There are two classes of participants in the OAI-PMH framework: In this document the key words "must", "must not", " required", "shall", "shall not", "should", " should not", "recommended", "may", and "optional " in bold face are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 .

Implementation Guidelines Acknowledgements Document History The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (referred to as the OAI-PMH in the remainder of this document) provides an application-independent interoperability framework based on metadata harvesting.

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A record is identified unambiguously by the combination of the unique identifier of the item from which the record is available, the With the increasing technical sophistication of both information consumers and providers, there is increasing demand for more meaningful experiences of digital information.

The mandatory Dublin Core format provides the element that should be used for this purpose. A record is returned in an XML-encoded byte stream in response to an OAI-PMH request for metadata from an item.

To facilitate access to the resource associated with harvested metadata, repositories should use an element in metadata records to establish a linkage between the record (and the identifier of its item) and the identifier (URL, URN, DOI, etc.) of the associated resource.

The nature of a resource identifier is outside the scope of the OAI-PMH.

To allow various repository configurations, the OAI-PMH distinguishes between three distinct entities related to the metadata made accessible by the OAI-PMH.

Flow Control 3.5.1 Idempotency of resumption Tokens 3.6. A repository is managed by a data provider to expose metadata to harvesters.

This document refers in several places to "community-specific" practices to which individual protocol implementations may conform.

An implementation is not conformant if it fails to satisfy one or more of the "must" or "required" level requirements for the protocols it implements.

Deleted status is a property of individual records.

Like a normal record, a deleted record is identified by a unique identifier, a metadata Prefix and a datestamp. Multiple hierarchies with distinct, independent top-level nodes are allowed.

Harvesters may use datestamps to harvest only those records that were created, deleted, or modified within a specified date range.