From a NISO Announcement:
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 resources.
“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 today.”
The draft specification is available on the OAI website. Comments on the draft can be posted on the public discussion forum. Group discussions are openly accessible; posting requires group membership.