Extending Interoperability of Digital Libraries:
Building on the Open Archives Initiative,
Workshop for Fourth European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries,
18-20 September 2000, Lisbon, Portugal

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The Open Archives Initiative (OAi) began in late 1999 as an effort to facilitate the federation of author self-archiving solutions.  The first meeting, held in Santa Fe in October 1999, brought together  individuals representing a variety of organizations, many of them managing existing EPrint initiatives (e.g, : arXiv.org , CogPrints, NDLTD, RePEc, EconWPA, NCSTRL, NTRS).  The result of that meeting was the so-called Santa Fe Convention, a set of technical and organizational specifications to permit cross-archive metadata harvesting.  An article about that agreement and the first meeting appeared in D-Lib magazine.

A second meeting of the OAi was held in the form of a workshop at ACM DL2000 in San Antonio.  A brief report of this meeting appeared in D-Lib magazine.  Participants at the second meeting reviewed experiences with the initial Santa Fe Convention, raised a number of areas needing revision in that technical agreement, and discussed a number of organizational and policy issues.  The results of this workshop were:

Format of the Lisbon Workshop

The success of the agreements that constitute the Open Archives initiative relies on pariticipation from a broad range of individuals and communities.  The Lisbon meeting, like the meeting in San Antonio, provides an opportunity for bringing new participants into the OAi community and addressing the needs of those new participants.  The success of the workshop, therefore, rests on addressing three goals, which will shape the format of the meeting:

  1. Developing a shared understanding of what has been accomplished so far in the OAi through a thorough review of the goals of the Open Archives initiative and its technical agreements.  The ability of the OAi to reach early agreement on technical infrastructure was based on a relatively well-defined scope.  Understanding and sharing that scope, with new participants and reviewing whether it is still appropriate, is essential to moving forward as a group.  We expect, therefore, that the initial part of the workshop will be in the form of a tutorial that will facilitate a shared knowledge base among participants.
  2. Understanding how the existing agreements and goals conform with the needs of new participants and evaluating whether changes are necessary and practical.  We expect that the second portion of the workshop will have an open discussion format where participants will have ample opportunity to give feedback on the OAi agreements and policies in the context of their own needs and context.
  3. Deciding how to move forward on both the existing OAi agreements and on any extensions to those agreements that further promote digital library interoperability.  The OAi agreements raise many questions that are interesting areas for research, evaluation, and implementation.  We expect that the final portion of the workshop will offer the opportunity, perhaps in break-out groups, for participants to develop plans and/or collaborations for future work that builds on the Open Archives initiative.

A complete agenda will be published in August and will be posted on this web site.

Workshop Program

Submission of Position Statement

For background on the Open Archives Initiative and the conference sponsoring the workshop, see


Send queries to fox@vt.edu, hussein@vt.edu, lagoze@cs.cornell.edu, or herbert.vandesompel@rug.ac.be.