[Asis-l] NISO and OAI Release Draft for Comments of ResourceSync Framework Specification

Cynthia Hodgson chodgson at niso.org
Mon Feb 11 11:10:29 EST 2013

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and the Open Archives
Initiative (OAI) announce the release of a beta draft for comments of the
ResourceSync Framework Specification for the web detailing various
capabilities that a server can implement to allow third-party systems to
remain synchronized with its evolving resources. Feedback to this version of
the specification is solicited and can be shared by March 15, 2013 on the
ResourceSync Google Group. The ResourceSync joint project, funded with
support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and JISC, was initiated to
develop a new open standard on the real-time synchronization of Web

"Increasingly, large-scale digital collections are available from multiple
hosting locations, are cached at multiple servers, and leveraged by several
services," explains Herbert Van de Sompel, Scientist, Los Alamos National
Laboratory, OAI Executive, and Co-chair of the ResourceSync Working Group.
"Since Web resources are continually changing, this proliferation of content
yields the challenging problem of keeping services that leverage a server's
evolving content synchronized in a timely and accurate manner. As we move
from a Web of documents to a Web of data, synchronization becomes even more
important: decisions made based on unsynchronized or incoherent scientific
or economic data can have serious deleterious impact."

"The OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (PMH) 2.0 specification can be
used to effectively synchronize the metadata about the resources," states
Simeon Warner, Director, IT Application Development, Cornell University,
"but synchronizing the resources themselves was never specified. Although
some resource synchronization methods exist, they are generally ad hoc,
arranged by the individuals involved, and cannot be universally deployed."

"This ResourceSync draft specification introduces a range of easy to
implement capabilities that a server may support in order to enable remote
systems to remain more tightly in step with its evolving resources,"
describes Michael L. Nelson, Associate Professor, Old Dominion University
Computer. "It also describes how a server can advertise the capabilities it
supports. Remote systems can inspect this information to determine how best
to remain aligned with the evolving data. All capabilities are implemented
on the basis of the document formats introduced by the Sitemap protocol.
Capabilities can be combined to achieve varying levels of functionality and
hence meet different local or community requirements."

"We expect this new standard will save a tremendous amount of time, effort,
and resources by repository managers through the automation of the
replication and updating process," states Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive
Director. "The end result will be to increase the general availability of
content in Web repositories and alleviate the variety of problems created by
out-dated, inaccurate, superseded content that exists on the Internet

The draft specification is available on the OAI website at:
www.openarchives.org/rs/. Comments on the draft can be posted on the public
discussion forum at:
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/resourcesync. Group
discussions are openly accessible; posting requires group membership.

Cynthia Hodgson
Technical Editor / Consultant
National Information Standards Organization
chodgson at niso.org

More information about the Asis-l mailing list