OAI-PMH permits metadata harvesting from disciplinary archives, institutional repositories, and other digital archives. This allows the creation of specialized search services using this harvested metadata. OAI-PMH is a key technology for the open access movement, but does it require too much human intervention?
We have learned that in despite of its relative simplicity, an OAI-PMH service can be harder to implement and maintain than expected. We have spent a lot of effort harvesting, normalising and maintaining metadata obtained from OAI data providers. In particular the issue of metadata quality is an important factor here. A summary of our experiences dealing with OAI-PMH can be found at http://eprints.rclis.org/archive/00006394. . . . A final report outlining the maintenance issues involved in the project is in progress but the experience gained suggests that successful ongoing maintenance of OAI targets would require a mixture of automated and manual approaches and that the level of ongoing maintenance is high.