May 20, 2022

Research Paper: “Global Picture of OAI-PMH Repositories Through the Analysis of 6 Key Open Archive Meta-Catalogs” (Preprint)

The following preprint was recently shared by its authors on arXiv.


Global Picture of OAI-PMH Repositories Through the Analysis of 6 Key Open Archive Meta-Catalogs


Arnaud Gaudinat
HEG (University of Applied Sciences, Geneva)

Jonas Beausire

Megan Fuss
HEG (University of Applied Sciences, Geneva)

Elisa Banfi
University of Geneva

Julien Gobeill
HEG (University of Applied Sciences, Geneva)

Patrick Ruch
Information Science Department of the HEG (University of Applied Sciences, Geneva)


By the end of the late 90’s the Open Archives Initiative needed direction to insure its improvement and thus, created the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) standard. The movement showed a rise in popularity, followed by a decline then a relative stabilization. This process was essentially a way to ensure the viability of open archive repositories. However, a meta-catalog containing an ensemble of repositories was never established, which lead to confusion of what could be found in said catalogs.

This study ultimately aims to find out what repository content can be found and where with the use of the 6 key meta-catalogs. Although they undoubtedly have numerous limitations pertaining to the available data, this article seeks to compare the common data in each meta-catalog and estimates which repositories are found within them (with approx. less than 1% in common within the 6 meta-catalog).

Decisively, this paper identifies the need to collate this data (with a total of 42.3% OAI-PMH repositories specific to each meta-catalog) and improve current search tools, hence portraying the benefits of a comprehensible single unifying meta-catalog for end users.

Direct to Full Text Paper (22 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.