In "The Straight Dope on OAIster," OCLC answers questions about the future of OAIster.
Here's an excerpt:
- Starting in October, the records will be freely discoverable along with all the other content in WorldCat.org. However, it will not be possible to limit a search to OAIster records alone.
- In FirstSearch, OAIster records can either be searched along with other FirstSearch databases, or selected to search alone. OAIster records have been searchable in FirstSearch since January 2009.
- Contributors of OAIster records can receive free access to the OAIster aggregation in FirstSearch by request. Contributors were recently contacted to offer them such access and many have already responded that they would like to have such access.
- Only data providers that request that we not harvest their records will be removed from the aggregation. We feel strongly that one of the main benefits of OAIster has been the aggregation of records from the vast majority of repositories worldwide. Therefore, unless a repository denies us permission to harvest their records, we will seek to include them.
- No money was exchanged in this transfer and OCLC is not making any money on the OAIster aggregation. OAIster records were added to FirstSearch at no extra charge to FirstSearch subscribers, and of course there is no charge for searching WorldCat.org, where they are also exposed. Rather than boosting revenue, in fact, OCLC is committed to making an investment in the kind of large-scale harvesting operation that OAIster represents. . . .
- We are exploring options for machine access. Z39.50 access to OAIster is available to FirstSearch subscribers now, and we are considering whether additional options should be supported. The University of Michigan did not offer an OAI-PMH or Web Services interface, although they did offer an rsync option. Learning the needs of the community will help inform what we do in this area. . . .
- We are forming an advisory board to provide us with essential advice. We know that this is an ongoing service that will require further development and support, and so we seek the advice of those knowledgeable and experienced within the community to make sure we get it as right as we can on behalf of our member institutions and the broader community of users.