of their recognition of the value of OAIster in the world of metadata management."
Now that all OAIster records are accessible through WorldCat.org, the oaister.org Web site has been redirected to a new OAIster Web site at OCLC. For more information, visit the new OAIster Web site.