Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Clarifications on the future of OAIster

Earlier this week, we posted the latest news on the transfer of the OAIster metadata harvester to OCLC, including some points of confusion and contention. Roy Tennant of OCLC has posted two updates to clarify and defend OCLC's actions:

Roy Tennant, The Straight Dope on OAIster, HangingTogether, September 21, 2009.

... I have heard lots of questions since we started contacting contributors with the most recent phase of the transfer plan, so the purpose of this post is to bring everyone up to date on why we are doing this, where things are, and what we hope to accomplish in the future.

  • OCLC wanted to do whatever we could to ensure sustainability of this aggregation when the University of Michigan realized they needed assistance. ...
  • Starting in October, the records will be freely discoverable along with all the other content in However, it will not be possible to limit a search to OAIster records alone.
  • In FirstSearch, OAIster records can either be searched along with other FirstSearch databases, or selected to search alone. OAIster records have been searchable in FirstSearch since January 2009.
  • Contributors of OAIster records can receive free access to the OAIster aggregation in FirstSearch by request. Contributors were recently contacted to offer them such access and many have already responded that they would like to have such access.
  • No money was exchanged in this transfer and OCLC is not making any money on the OAIster aggregation. OAIster records were added to FirstSearch at no extra charge to FirstSearch subscribers, and of course there is no charge for searching, where they are also exposed. ...
  • We are forming an advisory board to provide us with essential advice. ...

Roy Tennant, Clarification on OCLC/OAIster Transfer, HangingTogether, September 23, 2009.

... A comment on [the previous] post, as well as chatter via Twitter and on some mailing lists has prompted us to clarify the terms and conditions to make it absolutely clear that they only apply to the harvested metadata.

It was never our intent to harvest anything other than metadata. Unfortunately, the terminology used in the OAIster terms and conditions did not accurately state the rights that OCLC needs to make the OAIster data available. As a result, the OAIster terms and conditions have been corrected and are being re-sent to OAIster data providers. ...

See also our past posts on OAIster and OCLC.