30 April 2006

Wageningen project provides RSS feeds from agricultural document repositories

At a workshop in Utrecht last week, the Library at Wageningen UR introduced ARNEX - a service to deliver information from open access document repositories as RSS newsfeeds. ARNEX (Agricultural Repository News EXchange) is aimed at information and web managers. It offers a tool to create newsfeeds from one or several OAI-PMH compatible repositories by subject.

The idea is that individuals can subscribe to subject based current awareness newsfeeds from several repositories or embed therse same feeds within their web sites and portals. The service is currently set up for agriculture and natural resources; it could also be applied to other areas.

According to Hugo Besemer, one of the project managers, an unexpected challenge encountered was that few organisations actually make such repositories available in an OAI-PMH compatible format. Should they do so, the service would be massively enriched.

Organisations with their own open access repositories or databases can participate in the service by making sure their repositories are OAI-PMH compatible (find more information from the Open Archives Initiative). Such compatibility is necessary for ARNEX, it is also the basis for inclusion in OAIster - the primary search engine for "freely available, previously difficult-to-access, academically-oriented digital resources."


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