OCLC has outlined its future OAIster strategy in an e-mail message to OAIster database contributors.
Here's an excerpt from the "Next Steps" part of the document:
OAIster users will have two ways to access the records you contribute to OAIster.
- WorldCat.org search results will include OAIster records. WorldCat.org is a publicly available Web site searchable at no charge. When users search WorldCat.org, OAIster records will be included in search results. Each search will retrieve results from the WorldCat database along with OAIster and article-level content from sources that now include GPO Monthly Catalog, ArticleFirst, MEDLINE, ERIC, the British Library and Elsevier. Records from all sources are presented to users in integrated search results.
- Authenticated users of libraries that subscribe to the FirstSearch Base Package may search OAIster as a separate database through WorldCat.org, WorldCat Local and WorldCat Local "quick start." These users will be able to select OAIster for searching from the Advanced search screen.
At the University of Michigan OAIster site, there is an announcement that reads; "OCLC will be taking over operations of OAIster in October, loading August data into WorldCat.org and making harvesting fully operational at OCLC by January 2010."
What appears to be lost in this strategy is free access to OAIster as a separate database after OCLC assumes full control of OAIster in 2010.