Open Archives Initiative

n. (OAI, abbr.)An organization that has developed interoperability standards to facilitate the efficient dissemination of online content, especially EPrints.


OAI has published the Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). The protocol defines an application-independent interoperability framework based on metadata harvesting. The framework is used by data providers, who expose metadata about information held in a repository, and by service providers, who use that metadata to build value-added services. See


OAI 2020, FAQ The OAI technical framework is intentionally simple with the intent of providing a low barrier for participants. Protocols such as Z39.50 have more complete functionality; for example, they deal with session management and results sets and allow the specification of predicates that filter the records returned. However, this functionality comes at an increase in difficulty of implementation and cost. The OAI technical framework is not intended to replace other approaches but to provide an easy-to-implement and easy-to-deploy alternative for different constituencies or different purposes than those addressed by existing interoperability solutions.